Direct-to-Consumer Processing Needs Smart Automated Systems
Experts say quality automated systems with high intelligence not far off
The distribution centers are now able to deploy equipment through automated systems that remove cases from pallets, and that is a problem for single-item orders. What makes the process a task for opening a box and retrieving the items is that each case may contain varying types, shapes, and textures of goods. Because of this, it is still a manual intensive task that involves pick, pack, and shipment for each individualized order. That means lots of work is required for companies.
What is needed is a humanoid robot to fix the troubles for the companies. A robot with eyes, essentially. Arms, eyes, and hands make it easier to process and individualize shipments. Bots from the Kiva system, for instance, are close, though they may not hit every need. Still, merely mechanized shuttles are only part of what is needed. The advantage is that the worker does not waste time traveling for items necessary.
The SSI Schaefer's Robo-Pick for order fulfillment is a robot that has promise, according to experts. Robo-Pick is capable of handling picks from boxes, and the company claims it can pix nearly 100% of the typical products handled by any wholesale operations. Still, the device is fixed into place, and cannot pry open cartons.
At the Supply Chain World conference, director of Euro operations for the ST. Ong Company, Tom Bonkenburg, stated that the Baxter robot would soon be capable of all the necessary actions. He admitted the system was still in its infancy, but the future was bright for the product.
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