Increasing Warehouse Pick Productivity With Robotic Automation

by Nate Aswege
August 11, 2022

In the modern world it seems that almost everything is automated. Cars, dishwashers, and even vacuuming our homes are all done by machines. So why not automate one of the most labor-intensive tasks in business? Warehouses have been using manual picking and packing methods for years, and it’s time to evolve. In this blog post, we will discuss the disadvantages of using manual inbound and outbound picking processes and the benefits of robotic automation technology in warehouse picking and packing. 

Manual Person-to-Goods Picking Lowers Overall Productivity

Did you know that fulfillment warehouse employees spend 50% of their time walking during each picking process? That is a lot of time wasted and a lot of physical demand, when conversely employees could spend their time packing, inventory checking, and focusing on other crucial tasks. Not to mention, all that time wasted on walking affects employee productivity, morale, and health over time. 

Manual Picking Prone to Human Errors

Studies show that humans make an average of one mistake for every 300 opportunities when it comes to picking orders, including grabbing the wrong item or putting too many items in a box. These mistakes can cost your company money and cause delays in shipping orders. Although the error may not seem like a lot, when you consider that a typical warehouse may have thousands of orders per day, those mistakes can quickly add up. Not only do errors lower productivity, but they also lead to unhappy customers, returned products, and an overall more inefficient warehouse environment. 

Humans Do Not Thrive in Multitasking Operations

Humans are not great at constantly switching tasks. The constant picking and packing of different items can easily lead to mental exhaustion and error as discussed. And when employees also have to handle more physically demanding work of lifting heavy boxes, this can easily lead to employee injuries, costing the company money in workers’ compensation claims. 

Robotic Automation Technology Is the Solution

The solution to these problems is using robotic automation technology to create a goods-to-person workflow solution. Instead of employees walking around the warehouse and picking items off the shelves, robots bring the items to the humans to review and pick. 

How Does A Goods-To-Person System Work?

There are several options for goods-to-person systems. The shuttle system consists of a pod that travels along a conveyor belt to bring the items to the employee. The carousel system is similar to the shuttle system, but instead of a pod traveling on conveyor belts, it uses a rotating platform to bring items to the employee. The third type is the mini-load system that uses automated cranes to bring items down from high shelves and deliver them to the employee. The last type is AMR, which stands for Autonomous Mobile Robots. These compact robots move inventory racks around the warehouse and bring items to the employee. 

Benefits of AMR Goods-To-Person System

The biggest benefit of using an AMR goods-to-person system is that it can greatly increase productivity as employees no longer have to waste time walking around the warehouse or constantly switching tasks. The robots do all the physical work for them while they can focus on packing orders and checking inventory. 

Additionally, an AMR goods-to-person system can help save warehouse space. The robots are compact and can travel close together, so they take up less space than a traditional conveyor belt system. This solution can be especially beneficial for warehouses running out of room. 

Prime Robotics MobileShelf Offers Unmatched Efficiency

Click here to enter text.Prime Robotics is a versatile and scalable AMR solution that can increase your warehouse productivity by 1,000%. Their MobileShelf can process picks from 400 to 700 picks per hour while working seamlessly with the MobilePallet, and other customizable pick stations to provide a new workflow for receiving, put-away, picking, packing, dispatching, and returns. With the ability to run 5 to 500 robots simultaneously, 24/7, 7 days a week, Prime Robotics MobileShelf can be easily managed and programmed with the Prime Robotics software. The program is easy to learn and use, and their American-based support team is here to help you every step of the way. If you want to learn more about how MobileShelf can benefit your business, contact Prime Robotics today for a demo.  

Prime Robotics