×

Robotization and automation of warehouse inventory

April 2020

Analytical Report (full version)

Request cost of the full version of the study: news@json.tv

Analytical Report (full version)

Robotization and automation of warehouse inventory
Robotization and automation of warehouse inventory
April 2020

Robotization and automation of warehouse inventory

April 2020

To register or Log in, to download the file

Download file

+7 926 561 09 80; news@json.tv

Write, call, if you have questions

A new study by J’son & Partners Consulting provides important information regarding existing modern technologies for automating inventory processes in warehouses, lists the advantages and disadvantages of various types of solutions, and shows the results that can be achieved through their implementation.

 

Inventory refers to periodic inspections of the organization's tangible property and also includes a comparison of actual inventory items with accounting data. The introduction of modern technologies in the warehouse's sector increases productivity, reduces the number of human errors, and reduces costs. Autonomous solutions are gradually becoming the leaders in this field and requirements to them are constantly developing. They should already be able to not only work with people and create no emergency situations but also be able to interact with other warehouse infrastructure equipment in real-time, providing seamless business processes. In addition, in many industries, production and logistics processes are changing as dynamically as the products of these enterprises themselves.

 

Aims and objectives of the study

 

Factors that dictate the need to optimize inventory processes:

  • High costs for specialists’ working hours;

  • Complexity of the procedure arrangement;

  • Duration of work;

  • Inventory errors.

 

Study goals

  • Market analysis and search for new technologies as well as material and technical resources to solve inventory arrangement problems;

  • Assessment of the applicability of the existing technologies in order to automate inventory procedures in open-air storage and roofed warehouses;

  • Assessment of maturity and readiness of technologies for implementation.

 

Study objectives

  • Market research of digital autonomous inventory technologies and search for material and technical resources;

  • Study of the functionality of various technological solutions;

  • Study of the technology readiness for implementation;

  • Identification of the advantages and disadvantages of using various inventory technologies;

 

Factors affecting the choice of technology:

  • Return on investment by owners and logistics operators

  • Ensuring the infrastructure competitiveness

  • Required business process automation degree

  • Ability to integrate into the existing ERP system

  • Dimensions and class of the warehouse, storage method, equipment used

  • Types of goods, their quantity and nomenclature

 

 

Classification of robotic inventory technologies

 

In general, solutions for automating warehouse inventory processes (those that are able to record and recalculate material and technical resources in a warehouse as well as automatically register results in inventory lists, and in case of discrepancies recheck inventory results) can be divided into several key groups:

 

  • Robots (unmanned vehicles) provided with RFID tag readers

 

An unmanned vehicle equipped with an autonomous navigation system moves around the warehouse and receives radio signals with product information transmitted by RFID tags attached to its packaging

 

  • Robots (unmanned vehicles) provided with bar / QR code readers

 

An unmanned vehicle equipped with an autonomous navigation system moves around the warehouse and collects product information from bar / QR code tags through an IR reader.

 

  • Unmanned aerials provided with RFID tag readers

 

An aircraft equipped with an RFID reader along a given route flies over the warehouse territory. The device reads information from RFID tags attached to the product when they get into the visibility zone.

 

  • Unmanned aerials provided with bar / QR code readers

 

An aircraft equipped with a barcode reader along a given route flies over the warehouse territory. The device reads information from RFID tags attached to the product when they get into the visibility zone.

 

  • Combined complexes for warehouse automation

 

Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) are designed to provide automation of warehouse facilities. The systems have a set of functional blocks responsible for accounting for goods (including inventory mechanisms), operations, logistics, topology, operation planning, etc.

 

  • Automated complexes for small-sized products (rotary and elevator racks)

 

An aircraft equipped with a barcode reader along a given route flies over the warehouse territory. The device reads information from RFID tags attached to the product when they get into the visibility zone.

 

  • Weighing devices

 

The use of scales can save you from manually counting a large number of identical items. First, using these devices you can determine the mass of one unit of goods. Counting the total number of items after weighing is done automatically by the scales. This method allows determining the quantities of small-sized products inside the package, as well as the length of the cable products in the coil.

 

  • Cable length measuring devices

 

An effective method of measuring the length of a cable without unwinding measures resistance in cores. To make accurate measurements in a first way, you need to know the value of the linear resistance in the core. Or you can carry out a preliminary calibration of the measuring device by measuring some parameters of one piece of cable.

