Production floors in manufacturing plants need fast and accurate workflows that efficiently manage assets and deliver products. Automation is beneficial in boosting efficiency with control over work-in-process, traceability for recalls, and quality checks before products leave the production floor. Despite labor shortages, studies show that manufacturers still produce 44% more goods than 30 years ago due to factory automation solutions including automated data capture and digitized reporting. Therefore, it is no surprise that an estimated 42% of the time spent on manufacturing tasks will be automated by the end of the year. To remain competitive in the Digital Age, manufacturing facilities must consider the benefits of automating workflows as well as the consequences of delaying modernization.

 

Lack of automation within the production operation pressures your workforce to keep up with high demand influxes without agile tools. Enhanced systems such as automated data capture and sharing can manage operations, track stock levels, and monitor asset performance all in real-time for unbroken productivity. Although automation may take different forms in different industries, businesses can expect the following benefits from intelligent modernization:

 

  1. Increased product accuracy and quality control – Data automation tools like mobile computers can deliver consistent accuracy and speed with minimal variation, improving production rates and product accuracy. You can avoid higher costs from inaccurate production with mobile computers that provide faster-than-ever barcode capture and multi-distance scan engines that improve track and trace on the floor.
  2. Boosted versatility – Mobile technology like computers and tablets can come equipped with powerful extensions that allow businesses to increase security, improve device manageability and more. Expanded features enable manufacturers to capture up to 100 barcodes with a single scan to improve worker efficiency, while data automation delivers predictive analytics and rich data capture so your floor can stay flexible and adapt to rising demands.
  3. Faster return on investment – Dependable automation solutions reduce lead times, lower operating costs and improve output. Rugged mobile computers and tablets out-perform consumer devices and deliver dependable performance to improve the device lifecycles and deliver a higher ROI. Devices like this also help remove the errors of manual operations to deliver controlled and accurate workflows.

 

Speed and accuracy are the top priorities for the production floor. Mobile computers and tablets can help deliver real-time performance to manage operations and improve productivity. Automated mobile computing and scanning solutions deliver:

  • Faster and more efficient workflows
  • Quality checks and control
  • Enhanced visibility and flexibility for recalls
  • Faster cycle times

Automation is quickly taking over manufacturing plants to streamline productivity on the production floor. Learn more about how you can leverage track and trace solutions and rich data capture in your facility.

Today’s consumer demands require faster, more accurate, 24/7 fulfillment in warehouses and distribution centers. Businesses need trusted performance to identify, measure, track, and inspect items from production through distribution to deliver goods faster. Increasing numbers of businesses agree that implementing automation is the easiest and most efficient way to achieve fast fulfillment. Studies show that 80% of organizations plan to invest in new technologies to be competitive, while 70% of warehouse decision-makers need to modernize their warehouse operations–but admit they are slow to implement new devices and technology.

 

Warehouses with slower operations run the risk of losing customers, frustrating workers and enabling errors. To prevent these issues, automation experts suggest deploying strategies such as:

 

  1. Streamlining data collection – When workers pause to collect data, they create a significant time drag and diminish efficiency. While this can happen potentially thousands of times a day, an autonomous automated solution can eliminate downtime and free up workers to focus on more skilled, non-repetitive tasks.
  2. Choosing smarter scanning capabilities – Innovative and automated scanning technologies can be affordable, flexible and easy to deploy. Flexibility and easy integration offer simple management to make warehouse operations more efficient and workers’ days easier. Simplified integration also can help reduce training times so warehouses are more prepared for consumer demands.
  3. Implementing flexible barcode readers Industrial scanners can boost scanning capabilities by gathering data from numerous items at once. Handheld scanners with expanded read ranges and variable-distance barcode reading ensures your workers get the data they need quickly and with fewer steps.
  4. Reducing downtime with automated scanning – Industrial scanning solutions grow with your business and adapt to changing operational demands with flexible and durable designs. Smart automation withstands challenging conditions like warehouse environments to reduce time spent on repairs and maximize mobility.

 

Speed is the top priority when it comes to fulfillment and consumer expectations. Innovative solutions like industrial scanners can improve order picking and packing speeds without compromising accuracy or workflow management. Automated scanning technology provides trusted performance for the distribution process with:

  • Accelerated shipment handling
  • Increased efficiency
  • Decreased downtime
  • Streamlined workflows
  • Improved accuracy
  • Reduced risk

 

Improved warehouse operations and order fulfillment are achievable with innovative automated scanning technology. Learn more about how your business can improve accuracy and decrease downtime to surpass consumer expectations.

The right barcode scanning solution enhances order fulfillment and asset visibility. For almost 50 years, supply chains have been leveraging barcoding solutions because they can help meet emerging consumer demands, such as fast shipping and 100% order accuracy. Studies indicate that 65% of consumers are willing to pay more for faster shipping and 73% claim they would order more frequently from a vendor following an early or timely delivery. On the other hand, studies reveal that 66% of consumers would stop ordering from a company following a late delivery.

