The Corona pandemic has accelerated e-commerce and disrupted supply chains, but also increased interest in automation as a highly efficient warehousing solution.
As a result of the pandemic, inventory management experts such as Kardex are clearly noticing that many companies have begun to consider automation. This is very noticeable within e-commerce, where companies are seeing an increase in demands to meet the needs of their customers and this increase in orders has also meant a need to maintain service levels. A big difference can be made through optimised warehousing processes.
Businesses that currently work with manual inventory management face several challenges. The need for Staff to stretch and bend to retrieve certain goods and of course it takes time to search, pick, check, compile orders and send out.
Automation reduces these steps. By making optimal use of the building’s ceiling height, the goods are stored on a very compact surface, which significantly reduces running time. Items that are usually stored on 300-350 m2 with traditional storage shelves can instead be accommodated in a machine that only occupies 10-20 m2 of the storage space. Storage systems such as Kardex Compact Buffer is connected to the customer’s business system, giving the ability to pick up the desired items, delivering them directly to an ergonomic picking opening with laser pointers showing exactly which goods are to be picked, reducing the risk of a wrong pick.
Through modern robot technology, Kardex Robomotive picking robots, deliver a seamless connection that is created between the storage machines and the sorting or picking/packing line. Because the solution is an “add-on”, existing Kardex customers can easily upgrade their semi-automated solutions to fully automated systems. This is an incredible advantage because they can streamline their processes significantly with minimal impact on existing structure.
“Since then, we have had many examples of customers where staff have been forced to stay at home due to covid symptoms,” says Debra Wilkins, UK MarCom Manager. ‘Automation gives an incredible advantage. The machines can work 24 hours a day if needed and they are easy to learn if you need to bring in extra resources. At the same time, you can give the staff other tasks so that they avoid an often very monotonous and demanding job where many get ergonomic problems in the long run.’
Automation suits most companies with small and medium-sized products. Kardex collaborates with all its customers in a long-term partnership to see what challenges exist and what can be handled with smarter warehouse solutions. Their scalable system allows you to start with a smaller installation and gradually increase automation as the business grows and needs develop.
Kardex is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of warehouse vending machines and offers flexible, tailor-made warehouse systems. They install and service both simple, scalable solutions and large, fully automated flows for customers within e.g. e-commerce, electronics, the automotive and food industries.