How Are the Collaborative Robots Changing Warehouse Operations?

How Are the Collaborative Robots Changing Warehouse Operations?
Photo : How Are the Collaborative Robots Changing Warehouse Operations?

There is an increase in business operations automation across the world. Business automation is mostly illustrated through the integration of robots in the business. There is this class of robots known as collaborative robots, also known as cobots. 

The global demand for a collaborative robot has been on the rise. This is attributed to the benefits that accrue from utilizing robots to carry out several business activities. The cobots have transformed company operations.

The following are some of the ways through which collaborative robots have changed warehouse operations. 

1. They Are Easy to Integrate

Cobots are lightweight and portable, making it easy to incorporate them into the industrial system. No infrastructural shift occurs when installing collaborative robots.  Shifting infrastructure from one point to another can be extremely costly. 

Moreover, it takes a short period, like few weeks to install, unlike additional technologies that take longer, months or even years to install, and can begin to benefit from it as soon as the installation is over.

Moreover, the space requirement for collaborative robots is very minimal. There is no additional space for operating, or an extra-wide passageway to traverse the warehouse. They can shift from point to another throughout the warehouse in the company of the employees. Also, the cobots can be utilized on all warehouse floor areas. 

2. Lower and Flexible Capital Costs

Flexibility is one of the major advantages of cobots. The collaborative robots function alongside the warehouse employees. Given their flexibility and efficiency in carrying out its operations, cobots assist in making the existing and incoming labor force very efficient. 

Any gaps that may have been present in with the employees working alone are addressed with the collaborative robot. Therefore, smooth running of warehouse operations and sudden and unplanned for demands are met, given the fastness and flexibility of the cobots.

Peak seasons may necessitate a business to employ more workers, whereas the off-peak season may necessitate the laying off of extra workers. Such a trend is complicated and can be costly. However, with the installation or renting of cobots or warehouses, it is easy to control the off-peak and peak seasons, without hiring or laying off employees. Therefore, there is a reduction in the capital costs experienced by a warehouse.  

3. Increasing Productivity Quantities

Warehouses are huge and may necessitate too much walking in search of given (Small Keeping Units) SKUs. Too much time is spent walking, which could tire the employees, leading to reduced employee productivity. Moreover, the more time spend walking could have been directed into more productive tasks within the warehouse.

However, the collaborative robots speed tasks by relying on Artificial Intelligence plus machine learning, therefore reducing needless walking. It also provides guidance on the picking tasks and additional related tasks, thereby optimizing efficiency.    

4. Boosting Human Labor

Many are spreading fear of the collaborative robots taking up jobs and leaving employed jobless. However, you should realize that employees will not lose jobs as the robots are designed to work side by side with warehouse employees. 

The robots diminish unnecessary walking and optimize the employees' jobs as they have a lot of time in their hands now that their jobs have been lightened. Employees are also less tired, which may bring about satisfaction within them.

5. Boosting accuracy and diminishing human error

Human is to error. Employees can get tired and, in the process, result in a mix-up. However, such errors can be too expensive to handle. For instance, an incorrect order sent to a client may increase returns plus pay-back rates. All these negatively impact the warehouse's performance.

However, the collaborative robots are designed to decide quickly and aid employees in performing multiple jobs in one trip to the warehouse floor. Hence, the collaborative robots act as guides to the warehouse employees, thus, decreasing the probability of occurrence of human error. 

6. Ensures Safety of the Warehouse Employees

Working from the warehouse can expose you to harm. For instance, arranged boxes can come crashing down, muscle strains, back injuries, and much more. To keep the employees safe and reduce fatalities, it is necessary to invent in measures, which protect employees against harm. 

One of these inventions is collaborative robot. The cobot can handle those tasks, which are deemed harmful to humans. That way, the warehouse does not incur compensation costs as a result of employee injury, and warehouse productivity increases.  

Conclusion

Collaborative robots are efficient and optimize a warehouse's productivity. The integration of the collaborative robots largely impacts a warehouse's operations. As discussed above, collaborative robots are of immense benefits. Therefore, investing in cobot would be best for a warehouse. 

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