We know that warehouse storage is a massive issue for our clients but we also understand that there are a number of other factors that business owners and managers must take into account each day in order to run a continuously successful operation.
One of these is optimising work processes, which is largely done through automated machinery. Yet, while many warehouses across the globe are automated to a large extent, the vision for an entirely automated warehouse remains little more than a dream.
There are many reasons why businesses would prefer a fully-automated warehouse. First of all, it can reduce costs drastically in terms of labour. While initial financial outlay for expensive machinery would be a difficulty for many companies, the costs in the long-term would certainly outweigh that initial capital.
Secondly, human error is another burden that results in unnecessary expenses. While there are still many tasks that humans can outperform machines on, we are not perfect and we do make errors from time to time.
This also leads to another reason why many businesses desire automation – perfection. Aside from the costs of errors, the idea of presenting faultless, perfect products every time certainly has an appeal.
Before we examine the challenges of manufacturing automation, it’s important to understand what this term actually means. It refers to machines that have a level of “intelligence” to conduct specific tasks. There are a number of means currently in use that make some degree of automation possible in warehouses, namely mechanical, hydraulic, electronic, pneumatic and more.
What’s the Problem?
There are a number of reasons why full automation has not yet been achieved, the main one being the state of the technology. While we have come an extraordinarily long way in the past few decades, the primary problem is that most of these machines still require people to operate them.
Similarly, the very nature of the technology requires that they be highly specialised and so versatility is not a strong point for most machines. They’re able to do one job, albeit extremely efficiently, and that’s it.
In addition, many small and medium warehouses simply cannot afford the expense of purchasing and servicing automated machines. Moreover, there is the human element to consider. Many critics of automation claim that it will lead to unemployment on a massive scale.
What do you Think?
Will full manufacturing automation be a reality in our lifetime? Will the human element become obsolete in the coming decades, or ever? Which side of the automation argument are you on? Let us know what you think!
Krost Shelving and Racking provides businesses of all sizes with comprehensive warehouse storage that doesn’t break the bank. Give Krost Shelving and Racking a call today to get a full quote on your warehouse storage needs.
Image credit: worldtradewt100.com/articles/88975-picking-up-the-pace-on-warehouse-automation