Three Ways Today’s New Robotic Solutions Improve Logistics Applications

December 6, 2021

If you’re feeling like your employees are bogged down with repetitive tasks that are preventing them from using their creativity, you’re not alone in the logistics world. Many warehouses and distribution centers continue to rely heavily on manual activities like tote moving and order picking, which drain workers and sometimes lead to stress injuries.

Employees can make a greater contribution when they’re freed up from dull, unfulfilling tasks. Fortunately, today’s robotic solutions have advanced to the point where variations in product shapes and sizes are no longer an issue. This post will look at the potential contributions of collaborative robots (“cobots”) and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs).

Let’s examine three ways in which these next-generation technologies can make your logistics applications more efficient.

1. Robots speed up the process.

Great strides have been made in the development of collaborative robots that can work closely with people. Cobots provide versatile and scalable assistance to warehouse associates by automating repetitive tasks like palletizing. They also drive down costs by minimizing the possibility of human error.

Cobots are easy to integrate and have minimal impact on existing infrastructure (unlike industrial robots, which must be sequestered in cages due to safety concerns. In addition, cobots like Omron’s TM Series are simple to program, whereas industrial robots often require high levels of specialized expertise.

Autonomous mobile robots, like the LD series and HD 1500 series are also an excellent choice for speeding up processes in logistics operations where a person would be doing a lot of walking, such as “pick to order” operations. AMRs can serve as couriers that take items from the picking station to the pack-out locations, thereby reducing unnecessary travel throughout the warehouse (known as “motion waste”).

By automating manual tasks with cobots and AMRs, you can improve employee satisfaction and maintain output amid worker shortages. These robots can perform the boring and simple tasks while your employees focus on activities that use more creativity.

2. Robots maximize space utilization and flexibility.

If concerns about floor space are causing you to delay a transition to robotics, it may come as a surprise that many robotic solutions help maximize space usage. This is particularly true for autonomous mobile robots, which use onboard navigational software to move payloads through dynamic and peopled environments.

Because autonomous mobile robots allow for much more dynamic floor arrangements relative to conveyor systems, they fit easily into any floorplan. Thanks to their flexibility, they ensure easy re-deployment for any warehouse layout changes that can’t be made easily with fixed automation. The LD series AMR offers the the Mobile Planner software designed for viewing and controlling the a mobile fleet from a mobile device or tablet.

Assuming there’s enough physical space for AMRs to navigate through, they can adapt to almost any environment. The existing infrastructure can remain in place, or even be reduced (since AMRs can replace static conveyance systems). Special workflows can be quickly implemented simply by assigning a new route or task.

3. Robots improve safety.

Many logistics facilities rely heavily on forklifts. Although effective at moving pallets and other extremely heavy items, forklifts also pose safety concerns, particularly when operated by employees without special training. Many tasks normally executed by forklifts can be transitioned to AMRs, which can improve safety conditions.

AMRs have built-in safety rated laser scanners and are programmed with safety settings that prevent collisions with obstacles (including humans). As a result, the robots can operate in close proximity to human workers and other equipment with a much lower risk of injury or damage.


Related Articles

Changing Scene

  • Eaton Canada Welcomes Dino Alimonti as New Vice President of Sales

    Eaton Canada Welcomes Dino Alimonti as New Vice President of Sales

    Dino Alimonti has been selected as Vice President, Sales, Eaton Canada, effective July 1, 2023. In his new role, Dino will be responsible for leading, developing and executing sales strategies across key targeted industry segments. He will manage and direct the growth activities of the Sales and Channel teams as well as provide business and operational leadership to the sales teams and associated support functions. Read More…

  • Roberta Nelson Shea from Universal Robots Receives Prestigious Robotics Award for Contribution to Robot Safety

    Roberta Nelson Shea from Universal Robots Receives Prestigious Robotics Award for Contribution to Robot Safety

