How AMRs are used in the logistics industry

June 19, 2024
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AMR logistics: The basics 

Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) are the next generation of warehouse automation, leveraging a plethora of sensors, cameras, and AI to navigate complex environments with human-like intuition. 

They dynamically adjust their course to dodge obstacles, optimize routes, and get the job done, no matter what surprises come their way.

Plus, they have a wide range of applications we can’t wait to tell you about: 

Automated warehouse operations

AMRs keep things running smoothly in warehouses, taking on tasks that were once the sole domain of human workers:

  • Sorting and picking: Advanced vision systems ensure accurate identification and placement, cutting down errors and maximizing efficiency.
  • Moving goods: AMRs effortlessly shift heavy loads across the warehouse floor, reducing the risk of human error and injury. 
  • Storing and retrieval: Need to pack up or find items in the far corners of your warehouse? Think AMR logistics. They quickly locate and retrieve items, ensuring that your inventory is always organized and accessible.

Load ‘em up

The loading and unloading of goods is a physically demanding and time-consuming process, and AMR logistics helps by:

  • Pallet handling: With their robust lifting capabilities, AMRs effortlessly load and unload pallets from trucks and containers. 
  • Parcel handling: AMRs equipped with specialized attachments can handle parcels of various sizes and shapes, from small packages to oversized boxes. This versatility allows for efficient loading and unloading of diverse cargo.
  • Total integration: AMRs can seamlessly integrate with warehouse management systems (WMS), receiving instructions on where to pick up and drop off loads. 

Inventory management through data analysis

AMRs are stepping up to make manual stock checks a thing of the past with these features: 

  • Always on the case: AMRs equipped with barcode scanners and RFID readers are your eyes and ears on the warehouse floor. They constantly track inventory levels and locations in real-time, ensuring you always have the most accurate data at your fingertips.
  • Cycle-counting experts: Cycle counting, the bane of many a warehouse worker's existence, is an easy task for AMRs. An AMR can automate the process, meticulously scanning items and updating records with pinpoint accuracy. 
  • Full-on data analysis: AMRs don't just collect data; they transform it into actionable insights. By analyzing inventory trends and patterns, you can optimize stock levels, reduce carrying costs, and avoid those dreaded overages or shortages.

Improving order fulfillment

Order fulfillment is a critical logistical battleground; AMRs are the secret weapon to winning the race for customer satisfaction.

AMRs fulfill orders better by:

  • Getting things to people faster: Tired of your pickers crisscrossing the warehouse like marathon runners? AMRs bring shelves or racks of items directly to them, eliminating wasted steps and reducing physical strain. 
  • Auto-picking: AMRs equipped with robotic arms or specialized grippers take picking to the next level. They can autonomously grab items from shelves and place them in order containers with precision and speed. Say goodbye to human error and hello to consistently accurate orders.
  • Sorting and consolidation: The order fulfillment process involves more than just picking items. AMRs can swiftly sort items into the correct orders and consolidate multiple orders for efficient packing. 
  • Using dynamic order fulfillment: In the world of logistics, flexibility is key. AMRs can adapt to changing order priorities in real-time, adjusting their routes to ensure that the most urgent orders are processed first. 

How AMR logistics helps with internal transportation & material handling

Logistics isn't just about moving goods from point A to B; it’s also about moving things tidily within your organization with:

  • Inter-facility transport: Forget relying on manual labor or outdated conveyor systems. AMRs can autonomously shuttle goods between warehouses, production lines, and other areas within your facility. 
  • Just-in-time delivery: AMRs can deliver materials directly to workstations or assembly lines just as they're needed, eliminating the need for large buffer stocks and reducing inventory carrying costs. 
  • Waste not, want not: AMRs can also take on the less glamorous but essential task of waste removal. They can collect waste materials and transport them to designated disposal areas.
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Cross-docking operations to keep goods flowing

Cross-docking is all about speed and efficiency, and AMRs are the perfect tool to keep goods moving perfectly from inbound to outbound transportation.

