Unravelling Robotics And Automation

Research by Forrester has found that automation – including robotics, artificial intelligence (AI) and Machine learning (ML) – is already a defining industry trend that will continue to expand in the next two decades. It is also one of the most popular choices for improving operational efficiency with tactical automation.

Easing the Pressure

At first glance, it would appear that the only way for companies to ease the pressure will be to introduce big changes to the way they operate along the supply chains. At the same time, automation in logistics and warehousing present immediate solutions and immense opportunities for early adopters. Companies can differentiate their propositions through improved services, efficiencies throughout the workforce, space optimisation and high-speed fulfilment: From the automation of inventory into, within, and out of the warehouse and then onwards to customers with minimal human assistance, to the labour-intensive tasks that involve repetitive physical work, manual data entry and analysis. Companies can also improve operations by minimising human errors with real time data. For the early adopters and those willing to start mitigating the risks, the required solutions are already available. For the early adopters and those willing to start mitigating the risks, the required solutions are already available.

  • Automation increases productivity and reduces costs by providing real time data, enhancing efficiencies and optimising space utilisation.
  • Robotics and AI can handle repetitive jobs and learn how to deal with unusual situations. Together, they free companies to focus on prioritising business initiatives and optimise operations by creating more opportunities and retraining the workforce for higher-level jobs.
  • Real time digital twins can provide immediate valuable opportunities and insights for better planning and space utilisation, all of which improve the flow of goods, use of storage and available space.

Detailed simulation of actual warehouses use live data to predict dynamics and enable understanding, learning and reasoning. This is a process often undertaken by the business once, after which it is rarely updated or used to its full advantage. The value of using the digital twin lies in updating it daily and comparing it with the previous day’s data, to benefit from the real-time insights. As a result, the company can optimise its present operations, de-risk the future, and discover the intractable in each location.