Seegrid Hot Trends in Distribution Centers Featured in Robotics Tomorrow
Pittsburgh, PA -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/22/2013 -- According to the recently published article in Robotics Tomorrow Magazine, the article described how flexible AGVs (automated guided vehicles) increased efficiency and reduced costs by helping automate a warehouse as well as a production line. Automation is often referenced only on the manufacturing plant floor. Increasingly, automation occupies large 200,000+ square foot distribution centers throughout North America and Europe. The challenges for these large, often three-shift, high volume, rapid-turnaround operations are developing an effective turnkey solution with superior design, increased production, and reduced costs.
Since a large retailer might sell tens of thousands of products from thousands of vendors, it would be highly inefficient to ship each product directly from each vendor to each store. Many retailers own and run their own distribution networks, while smaller retailers may outsource this function to dedicated logistics firms that coordinate the distribution of products for a number of companies. A distribution center can be co-located at a logistics center.
The whitepaper extensively discussed labor costs, aging workforce, and safety at the manufacturing workplace. Whether on the plant floor or distribution picking and packing areas, a high percentage of the manufacturing, logistics, and distribution executives, express concerns about the trend of increasing labor costs.
Many distribution centers have an aging labor demographic and that brings up issues of safety, productivity, and quality control. The trend is for companies to operate fewer, larger distribution centers to maintain customer service levels with fewer facilities, resulting in a reduction in total network inventory levels. These larger distribution centers create different operational challenges.
In most cases, distribution center jobs are more costly than automation. A distribution center typically has a general manager who manages the facility along with a number of department managers who are direct reports. Many distribution centers, in excess of 100,000 square feet, divide staff into two categories, direct labor and indirect labor. Direct labor staff executes the distribution processes, while indirect labor staff supports the direct labor staff. Each department is composed of supervisors and warehouse workers.
To read the Seegrid whitepaper in its entirety click the link: http://www.roboticstomorrow.com/emagazine/2013/08/automated-guided-vehicles-the-hot-trend-in-distribution-centers/1892.
RoboticsTomorrow.com is an eMagazine of News, articles and interviews covering the trends and breakthroughs in the Robotics industry. With an emphasis on the state of the art and on the horizon technologies that have strong prospects of commercialization.
Seegrid Corporation (http://www.seegrid.com) provides simple, affordable, flexible vision-guided automated guided vehicles (AGVs) to the material handling industry. Seegrid robotic industrial trucks, flexible AGVs, are revolutionizing the movement of materials in manufacturing and distribution environments. Seegrid automated pallet trucks and tow tractors optimize workflow processes by increasing productivity and reducing costs, creating economic and operational advantages. Robotic industrial trucks deliver a rapid return on investment, improve facility safety, and reduce equipment and product damage. Fast Company magazine named Seegrid as one of the Top 50 World’s Most Innovative Company in 2013 and among the Top 10 World’s Most Innovative Robotics Company in 2013. Follow Seegrid Corporation on Twitter at @Seegrid.