 

Conclusions. Implementation recommendations

 

To this day, the world has accumulated considerable experience in automating processes in the warehouse sector. Researchers identify several key technologies suitable for solving these problems. First of all, these are solutions based on the technology of reading RFID tags. In this case, robotization affects the area of ​​data reading using automated means that replace human labor. These are unmanned vehicles (robots) and unmanned aerial vehicles (drones). Also, bar code reading technologies are still widely used. At the same time, the introduction and operation of robotic means are impossible without the use of integrated warehouse management systems (WMS). The types under consideration require special inventory technologies. Accounting for small-sized and cable products must be automated (at least partially), using specialized solutions. As a rule, these are automatic complexes for small-sized products, dimensional weighing, electrical measurement of cable lengths.

 

As for the economic effect, the introduction of robotic warehouse inventory, even phased in some processes, will undoubtedly bring an improvement in the speed and accuracy of work. This follows from the analysis of the successful global practice of implementing such solutions. The volume of man-hours spent on inventory operations will also be significantly reduced.

 

It should be borne in mind that robotic inventory technologies are primarily intended for implementation in warehouses of large trading companies that have high goods turnovers. These companies work in a highly competitive environment and are forced to look for any solutions to gain competitive advantages. Their business model allows them to recoup the large capital costs of introducing new technologies. Therefore, for the warehouse facilities used for the internal needs of manufacturing companies, it is necessary to seriously develop economic models for the return on investment for deciding on the introduction of a particular technology. At the same time, the economic efficiency of introducing a robotic inventory should be assessed based on the calculation of current expenses for operations and the volume of capital investments for the introduction of new technologies.

 

In general, based on the analysis of solutions available on the market, we can conclude that it is already possible to robotize most warehouse inventory operations. However, significant infrastructure changes and restructuring of the company's business processes are required for the full implementation of all these technologies. Naturally, it is more appropriate to implement the latest integrated solutions at the stage of the construction of new warehouse complexes. And outdated warehouses should be provided with modern technologies iteratively, pre-evaluating the economic effect of the next technology introduction at each stage.

 

Having systematized the available information regarding solutions existing on the market today and analyzed data given by the manufacturers, J’son & Partners Consulting consultants were able to identify a number of solutions that are most suitable for the implementation of automated inventory in each of the categories under consideration. In general, the research database includes comprehensive technical information from open sources on about 60 solutions for automation and robotization of warehouse inventory processes, both Russian and foreign.

 

___________________________

This information note was prepared by the J'son & Partners Consulting. We work hard to provide factual and prognostic data that fully reflect the situation and available at the time of release. J'son & Partners Consulting reserves the right to revise the data after publication of new official information by individual players. 

 

Copyright © 2019, J'son & Partners Consulting. The media can use the text, graphics, and data contained in this market review only using a link to the source of information - J'son & Partners Consulting or with an active link to the JSON.TV portal

 

™ J'son & Partners [registered trademark] 

 

Detailed research results presented in the full version of the report:

Robotization and automation of warehouse inventory”

 

INTRODUCTION

1. PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES OF THE PROJECT

2. ROBOTIZED INVENTORY TECHNOLOGIES

2.1. ROBOTS (UNMANNED VEHICLES) PROVIDED WITH RFID TAG READERS

2.1.1. Technology Specification

2.1.2. Advantages and disadvantages of this technology

2.1.2.1. Accounting

2.1.2.2. Recalculation

2.1.2.3. Recording Results in Inventories

2.1.2.4. Identification of discrepancies and double-check of inventory results

2.1.3. Domestic samples

2.1.4. Foreign samples

Company 1

Company 2

Company 3 (USA)

Company 4 (Spain)

Company 5 (Germany)

Company 6 (USA)

Company 7 (Estonia, USA)

2.2. ROBOTS (UNMANNED VEHICLES) PROVIDED WITH BAR / QR CODE READERS

2.2.1. Technology Specification

2.2.2. Advantages and disadvantages of this technology

2.2.3. Domestic samples

2.2.4. Foreign samples

Company 1

Company 2

Company 3

Company 4

2.3. UNMANNED AERIALSPROVIDED WITH RFID TAG READERS

2.3.1. Technology Specification

2.3.2. Advantages and disadvantages of this technology

2.3.3. Domestic samples

Company 1

Company 2

2.3.4. Foreign samples

Company 1

2.4. UNMANNED AERIALS PROVIDED WITH BAR / QR CODE READERS

2.4.1. Technology Specification

2.4.2. Advantages and disadvantages of this technology

2.4.3. Domestic samples

Company 1

Company 2

Company 3

2.4.4. Foreign samples

Company 1

Company 2

Company 3 (Singapore-USA)

Company 4 (USA)

Company 5 (USA)

2.5. COMBINED COMPLEXES FOR WAREHOUSE AUTOMATION

2.5.1. Technology Specification

2.5.2. Advantages and disadvantages of this technology

2.5.3. Domestic samples

Company 1

Company 2

Company 3

Company 4

Company 5

Company 6

Company 7

Company 8

2.5.4. Foreign samples

Company 1

Company 2

Company 3 (Switzerland)