Benefits of AMRs here include:

  • Rapid transfer of goods: AMRs can swiftly shuttle goods between loading docks and staging areas, minimizing dwell time and maximizing throughput.
  • Reduced labor requirements: By automating the movement of goods, AMRs free up your workforce to focus on tasks that require human expertise, such as quality control and exception handling. 
  • Improved accuracy: AMRs can accurately track and sort goods, ensuring that the right items are loaded onto the right trucks. 

Loading and unloading with maximum efficiency 

AMRs help you make sure that loading and unloading is no longer a (literal) backbreaking chore. 

AMRs are skilled palletizers equipped with lifting mechanisms that can effortlessly handle heavy pallets, loading and unloading them from trucks and containers with ease.

AMRs handle parcels with precision. AMRs are not limited to pallets. They can also be fitted with specialized attachments to handle parcels of various sizes and shapes, from small packages to oversized boxes. 

Last-mile delivery with AMRs (almost) at your doorstep

AMRs aren't just confined to the warehouse; they're hitting the streets (and sidewalks) to give last-mile delivery a shot in the arm. This final leg of the delivery journey is often the most expensive and time-consuming, but AMRs are changing that with:

  • Auto-delivery bots: These compact, self-driving vehicles navigate sidewalks and streets to deliver packages directly to your doorstep. They can even handle multiple deliveries on a single route, increasing efficiency and reducing traffic congestion.
  • Drone delivery: While still in the experimental phase, drone delivery looks promising for last-mile delivery, especially in far-away or hard-to-reach areas.
  • Hybrid solutions: Some companies are exploring hybrid models that combine AMRs with traditional delivery vehicles. For example, a van could transport packages to a neighborhood and then deploy AMRs to make the final deliveries to individual homes.

Safety and efficiency improvements with AMR logistics

AMR logistics can not only make things faster and more efficient but also safer for you and your employees with the benefits of:

  • Fewer workplace accidents: Forklifts, heavy loads, and repetitive motions are a recipe for workplace injuries. AMRs take the danger out of these tasks, reducing the risk of accidents and keeping your employees safe.
  • Productivity wins: By automating repetitive tasks and optimizing workflows, AMRs free up your human workers to focus on more complex and value-added activities. This leads to increased productivity and a more engaged workforce.
  • Save money: While AMRs require an initial investment, they quickly pay for themselves through reduced labor costs, increased efficiency, and lower accident rates. They also require less maintenance than traditional equipment, saving you money in the long run.
  • Use data wisely: AMRs collect valuable data on everything from warehouse traffic patterns to inventory levels. This data can be used to identify bottlenecks, optimize processes, and make informed decisions that drive continuous improvement.

Summing up

AMR logistics are bringing about a huge paradigm shift globally. AMRs are paving the way for a more efficient, productive, safe, and sustainable future.

As tech continues to march forward, we can expect AMRs to become even more sophisticated, adaptable, and integrated into every aspect of logistics operations. So, if you want to completely rethink the way things are done in your logistics operation, look no further than these AMRs. 

Next steps

Empower your business with RO1, Standard Bots' innovative six-axis robotic arm designed to empower shop floors big and small. 

RO1 offers:

  • Cost-effective power: Invest in cutting-edge automation technology at half the price of the competition without missing out on cutting-edge features. 
  • Winning performance: RO1's impressive 18 kg payload capacity and superior speed set it apart from the competition, enabling you to accomplish more in less time.
  • Adaptive AI: Harness the power of advanced artificial intelligence, comparable to GPT-4, to continuously learn and optimize RO1's performance for your unique workflow. And with its intuitive, no-code interface, you don't need to be a tech expert to get the most out of RO1.
  • Safety and sound: RO1 is designed to collaborate seamlessly with your team, incorporating advanced vision and sensor technology to ensure a safe and productive work environment.

Experience the future of automation firsthand with a 30-day risk-free trial of RO1. Contact us today to schedule a demo.

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