IoT and the Smart WarehouseSmart warehouses make the grade, relying on IoT and RFID
IoT is Revolutionizing Warehouse & Supply Chain Operations
You may have seen commercials and online advertising for everything from predictive maintenance to home automation using IoT. It is a simple, largely intuitive concept that is helping to digitally transform the supply chain and the way consumers live. From home automation in smart homes to smart cities and DDOS attacks, IoT is in the news frequently these days.
IoT: What is it?
You have probably heard of it, but do you know what IoT is?
Physical devices are now being embedded with electronics, sensors, software
The basic components that make an item or device part of the IoT are:
- Sensors: needed to track and measure activity
- Internet connectivity of some type
- Processors to provide computing power
With wireless Internet and sensor networks, real time data is abundant for use on Internet of Things platforms to empower greater efficiency in items including home appliances, smart city projects, consumer electronics, smart buildings and much more
Here is some IoT news: IoT is BIG in the supply chain industry and growing fast!
Why has IoT become more popular and widespread in use across the supply chain?
broadbandInternet has become more widely available and affordable, the cost of connecting to the Internet has decreased.
- Technology costs have gone down over the past few years and IoT devices have become more accepted and affordable
- Having access to
real timedata from IoT can help to identify potential risks in the supply chain, provide real timetraceability and enable notification when shipments will be late due to weather and other delays. These improvements help reduce costs and enhance labor productivity, efficiency and accuracy.
Here are some other reasons for the use of IoT in supply chain operations:
- Helps companies ensure compliance with chain-of-custody regulations, especially for sensitive cargo
- Facilitates integration between systems to enable a more seamless supply chain
- Enables performance measurement and monitoring so that malfunctions can be detected
- Improves forecasting accuracy
- Helps to reduce equipment damage
- Can capture load discrepancies and notify all involved parties in real time
- Enables better track and trace of inventory
- Enables continual feedback in real time for warehouses that “live-unload” trailers
- Can provide directions and feedback to truck drivers regarding conditions and trailer delivery times
- Helps to prevent loss and damage of goods
- Streamlines coordination between warehouse operations and logistics providers
- Increases efficiency
real timedata to provide insight to support strategic and tactical decisions
- Able to integrate forecast weather changes with route schedules to enable better delivery decisions
- Monitors health of goods during transport to help prevent spoilage
- Aids in creation of error-free processes
- Can provide an item’s precise location, reducing the time it takes to find inventory
- Can monitor days to expiration of goods, useful for preventing spoilage and waste
- Ideal for asset management such as for fleets of trucks and field service vehicles
The IoT World Includes the Warehouse
IoT devices are considered one of the most likely
According to the Zebra Technologies survey of IT and operations professionals in North America, in companies with a minimum of $15 million in annual revenues, 90% of respondents anticipate using mobile computers or tablets and 85% project using RFID by 2020.
Emerging Technologies Including IoT Revolutionize Warehouse Operations
Why are emerging technologies such as IoT becoming so popular? For one thing, they provide the free flow of
Other uses for IoT include the essential nature of warehouse management, accurate inventory management. While always critical, inventory management accuracy has taken on an entirely new level of importance. This is largely due to consumers’ penchant for online shopping. In order to facilitate e-commerce omnichannel retail, it is essential that consumers have
Consumers who order online only to arrive at brick and mortar retailers only to find that their orders are incomplete with
The IoT World of the “Smart Warehouse”
What is driving the adoption of smart warehousing? Consumer expectations. Today’s consumer expects immediate gratification. They want to point, click and receive their orders in days or sometimes hours.
The traditional supply chain was not designed to handle a high volume of small consumer orders for immediate delivery. Manufacturers, retailers, warehouses and logistics providers are all struggling to adjust to meet these needs. To be sure, everything is on the line. When consumers are dissatisfied with their buying or delivery experience, they are not shy about sharing their impressions of brands via social media. News can spread like wildfire. Because of this and the fickleness of consumers, companies are adjusting processes, people needs and technology to meet the needs and expectations of demanding consumers.
Investments in the latest technologies are powering transformative changes across supply chain networks. Warehouses are being re-imagined as hubs to increase efficiency and speed across the entire supply chain. Using devices such as wearables, sensors and radio-frequency identification tags (RFID), warehouse managers now have
IoT devices help to reduce the use of manual labor,
Here is a look at two technologies being tested or used in smart warehouses:
IoT Innovation of Smart Glasses
Talk about smart devices, an ingenious idea, smart glasses enable warehouse laborers to
Popular in order picking, the use of smart glasses, also known as vision picking helps to achieve productivity improvements of 15% on average. How does this work? Warehouse workers can see visual displays of order picking instructions and information on item location in visual displays on the smart glasses. The smart glasses also show the warehouse worker where the items need to be placed on the cart.
The smart glasses also show the warehouse worker where the items need to be placed on the cart.
Order pickers are then freed up from carrying and reading paper instructions or devices so that they can perform their duties more efficiently. In international trials, warehouse workers found smart glasses to be user friendly, reducing onboarding and training times by half.
Benefits of using smart glasses for picking include:
- Greater picking accuracy
- Improved picking performance
- Better ergonomics
IoT-based Robotic Systems
Introducing IoT Robotic Carts: Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMR)
Autonomous mobile robots often referred to as AMR can move independently and utilize sensors and cameras for help with navigation. Different from Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV), AMR
Robots are designed to handle a variety of functions within the warehouse facility. Some robots are coordinated by software to transport and move shelving to workstations while others carry shelving bays to pickers at workstations. Some autonomous robots help warehouse workers by minimizing the travel of the order picker. Some types of robots work alongside human warehouse workers and can detect different human languages. The robot can contain an integrated scanner that can confirm the picked item to ensure nearly perfect pick and put operations.
Some robots also contain sensors and software to enables them to track data so that feedback can be provided to workers, both positive and negative, thereby encouraging improvement.
It may seem to you as if we live in an Internet of Everything IOE world today. Between smart grids, your connected car, building automation and all the smart devices on the Internet of Things market, it is hard to get away from all the innovation of the fourth industrial revolution. New business models are being developed to improve customer experiences. Keeping Internet of Things secure is a top priority to safeguard personal data.
In the world of warehousing, IoT has taken hold. To speed up the handling, storage
It’s a different world out there everyone. We all need to get SMART…
Contract packaging is in its heyday for many types of products. The contract packaging and manufacturing industries have changed and become more fast-paced and demand-driven than in the past. Today, both contract packagers and contract manufacturers need to make sure...
Record High Imports Anticipated in Advance of Next Round of China Tariffs New threats of U.S. tariffs on the remaining 325 billion dollars of goods imported from China is anticipated to cause a huge increase of imports from China this spring and summer. Goods shipped...
Pig “Ebola” Sends Shock Waves through Supply Chain The first incidence of African swine fever in China occurred last August on a farm with less than 400 hogs on the outskirts of Shenyang. Although emergency measures were implemented and the outbreak was pronounced to...