New intelligent systems and a machine economy are changing the way warehouses work these days. If anything, new technologies are allowing for constant connection with customers thanks to things like AI/machine learning, digital feedback loops, and 5G. With this comes a new role for warehouses– becoming a business environment instead of just a logistics center.
How Warehouses Have Changed
How are warehouses specifically changing in recent years? They’re becoming more adaptive and dynamic because they have to in order to stay relevant. Customers want delivery faster than ever before, so warehouses have to meet their demands. Efficiency is the name of the game. Therefore, data matters more than ever, such that machine learning optimization for robots and routes is becoming commonplace. What are some other trends? Visual monitoring, image analytics, and automated robot storage enhanced by augmented reality are all trends in intelligent warehousing.
Warehouses are also evolving when it comes to products and packaging design. For instance, packaging is more sophisticated than it used to be, not only protecting what’s inside, but also communicating the brand to the customer. Cardboard boxes are still used, of course, but so are moldable plastics and other flexible materials. How do warehouses keep track of packages? They often use barcodes and radio frequency identification (RFID) tags.
What about robotics? There are collaborative robots designed with arms with multiple sensors, and they’re operated when a human is nearby. Meanwhile, exoskeleton robotic suits have been developed such that they can increase a human’s capacity to lift items by 20 times! It’s also not unusual to see automated guided vehicles (AGVs) transporting items within warehouses.
The trends in intelligent warehousing are meant to provide faster problem resolution, improved labor efficiency and operational scalability. All of this is done safer, cheaper and faster than ever before. Warehouses are better able to adapt to business demands– and meet them– thanks to these positive trends.
If you’re looking for warehousing options that have stayed up with the latest trends, contact Affiliated Warehouse Companies today.