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Augment Your Labor Force With Robotics

Augment Your Labor Force With Robotics

   Matt Wicks

Augment Your Labor Force With Robotics

While it’s a known fact that distribution centers (DC) utilize a sizable amount of automation, some estimates claim up to 80 percent of DC activities are still performed by manual labor. But facing persistent labor challenges and unrelenting e-commerce growth, many DC operators are augmenting their workforce with a variety of robotic solutions.

Robotic automation creates jobs

The introduction of robotics often provokes thoughts of autonomous DCs operating without any human intervention. A recent McKinsey study dispels this. While the study cited that robotic automation will displace up to 800 million jobs, it also estimated the creation of 890 million automation-related jobs — a net gain of 90 million jobs.

As robotics are applied to tasks better suited for automation, the jobs performed by manual labor will be more interesting, enjoyable and less physically demanding. 

In many cases, robotic automation can be applied to tasks that pose safety risks or require employees to work in difficult conditions, such as:

  • Truck loading and unloading in extreme conditions 
  • Inefficient tasks that require an employee to repeatedly walk the entire length of a facility 
  • Dull, repetitive jobs, which can carry higher inaccuracy rates 

By applying robotic solutions to these scenarios, employees will instead be needed to supervise robots, thus saving time, money and inefficiencies in a DC.

Honeywell Intelligrated collaborates with Fetch Robotics, Inc.

To create high-value solutions for our customers, Honeywell Intelligrated has collaborated with Fetch Robotics, Inc. This partnership will combine our expertise in warehouse operations, fixed automation solutions, voice-picking technologies and smart software with existing robotic automation, including automated mobile robots (AMR), and autonomous mobile vehicles.

When manual labor is augmented by robotics, DC managers will realize higher degrees of productivity, be better equipped for future expansion, and supervise a more satisfied labor force.

In addition, labor augmentation via robotics has proved effective when applied to palletizing and depalletizing tasks, and we have extensive experience helping our customers deploy both conventional and robotic palletizing solutions.

View our video to learn more about how your DC can augment labor with robotics.

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