A lot has changed since the first industrial robot was introduced to the GM assembly line in 1962. Over time, robotics and automation have evolved to the point where many are mobile and can work side by side with humans. There has also been a focus on autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) that provide solutions for manufacturing, warehousing, and logistics facilities. Some of the biggest advantages of AMRs and manufacturing robots are positive changes to workforce safety, order fulfillment efficiency, and scalability.
AMRs Promote Workforce Safety
Some employees in the manufacturing, warehousing, and logistics industries may be concerned that industrial robots will take away their jobs. In fact, welcoming robotics into your facility will create jobs, and safer and more fulfilling jobs, at that.
Manually driven heavy machinery is a dangerous and can make for a mentally draining career. Drivers are under extreme time constraints to achieve productivity quotas, so sometimes they feel pressured to choose between safety and speed. Exceeding safe speed limits, overloading the forklift, and cutting corners can have disastrous consequences. Approximately 97,000 manually driven forklifts are involved in an injury or fatality every year.
With virtually no downtime, AMRs can be trained to safely transport materials on a busy facility floor. AMRs always stick to their determined routes and they safely navigate the dynamic facility floor to reduce damage of products and materials, but more importantly keep their human coworkers safe. For example, Seegrid Palion AMRs have traveled millions of miles without a single personnel safety incident. Instead of manually transporting materials, human employees can focus on more cognitive, rewarding work, including contributing toward bigger company initiatives. A team of automation experts who use the automation technologies correctly will maximize the value of the automation investment.
Fast, Flawless Order Fulfillment from AMRs
Customers expect their orders to be correct and on time every time. In order to satisfy these expectations, AMRs can work 24/7 and are incredibly efficient, consistent, and reliable. They also always pick up the correct products and transport them gently, which cuts down on losses due to damaged materials.
Another benefit of trusting order fulfillment to AMRs is you’ll be better able to predict productivity levels at the end of every day, shift, or hour. Seegrid Palion AMRs are constantly collecting and reporting data about their movements, which can then be compiled and interpreted by Fleet Geek, a cloud-based analytics software solution that is part of the Seegrid Fleet Central software suite. Timely, understandable, and contextual data can inform facility managers’ decisions and AMR routes to maximize productivity. For example, up-to-the-minute visibility into material flow can indicate bottlenecks that can be smoothed to optimize movement. Order fulfillment is an industry that requires making the most of every second in every day.
Endless Opportunities Through Scalability
A scalable automation solution means companies can take advantage of future opportunities, handle a growing workload, and be flexible in an ever-changing work environment.
Currently, there’s a major labor shortage. Facilities without AMRs and other automation solutions are scrambling to fill openings and keep operations running at full tilt. Not only does hiring new warehouse and transportation employees take 24 workdays on average, but extra time is needed to onboard and train them. When facilities are limited by their human workforce, they may have to settle to react to change rather than being a catalyst. Slowly reacting to new product offerings or falling behind in spikes in demand provides a window for your competition to surpass you.
Another benefit of AMRs concerning scalability is that fleets can quickly and easily be added to and redeployed to match facility demands and accommodate new workflows. Facility managers can program fleet changes easily without the assistance of a Seegrid engineer. All it takes is driving the AMR on its new route once, and it’s ready to get started on its new job.
A Positive Solution for Safety and Success
Automation is not just the way of the future; it’s the key to success in the present. AMR technology is incredibly advanced and can provide immediate benefits to manufacturing, warehousing, and logistics facilities of all sizes. Seegrid Palion AMRs are leading the way in the AMR market. It was recently reported that Seegrid is ranked first for all mobile robots in the United States and number one in market share worldwide for automated tow tractors in the 2021 Mobile Robot report by Interact Analysis.
The boosted productivity, accuracy, and safety AMRs provide are a great competitive advantage. Embark upon your automation journey today.