Archive for automation

Seven Steps to Supply Chain Autonomy

The new competitive imperative is true supply chain autonomy – one that senses disruptions in real time and takes corrective actions with no human intervention. This concept might seem visionary, but it’s increasingly within reach. The important thing to remember is that full autonomy is a journey — and you’re probably already taking one of these seven steps that place your company on the path. The old supply chain mantra used to be “cheaper, faster, […]

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The Micro-Fulfillment Center Automation Race

Micro-fulfillment center automation is poised for rapid growth. Customer proximity, throughput, responsiveness, and space utilization are critical factors for success. Innovative companies are addressing the micro-fulfillment challenge with cutting-edge technology and process innovations. Front and center is a number of automation technologies that can be categorized as a hybrid of shuttle system and robotic technologies.

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A Provocative Interview with the CEO of OTTO Motors

The CEO of OTTO Motors, a provider of autonomous mobile vehicles (AMRs), has some provacative ideas about what is occurring in the AMR market. Mr. Rendall also pointed out that the automated guided vehicle market in the U.S. has grown to less than $200 million in thirty years. Bolted to ground warehouse automation has its limitations. “There is a pressing need for flexibility.” 

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Manhattan Associate’s Warehouse Management Solution Changes the Rules of Automation

Manhattan Associates made significant enhancements to their warehouse solution. They have changed the rules of automation, employed significant forms of optimization not currently used in warehouse management systems (WMS), and greatly improved the ability to fulfill e-commerce orders.

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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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WMS and Warehouse Automation & Control: Complementary… and Increasingly Competitive Solutions?

Warehouse management systems (WMS) and warehouse automation systems have long been complementary technologies with adjacent and sometimes overlapping functionality sets. The relative importance of the systems to an operation depends on the activities and throughput profile of the given warehouse. Public discussions about the convergence of WMS and warehouse control systems (WCS) into what has been termed a warehouse execution system (WES) is more recent, but also not new.  However, insights from my concurrent research […]

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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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Robots, Robots, and More Robots

When Amazon bought a robotics company in 2012, interest in robots for the warehouse soared. Since then, there have been several entrants to the market. Recently, two new interesting solutions emerged.

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Robots and Drones in the Warehouse

… the day began with a panel on cutting edge technologies that could change the face of logistics. Panelists spoke at length about drones and robots in the warehouse.

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