The rise of online ordering has catapulted in recent years due to the convenience it provides. Currently, a product can be ordered, shipped and delivered to your door the next day, but this user-friendly service doesn’t come without its own set of challenges.
Order fulfillment and logistics providers struggle to keep up with rapidly increasing demand and try to implement robotic automation where possible. While some automated warehouses are being built to deal with surge in volume, most facilities still utilize manual labor to sort and handle the large number of packages in circulation.
Similarly, there is also interest for adding robots to the parcel sortation process, but this comes with its own unique variables that need to be addressed via both software and hardware. That said, companies are still making strides in tackling tough logistics issues.
Why are companies automating with robots?
While each company has its own set of pain points to conquer, some overriding industry struggles seem to center around skilled labor shortages, unfavorable working conditions, factory production bottlenecks and seasonal product demands. To tackle these obstacles, most companies look for the best locations on their production floors to implement robotic solutions – as building fully automated facilities can be expensive and time-consuming.
What areas of the factory are companies automating with robots?
Popular logistics applications
that are being utilized at facilities across the Americas are transport truck loading / unloading, parcel sortation and delivery truck loading.
What are the risks to be aware of with robotic automation?
There are many issues that can arise with any automated application. With logistics, typical concerns for a robotic solution are dealing with variation, speed and reliability, and floorspace requirements. Most importantly, perhaps, is a company’s ability to integrate with automation and machines that already exist on the factory floor.
Where can I learn more about using robots in the logistics industry?
To gain a deeper knowledge on these concepts, join our panel of experts (including, Wade Hickle, Sr. Director, Product Solutions Group at Yaskawa Motoman) for a live webinar discussion. From parcel sizes to package placement, and from boxes-per-hour to system uptime requirements, a range of information will be shared on how to help you solve your logistics challenges. Collaborative robot usage vs. industrial robot implementation will also be covered, making this a webinar you won’t want to miss!
Michael Castor is a Product Manager