Archive for Material Handling

AutoStore and the Rise of Flexible Automation: The Parts Town Case Study

Historically, we talked about warehouses as being manual or highly automated. Manual warehouses are more flexible. Highly automated warehouses have much higher throughput, but their lack of flexibility adds risk. Parts Town has an automation solution called AutoStore that increased throughput but will also flex up to support Parts Town’s strong growth.

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Warehouse Robotics Coming of Age

The CEO and Chief Innovation Officer of Vecna Robotics, Dan Patt and Daniel Theobold, came in to see us at the ARC Advisory Group. We were already very bullish on the autonomous mobile robotics (AMR) industry’s potential to improve warehousing and order fulfillment, but Vecna has some differentiators that make them a very interesting supplier. Warehouse robotics is coming of age. While Vecna has been around since 1998, Vecna’s warehouse robots have only been generally […]

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Robotic Piece-Picking Coming to a Warehouse Near You

An interview with RightHand Robotics’ Co-Founder, Leif Jentoft This year’s Promat trade show included many interesting warehouse technologies. I found RightHand Robotics (RHR) RightPick solution to be one of the premier exhibits. RHR had its own booth exhibiting its piece picking solution. But perhaps most impressive was the fact that three RHR partners also chose to exhibit RightPick integrated into automated fulfillment processes such as goods-to-picking tending, sorter induction, and automated packaging. While at the […]

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ProMat 2017- A Balance of Practical and Technical Innovations

Last week’s ProMat trade show in Chicago exhibited many more interesting warehouse technologies than I could possibly view in one day. Thankfully, I was able to touch upon most, but not all, of my “must see technologies.” My high-level take away is that the show exhibited everything from the next high-profile, technical innovations to those that deliver less of a “gee wiz” emotional response, but also are likely to deliver a quicker payback to those companies […]

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Controlling Robots, Easier Said than Done

The use of autonomous mobile robots in warehouses is set to explode. Their are very different viewpoints of the best way to optimally manage the combination of robots and humans.

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Quantifying the Changing Warehouse Order Profile

My colleagues and I have written a number of articles about the widespread growth of e-commerce and its effect on distribution operations. Many companies are opening new facilities for e-commerce fulfillment and others are using traditional replenishment facilities to fulfill e-commerce orders as well. It’s well-known that e-commerce growth is affecting the requirements placed on many organizations. But to what degree is the movement of goods through the supply chain shifting? And to what degree […]

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Is Amazon Building a First Mover Advantage in Logistics?

Amazon undoubtedly reaped first mover advantages in e-commerce. In recent years we have seen Amazon make giant investments in logistics assets. Are those investments aimed at making their traditional business more “profitable” or are they designed to turn Amazon into a leading logistics company?

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MODEX 2016: What’s Hot…What’s Not

I sit tonight, Tuesday, April 5th, writing about MODEX from a public hotel computer. I will fully disclose that I am using a public computer because I spilled coffee on my laptop earlier today. I feel as if I have been accepted into the fraternity of office fools… For those of you unfamiliar with MODEX, it is the sister show to Promat, also hosted by MHI, and similarly focused on material handing and warehouse automation. A full […]

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The Future of Distribution and Fulfillment – What We Know, and What We Will Find Out

ARC Advisory Group, in partnership with DC Velocity magazine, has just launched an online survey of logistics practitioners to evaluate the future direction of today’s distribution facilities, technologies, and practices. The survey is designed to obtain a multi-faceted overview of the changing demands placed on fulfillment operations and how practitioners are responding by adjusting processes, investing in technology, reconfiguring DC layouts, and expanding networks. We encourage qualified practitioners to take the survey, and we will […]

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Modern Warehousing Capabilities Mirror the Goals of Industrial Internet of Things

The warehouse is on the trajectory to implement many of the capabilities sought in the vision of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). eCommerce is has been a driver in this sector as companies such as Amazon, Walgreens, and LL Bean are seeking out solutions that are robust, high speed, and have little labor content.

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