Fully automated warehouse

Alexandoy

Member
When I was in a software house in the early years of 2000, I saw a design of a warehouse that is completely automated. The lights automatically turn on when someone enters the area and turns off when there is no one in the area. It also has sensors that have a setting such that it will invoke the alarm system if there is a breach of security. I remember the Japanese designer telling me that a security guard is not needed anymore because the computer can take care of the entire warehouse.

What do you think about that?
 

Lindsay

New member
Re: Fully automated warehouse

Warehouse automation is an entire industry now, with companies like Epicor and Mechalux developing automated solutions. A lot of warehouses now are largely automated, using barcodes on pallettes and packages to track items as they move through the warehouse, conveyor belts etc. The problem with adopting it is that the overhead to set it up costs so much, and by the time you've got to the point it would help, you have a lot of employees and an organic structure that has already developed as the company grows.

My first thought is that you'd still need the guards to respond to an alarm, and you'd definitely need maintenance staff to keep the automated systems running (things like changing lightbulbs and burned-out fuses). The biggest ones like the Fedex Superhub are still a blend of personal and automated systems. Having people involved just gives it a bit of extra flexibility, while the automation lets them get so much more done.
 

to7update

New member
Re: Fully automated warehouse

Automated warehouses are the best obviously, as they allow their owners to save a lot of money. The main issue here is the elevated cost for implementation, as it's super expensive, and maintenance might not come cheap either, considering something malfunctions. So it's a great investment on the long run, but we need to have a big operation to make it worth it.
 

optimistic

New member
Re: Fully automated warehouse

Automated warehouses are the best obviously, as they allow their owners to save a lot of money. The main issue here is the elevated cost for implementation, as it's super expensive, and maintenance might not come cheap either, considering something malfunctions. So it's a great investment on the long run, but we need to have a big operation to make it worth it.
But if it's highly expensive I can't find any reason to fully automate a warehouse. It is better to employ a few security guards and by doing that we are also helping them by giving employment. So in case of a security breach, the system will alarm us but what would be the remedial measures. May be it's like it will alert us and we can send somebody at the site (please correct me if I am wrong). In that case why can't we directly deploy somebody at the site.

Personally I don't support full automation projects as it eats away a lot of employment opportunities. It should be a mix of machines and humans so that at least some of us get an opportunity to earn for a living.
 

rz3300

New member
Re: Fully automated warehouse

As much as I am not sure that I could trust it or really am in favor of it, although I am sure that it cuts down costs pretty well, I think it would be really interesting to see one in action. Might be one around the corner for all I know.
 

kaushikangara

New member
Re: Fully automated warehouse

As technology is improving day by day, we are seeing a revolution in industrial standards as well. With the invention of Robotic Process Automation(RPA), most of the work has become automated. Manual involvement has significantly reduced and as a result many people have lost their jobs and their only source of income. Though the accuracy has improved vastly, I somehow do not like people losing their only means of livelihood. The machines are costly and their maintenance cost is also very high. I would rather employ some workers and get the work them through them. It would at least give me happiness that I am creating some employment opportunities for a few people. Complicated tasks could be shared between machines and humans which would result in better accuracy and time management.
 

esilv

New member
Re: Fully automated warehouse

I still cannot envision a perfectly flawless or dead-on accurate warehouse with full automation. It is just not possible. People always have to be present to do or to check, or even to re-do, something. Who knows these days?
 

ptahm22

New member
Re: Fully automated warehouse

I conquer with you, an automated warehouse but there is one problem. It's just that, anything automated is always prone to hacking and other malicious activities. A certain company also tried to use robots, every time they changed a label all robots would start sending distress calls. They did work perfectly if the warehouse is well planned, but on the other hand they are too expensive. It's a good idea though it has too many limitations.
 

TopLink

Forum Founder
Staff member
Re: Fully automated warehouse

The justification for automation is largely based on cost reduction, so the labour cost is a key factor. If labour cost is low, it's hard to justify automation, unless a secondary benefit such as picking accuracy is very important.
 

esilv

New member
Re: Fully automated warehouse

Back in the early 2000s and even just prior to that, the idea of automated warehouses, especially those with full automation, were viewed as an incredible achievement and as a gift from above. In today's world of rapid paced and ever more rapidly growing technological and scientific advancements for business, that is just not the case.
 

maryna_b

New member
Yeah, warehouse automation became widely recognized over the last few years and a lot of famous companies are already using it, for example, Amazon, Nike and IKEA and, of course, a lot more of companies around the world. There are a lot of articles on this subject which explain the whole thing, you may check them out to figure it all out. I found a really informative article not so while ago, you might want to take a look: https://www.cleveroad.com/blog/best-ways-for-warehouse-optimization-leading-technologies-for-inventory
 

Corzhens

Member
There are multiple ways of Redefining & Transforming Warehouse Management Digitally such as Shared Warehousing Solutions, RFID & Barcode enabled Tracking and much more.
I have seen one warehouse with the use of bar codes for easy identification of the products. In our warehouse, we had tested the bar coding before but although it was good with identifying the item but it’s not exactly feasible when it comes to inventory because there was no software that handles it.
 
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