Numerous processes need to be carried out steadily in a warehouse to ensure efficient order fulfillment. As technology progresses, business managers use apps, digital management systems and technology tools to enhance efficiency and reduce costs whenever possible. One of the newest and most interesting storage trends today is robots. There are clear advantages, but there are also disadvantages to the use of robots in a warehouse.
Increasing productivity: Tedious, repetitive tasks take time from employees that could be better spent on projects of critical thinking. On the other hand, robots have been designed to handle routine tasks while maintaining long-term precision. Warehouses can increase productivity without affecting quality with automated workers in place. Increasing supply chain productivity can deliver significant value to warehouse robots. They can increase accuracy, accelerate routine processes and solve a number of common problems with employees when used side-by-side.
Reducing mistakes: The use of robots in the warehouse means that there is little chance of errors in relation to human labor. In addition to errors, this system reduces the time taken to simply go to different parts of the warehouse. That is why employees focus more on quality control.
Improving safety: Robots needn’t be with people 24/7. They can work with programmed sensors to avoid other robots and objects. This benefit reduces the chances of serious accidents that could affect a worker’s health and safety. Some of the most common damage to warehouse employees is caused by collapsing pallet racks, slips, and trips, and often high ladders drop. Warehouse robots eliminate these common risks for employees who are able to handle climbing, pick-up, packaging and move around the warehouse.
Easier scheduling: Traditional workers need breaks for rest and energy rehabilitation. But robots don’t need breaks. They can work throughout a long shift.
Quick implementation: In four to six weeks, robots can be realistically implemented, depending on the specifics of the operation. This is a remarkably small amount of time even at the spectrum’s high end—, particularly when compared to other technologies. A Goods-to-Person (G2P) system may take a year to complete its implementation.
Ability to scale: Since robots are relatively easy to install in a facility, you can use a modular deployment system, starting with a few units and adding more as your business increases and needs change. This allows you to avoid an incredibly high initial investment, as you can start with one or two and increase your floor over time rather than buy a large number of robots at once. This modular deployment frees you from the capital to pursue other initiatives, analyzing robots ‘ impact on your business, and taking the next steps.
It is now important to consider the disadvantages of replacing human workers by machines, as we have outlined the benefits.
Job elimination for workers: Robots won’t boost warehouse employment growth. Actually, they’ll do the opposite. Workers can be removed from their jobs, especially as technology improves and robots can take on more and more tasks.
No adaptability or ingenuity: While workers can analyze situations and use their ingenuity and critical thinking to find warehouse solutions, robots cannot adapt to workplace change. A robot’s system can only follow hard-coded programming.
Substantial monetary investment: Initial and ongoing robotic deployment costs can be excessive for smaller warehouses. While robots allow companies to cut labor costs by eliminating the need to pay insurance and employee benefits, they still pay for maintenance and programming. Because skilled robotics programmers are scarce, a company can pay a lot to retain its robot staff.