Holidays are coming. They’re just around the corner, in fact, but here’s hoping those precious gifts arrive in time, too. In the highly automated supersized warehouses, it’s a hive of activity thanks to Edge computing and IoT technology.
It’s that most wonderful time of the year, so they say, when everyone’s been busy buying and shipping and packing and wrapping; full of festive cheer and an eye for the latest deals and bargains online.
There’s not a moment to lose anywhere in this most high-pressured, mission-critical warehouse and logistics operation. Raking in billions in sales is one thing; now it’s time to keep all those boxes moving in the right direction, out of the packing line and on to the road direct to customers’ doors. Quickly. Efficiently. Intelligently.
It’s a difficult challenge for any warehouse especially when demand soars and they are shipping the highest volumes of packages annually during Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Singles Day. Maintaining superior customer service, on-time delivery and increasing employee productivity are top of the wish list.
Happily, ADLINK has the answer. Our Edge loT solution
is being used to make packages and pallets themselves intelligent so they can detect where they're supposed to be, when they're supposed to be there, in real-time. This yields improved warehouse logistics and productivity, while also decreasing incorrectly shipped packages and theft. Visitors to our booth at PackExpo can vouch for this. They had the chance to see our Smart Pallets solution in action and try it out for themselves.
Earlier in November, a Chinese logistics firm backed by e-commerce giant Alibaba opened a warehouse with over 700 robots
working in it to deal with the demand from Singles Day, the huge annual shopping festival in Asia. Automation is a major focus for the company, Cainiao, which states it aims to deliver to anyone in China within 24 hours and internationally in 72 hours. How? By using automated guided vehicles which are robots that can automatically pick up a parcel and deliver them to another part of the warehouse to then be picked up by a delivery firm. An impressive use of automation. All warehouse operations are, of course, under growing pressure to increase their automation and keep up with or exceed their competitor’s offering. For customers, they must satisfy continuous demands for an excellent customer experience with correct, on-time deliveries.
All warehouse operations are, of course, under growing pressure to increase their automation and keep up with or exceed their competitor’s offering. For customers, they must satisfy continuous demands for an excellent customer experience with correct, on-time deliveries.
Warehouse employees meanwhile need looking after properly, too, and the most savvy organizations are trying to create more ergonomic, safe and inclusive workplaces to optimize productivity.
Then there’s the packages themselves. Companies are working hard to reduce damage, theft and lost packages and striving for seamless working relationships with third party logistics, suppliers and OEMs to keep the supply chain moving.
On top of that is the information and operational technology challenges they must address to help drive operational efficiencies. The need for strong, reliable infrastructure, network, and device security is crucial, and interdependencies between IT systems and technologies must be removed to ensure streamlined, real-time connectivity and communication.
Physical hardware and secure remote industrial software environments must be managed effectively, and system and equipment communication to and from the cloud and between employees has to be considered.
The ultimate gift of generating useful data that can provide intelligent insight which can be acted upon in the moment to make a truly automated warehouse operation run smoothly, efficiently and effectively. Sounds like a dream solution to a logistics nightmare during this peak gift-giving season. ADLINK has it wrapped up.
See ADLINK’s Edge IoT Smart Pallet Experience in action
at this year’s Pack Expo event.