    For the second time within five years, a key figure at Universal Robots (UR), the Danish manufacturer of collaborative robots (cobots), has been awarded the world’s most prestigious robotics prize, the Joseph F. Engelberger Robotics Award, often described as the Nobel Prize of robotics. Following in the footsteps of UR’s co-founder Esben Østergaard, who was given the Engelberger Award in 2018 in the Technology category, Roberta Nelson Shea, UR’s Global Technical Compliance Officer received the award for Applications at a ceremony last night at the Automate Show in Detroit. Read More…

Sponsored Content
The Easy Way to the Industrial IoT

The way to the Industrial IoT does not have to be complicated. Whether access to valuable data is required or new, data-driven services are to be generated, Weidmuller enables its customers to go from data to value the easy way. Weidmuller’s comprehensive and cutting-edge IIoT portfolio applies to greenfield and brownfield applications. Weidmuller offers components and solutions from data acquisition, data pre-processing, data communication and data analysis.

Visit Weidmuller’s Industrial IoT Portfolio.

For a Multiplied Value Unified


During the last few years, the Excelpro Group has welcomed AIA Automation, Envitech Automation and Conrad Lavoie Electrical, all of which have become ‘Member of the Excelpro Group’.

It was with great excitement that in November of 2022, Excelpro announced that these three companies officially became Excelpro. This decision is part of a strategy to enhance the Excelpro Group’s brand in its market.

These companies already collaborate on various client projects. This merger brings together the complementary strengths of the employees and ensures a global synergy of the activities throughout the Group.

Read More

Service Wire Co. Announces New Titles for Key Executives

Bruce Kesler and Mark Gatewood have been given new titles and responsibilities for Service Wire Co.

Bruce Kesler has assumed the role of Senior Director – Business Development. Bruce will be responsible for Service Wire’s largest strategic accounts and our growing Strategic Accounts Team.

Mark Gatewood has been promoted to the role of Vice President – Sales & Marketing. In this role, Gatewood will lead the efforts of Service Wire Company’s entire sales and marketing organization in all market verticals.

Read More

Tri-Mach Announces the Purchase of an Additional 45,000 sq ft. Facility

Tri-Mach Elmira Facility

Recently, Tri-Mach Inc. was thrilled to announce the addition of a new 45,000 sq ft. facility. Located at 285 Union St., Elmira, ON, this facility expands Tri-Mach’s capabilities, allowing them to better serve the growing needs of their customers.

Positioning for growth, this additional facility will allow Tri-Mach to continue taking on large-scale projects, enhance product performance testing, and provide equipment storage for their customers. The building will also be the new home to their Skilled Trades Centre of Excellence.

Read More

JMP Parent Company, CONVERGIX Acquires AGR Automation, Expanding Global Reach

Convergix Automation Solutions has completed the acquisition of AGR Automation (“AGR”), a UK-based provider of custom, high-performance automation design and systems integration primarily to the life sciences industry.

Following Convergix’s acquisitions of JMP Solutions in August 2021 and Classic Design in February 2022, AGR marks the third investment in Crestview’s strategy to build Convergix into a diversified automation solutions provider targeting the global $500+ billion market, with a particular focus on the $70 billion global systems integration and connectivity segments. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Read More

Latest Articles

  • Emerson Helps Optimize Innovative Recycling Process That Increases Sustainability of Waste-to-Energy Industry

    Emerson Helps Optimize Innovative Recycling Process That Increases Sustainability of Waste-to-Energy Industry

    Emerson is helping the Swedish cleantech company HaloSep to optimize their unique process that turns hazardous incinerator flue gas residue from waste-to-energy plants into usable materials. Emerson’s control technology and software is being deployed at HaloSep’s plant for optimization, research and technology (PORT) in Gothenburg, Sweden, to manage an innovative chemical separation process that recovers valuable salt, metals and minerals from fly ash. Read More…

  • Efficient Power Supplies – An Investment in the Future

    Efficient Power Supplies – An Investment in the Future

    In the search for a suitable power supply, the costs play a major role, alongside the technical requirements. The focus is often on the initial purchase price, while other potential costs that may be incurred during the operation of the power supply are not taken into consideration. In this blog post, we demonstrate why the decision to purchase a high-quality power supply is a profitable investment for your company, by taking a close look at all the costs involved. Read More…