How has warehousing changed over the last few years? Manual processes have been replaced more and more by automated machines. The result is improved efficiency and productivity. In general, warehouses have become more technologically advanced and more automated.
What are some of the technological advancements affecting warehouses? There’s RFID– radio frequency identification technology. An automated data collection system, RFID uses tags, readers, antenna and software allowing for items to be scanned in large volumes quickly. Relatedly, there’s barcoding. Though barcoding isn’t “new,” barcode scanners are being used more and more to track inventory as it moves throughout a warehouse.
Cloud computing is increasingly being utilized by warehouses as software applications are proven to be secure. Since information can be accessed via the “Cloud,” warehouse workers are often using smartphones, tablets and computers to keep track of their data in the “Cloud.”
Voice and mobile technologies can be used to help pick, pack, replenish and ship items.
Technologies on the Horizon
What new technologies are likely going to find their way into warehouses in the future? Augmented and virtual reality, drones, robots, autonomous vehicles and wearable devices are all potential candidates to help improve warehousing overall. Buzzwords like “artificial intelligence,” “big data,” and “advanced predictive analytics” will be heard more and more, especially when it comes to warehouse planning and analysis.
It has been said that two drones can do the work of 100 humans over the same time period. How could a drone “work” in a warehouse? Using optical sensors (cameras), a drone can locate an item and scan its RFID tags. This kind of technology is expected to help prevent inventory mismatches. Also, a drone can find items that are piled “high up” in a building, which, in the past, had to be found by a person climbing a ladder or using some sort of machine to lift themselves high up in the air.
Teachable robots are going to help complete manual processes such as co-packing, working alongside human workers. Robots are able to do repetitive tasks without tiring out or hurting their hands.
If you work in a warehouse in 2019, take some photos and videos of what it currently looks like. Then, 10 years later, take similar shots and notice how things have changed.
If you need help finding reliable warehousing that suits your specific needs, learn how Affiliated Warehouse Companies can help.