The Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR) can hardly be considered a new form of automation today, and it certainly isn’t an untested one. Over the past few years, everyone from leading corporations to regional SMEs have been piloting the innovative technology with impressive results.
Here are five ways AMRs are changing the material handling workflows of the future.
1) Increase Productivity
AMRs increase each worker’s productivity while decreasing the physical strain that often comes with “more work.” This is because they don’t have to work harder, AMRs allow them to work smarter.
With AMRs, each employee no longer needs to spend time locating different goods, hauling cases or pallet trucks around the warehouse, or walking long distances empty handed from one location to the next. Instead, they can focus on picking the items necessary for each order and let the robots take care of the rest.
Result: Increase productivity while reducing the physical strain on employees.
2) Reduce Labor Costs
Let’s face it, labor costs are rising, turnover is high, and the available workforce isn’t keeping up with the required manpower to run at maximum capacity. This is only compounded during peak seasons when everyone needs to scramble for part-time employees to meet consumer demand.
AMRs are reliable tools that allow an existing workforce to reach double or even triple its previous work capacity. An AMR fleet doesn’t require health care, training costs, overtime pay, vacation days, or sick leave. It works with the employees you already have, to reach levels of efficiency previously unattainable.
Result: Reduce labor costs while increasing capacity.
3) Increase Flexibility
Sure, there are other forms of automation that can significantly improve productivity, and maybe one of them is right for you. But only AMRs can increase output without sacrificing flexibility.
AMRs don’t require any infrastructure change, and if changes are deemed necessary in the future, AMRs will adapt. An AMR fleet will communicate changes in the environment to each other, so they always move in an optimized route. AMRs can also easily and quickly be scaled up for peak periods without the limitations that come from a rigid form of automation.
Result: Get all the benefits of automation without sacrificing flexibility.
4) Increase Accuracy & Inventory Visibility
Errors are commonplace when a warehouse is dealing with large volumes of orders or SKUs. The cost of each error can have lasting effects on a business, beyond the simple cost of fixing an error. But with AMRs that error rate can be significantly reduced.
AMRs increase inventory visibility because they know where everything is, always, and they don’t require any training to do so. Through optimized workflows, AMRs can direct employees to the correct location every time and check that the correct item is picked on the fly. Then, the robot automatically goes to the correct shipping location for each order.
Result: See marked improvements in error rates while reducing training costs.
5) Increase Safety
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the most common cause of injury is material handling. Furthermore, before the pandemic, hand laborers and material movers had the highest number of days away from work.
AMRs take the bulk of material handling out of the hands of the employees and limit the need for forklifts or other dangerous machinery in a warehouse. Each AMR is equipped with a variety of sensors and cameras, as well as emergency stop buttons, to ensure a safe working environment for everyone involved. A safer and less straining job leads to higher job satisfaction and reduces employee turnover.
Result: Create a safer work environment while improving job satisfaction.
The industry giants are no longer the only ones that stand to gain from automation. With immediate results, AMRs offer all the benefits that come with automating and simplifying workflows, and then some, to operations of any size. Make material handling your competitive edge in today’s fast-paced and growing market, while relieving the stress that comes with it.
Learn more about when is the right time for you to move from thinking about AMRs to implementing AMRs by downloading our whitepaper: The Optimal Time for Investing in AMRs.