 

Consumers’ willingness to stop ordering from a company after just one late order forces businesses to adapt. Unforgiving consumer expectations can weigh on traditional solutions and force businesses to implement solutions like RFID and Fixed Industrial Scanners (FIS) that increase accuracy. While traditional barcoding solutions can read barcodes dependably, they can struggle to keep up with shifting consumer demands. When your workers have solutions that can’t keep up with consumer demands, your operation can suffer from:

  • Incomplete inventory visibility
  • Recurrent downtime from broken devices
  • Dissatisfied employees and lost customers

 

Solutions like RFID technology and FIS can differ from traditional data capture. Here are the specific benefits of each solution to help you consider which one is best for your business:

 

  1. Traditional barcoding for automated data recording General-purpose scanning still improves operations since it mitigates errors associated with manual data entry. Traditional barcoding enables faster and more accurate information transfer to improve order movement and asset tracking, which ultimately save your organization time and money.
  2. RFID technology for dependable visibility in challenging environments – When processing multiple similar SKUs in less time, traditional data capture may not always be the suitable option for large-scale, busy distribution centers. RFID solutions are meant to quickly and accurately process large amounts of data in larger environments. Furthermore, RFID devices are purpose-built for rugged performance and support real-time locationing, making these solutions more beneficial for fast-paced environments where stock numbers change by the hour.
  3. Fixed Industrial Scanners for minimal touchpoints and disruptions – For a more robust, automated solution, Fixed Industrial Scanners (FIS) provide stable and accurate scanning in difficult places and challenging conditions, all without human participation. FIS is typically used on high-speed conveyor lines or in 24/7 operations to fully automate item scanning, verification and routing, optimize material flow, and redirect incorrect items. FIS also delivers immediate alerts of any inaccuracies and prevents misplaced or stolen products.

 

A business can meet tough customer demand by boosting its scanning capabilities with devices that offer durable designs, higher read rates, and versatile features. Learn about the difference between traditional data capture, RFID and FIS with Avalon.

Challenges like labor shortages, shifting stock levels, and increasing demands for same-day shipping have pressured warehouses to quickly automate vital tasks in order to remain competitive. Without enterprise-ready automation, warehouses could suffer from inaccurate inventory counts and slow productivity. However, despite hindrances, studies show only 20% of warehouses successfully deploy automated solutions within their planned timeframes. In other words, while distribution centers understand the importance of automation, seamless solution execution is often challenging. Fearing complex implementation and high costs, many warehouses can miss the opportunities that come with today’s top modernized technologies such as warehouse robotics.

 

Studies show that robotics can reduce costs by 30% as they help improve accuracy and free up warehouse workers to focus on non-repetitive tasks. Existing operations that implement warehouse robotics pick up to  more orders and see a 90% reduction in onboarding and training time. As warehouses evaluate the need for robotics, experts recommend searching for the following signs of inefficiency:

  • Long picking time
  • Incomplete inventory visibility
  • Pen-and-paper processes
  • Sudden stockouts
  • Missed delivery times

 

4 Ways Robotics Help Alleviate Warehousing Challenges

As warehouses continue to navigate through persistent labor shortages, robotic technologies such as Zebra’s autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) give facilities a chance to redirect their human workforce towards more important tasks while AMRs focus on repetitive tasks or simple, value-added workflows like removing recycling or waste from a DC. When acting as part of a comprehensive modernization plan, warehouse robotics can:

 

  1. Boost order accuracy – Mis-picks and general order errors lead to lower profitability and slower warehouse workflows. AMRs help increase productivity up to three times by pairing workers with robots that are 50% faster and carry larger payloads than the competition. Working alongside your employees, AMRs increase precision picking to ensure the highest levels of accuracy and speed.
  2. Increase individual and team productivity – With an autonomous, smart-picking solution, warehouse workers can remain in specific zones to reduce excessive movement and maintain productivity. The AMRs travel between pick and put operations to reduce the distance and time that employees spend traveling between operations. When warehouses reduce the time it takes to complete repetitive tasks, employees can spend more time focusing on other, more complex workflows.
  3. Improve employee satisfaction – Robotic automation in warehouses sounds like it could replace employees, but robotics can actually work alongside your human workforce. Robotics can provide a sense of worker empowerment to take their focus away from repetitive tasks to do their jobs more effectively. Moreover, because they are built to handle heavy lifting and prevent collisions, AMRs also maximize worker safety, further boosting employee satisfaction.
  4. Amplify throughput with less labor – AMRs establish an effective goods-to-person picking system to provide a foundation that meets and adapts to market demands with accelerated fulfillment.

 

In the end. warehouse robotics reduce costs, orchestrate workers, increase picking efficiency and reduce the impact of labor shortages. Discover how you can redefine fulfillment with warehouse AMRs from Avalon.