Company 4 (USA)

Company 5

2.6. AUTOMATED COMPLEXES FOR SMALL-SIZED PRODUCTS

2.6.1. Technology Specification

2.6.2. Advantages and disadvantages of this technology

2.6.3. Domestic samples

2.6.4. Foreign samples

Company 1 (Norway)

Company 2

2.7. WEIGHING DEVICES

2.7.1. Technology Specification

2.7.2. Advantages and disadvantages of this technology

2.7.3. Domestic samples

Company 1

2.7.4. Foreign samples

Company 1

Company 2 (United Kingdom)

2.8. CABLE LENGTH MEASURING DEVICES

2.8.1. Technology Specification

2.8.2. Advantages and disadvantages of this technology

2.8.3. Domestic samples

Company 1

Company 2

2.8.4. Foreign samples

2.9. APPLICABILITY OF INVENTORY AUTOMATION TECHNOLOGIES FOR OPEN-AIR AND COVERED WAREHOUSES

2.10. BARRIERS AND REGULATORY INFRASTRUCTURAL LIMITATIONS FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF VARIOUS SOLUTIONS

2.10.1. Regulatory restrictions on the use of robotic inventory technologies

3. EFFICIENCY OF IMPLEMENTED TECHNOLOGIES FOR INVENTORY OF VARIOUS TYPES OF GOODS

3.1. ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT

3.2. LARGE-SIZED EQUIPMENT

3.3. SMALL PRODUCTS

3.4. CABLES

3.5. PIPES

3.6. CHEMICAL CARGOES IN BIG BAGS

4. CONCLUSIONS

 

LIST OF PICTURES

 

Pic. 1. Robotic vehicles by company 1

Pic. 2. Warehouse robot … by company 2

Pic. 3. Example of a report ... based on the results of ... by company

Pic. 4. Warehouse robot ... by company 3

Pic. 5. Warehouse robot ... by company 4

Pic. 6. ... for reading RFID tags by company 5

Pic. 7. Robot promoter ... manufactured by company 6 and provided with RFID inventory function for work in stores ...

Pic. 8. Robot ... by company 7

Pic. 9. Robot ... by company 8

Pic. 10. Robotic stacker ... by company 9

Pic. 11. Automated stacker ... by company 10

Pic. 12. Robot ... by company ...

Pic. 13. Robotic sorters, series ... by company 11

Pic. 14. Drone ... type ... by company 12

Pic. 15. Robotic platform for inventory by company 13

Pic. 17. Drone by company 14

Pic. 16. Drone by company 15

Pic. 17. Warehouse drone by company 16

Pic. 15. Scanning drone (left) and ... by company 17

Pic. 19. Drone by company 18

Pic. 21. Drone by company 19

Pic. 22. Drone by company 20

Pic. 23. Drone by company 21

Pic. 16. WMS system interface by company 22

Pic. 17. WMS by company 22

Pic. 21. WMS by company 22. Example of a project

Pic. 22. WMS by company 22. Example of a project

Pic. 23. WMS by company 22. Stages of implementation

Pic. 24. WMS by company 24

Pic. 18. Data exchange terminal ... by company 25

Pic. 19. WMS by company 25

Pic. 20. Logistics interface by company 25

Pic. 33. WMS by company 26

Pic. 34. Solution by company 27

Pic. 35. Solution by company 28

Pic. 36. Storage system for small-sized products by company 29

Pic. 21. Storage system for small-sized products by company 29

Pic. 25. Vertical Carousel by company 30

Pic. 26. Horizontal Carousel by company 31

Pic. 22. Carousel rack

Pic. 23. Lift rack

Pic. 24. Scales by company 32

Pic. 25. Loader scales by company 33

Pic. 35. Accounting and weighing system by company 34

Pic. 27. Cablemeter by company 35

Pic. 28. Cablemeter by company 35

Pic. 28. Cablemeter by company 36

Pic. 29. Cablemeter by company 36

Pic. 45. Storage of coils upright

Pic. 46. ​​Storage adapted for loading coils

Pic. 47. Storage for cable loading by segments

Pic. 47. Storage of cable remnants in bays

Pic. 31. In-line pipe storage

Pic. 53. Rack pipe storage

Pic. 54. Transportation and storage of goods in Big bags

Pic. 55. Method for storing Big-bags in stacks

Pic. 56. Method for storing big bags on belts

Pic. 57. Method for storing big bags on pallets

Pic. 58. Robotic big bag packaging line by company 37