What is warehouse automation?
Warehouse automation is the process of automating the movement of inventory into, within, and out of warehouses to customers with minimal human assistance. As part of an automation project, a business can eliminate labor-intensive duties that involve repetitive physical work and manual data entry and analysis.
For example, a warehouse worker may load an autonomous mobile robot with heavy packages. The robot moves the inventory from one end of the warehouse to the shipping zone and software records the movement of that inventory, keeping all records current. These robots improve the efficiency, speed, reliability and accuracy of this task.
But warehouse automation does not require physical or robotic automation, and in many cases simply refers to the use of software to replace manual tasks. However, this scenario illustrates how robots and humans work together to accomplish repetitive tasks while minimizing fatigue and injury.
Automating global warehouses
How does warehouse automation work?
Due to the rapid advances in technology nowadays, software and technology are able to fully automate logistics processes through robotics or sensors. Caja Robotics’ flexible solutions ensure that business-critical-tasks in customer facilities meet customer demand with ease.
Every business is unique and needs custom automation strategies. Caja Robotics divides warehouse automation processes in four major categories.
The retail picking station process
Categories of Warehouse automation explained
Warehouse automation varies from relatively simple to quite complex. Basic automation uses planning, machinery and vehicles to reduce repetitive tasks. Advanced systems take advantage of artificial intelligence and robotics.
Warehouse automation categories include:
- Basic Warehouse Automation: The focus of basic warehouse automation is assisting workers with tasks that require manual, cost-intensive and iterative labor. The assistance is provided by conveyors or carousels that are able to move items from one point to another.
- Warehouse System Automation: Warehouse System Automation focuses on using software, machine learning, data analytics and robotics to sustainably automate procedures or tasks. The key focus is to analyze and review a pool of orders and boost pick-up efficiency by selecting similar items and warehouse routes.
- Mechanized Warehouse Automation: Mechanized warehouse automation focuses on the interaction between humans and robotics. Robotics and systems assist humans simultaneously on regular warehousing, reducing susceptibility to errors and risk of injury.
Caja Robotics’ solution focuses on goods-to-person solutions.
Most of the work is done by our cloud-based software and our robots – Skyler™ and Sprynter™. At the endpoint of this process, machines and human workers collaborate. Our variety of workstation options that are positioned at the endpoints are designed to achieve the maximum efficiency of this collaboration. Workstations are also customizable for warehouse-specific processing needs.
- Advanced Warehouse Automation:
To fully replace labor-intensive human workflows, businesses need to focus on advanced warehouse automation. By combining mechanized warehouse robotics and automation systems, Caja enables businesses to fully automate their warehouse with ease.
Caja Robotics’ two types of specialized robots work synergistically to optimize the goods-to-person system. As the Skyler™ robot can reach high shelving and the Sprynter™ robot can move fast, each of them is assigned suitable tasks. The robots move bins between workstations and shelves, constantly optimizing inventory management. Our system and robots are designed to support the concept of an Adaptive, Scalable, and Responsive system. Different types of robots give us the flexibility in tasks and navigation to achieve the best possible warehouse optimization. Our robots behave as a swarm, with the future path and locations of all robots defined to the resolution of a second.