Automation in logistics: what to keep in mind

Automation in logistics: what to keep in mind

Being aware of the technological developments that will impact supply chains and logistics, it is essential to prepare large companies to grips with what expected their future.

These processes and developments in the industry, will allow professionals involved increasingly in market trends, which in turn will grow your skills and evolve with technology. The logistics automation is one of those advances.

Automating logistics processes

Automation reduces human intervention in various activities of the logistics industry, optimizing control equipment and processes involved and standardizing performance and improving service levels.

Largely, automation reduces uncertainty in the response times while in turn minimizes operating costs and possible human errors.

It is by advances in the industry today automation in certain logistics processes must be seen as a duty of the companies, as it would be inconceivable based exclusively on manual labor economy.

Automation warehousing

If work within companies in the logistics industry is observed, it is possible to realize the unstoppable movement of various materials, boxes, products and commodities, many of which are common routes, so you always need staff to move them from one place to another.

But these people, to perform repetitive and monotonous tasks, start demotivated, mainly because of the lack of goals at work.

They have goals to meet, and often have overconfidence in vehicles they drive, and a small error in these processes, you can generate economic losses, and in some cases misfortunes of the workers themselves.

Against this, systems have emerged known as Shuttle robotic vehicles, that move without a driver and already used for some time in storage and dispatch of cargo in warehouses.

A shuttle is a compact robotic vehicle used in a storage area for automatic operation of a warehouse or store. It is used to move the load previously entered into a pallet or box.

In the storage system, the boxes are moved by a device that runs on rails individually through the aisles of the warehouse, and you can scroll horizontally and vertically to achieve the storage cells.

The system control is done by a computer program that tells the robot what is the exact location to drop off or remove a box, and then where should take.

This system is much faster and takes up less space than traditional, powered forklifts operated by an operator.

Apply automated systems within  supply chains can be translated into a reduction in certain positions that require the work of people.

However, this reduction will be offset by the need to have a more skilled in handling certain machines, thus achieving greater precision in logistics processes personnel.

Thus, these systems allow supply other increases in the supply chain, such as, for example, the price of fuel.




And not just in logistics warehousing

An ancient proverb speaks of that time is money. This is especially true in port container terminals.

The increasing container traffic globally, in addition to the requirement for larger vessels and pressure to minimize response times, driving the need for greater efficiency in the field.

Port sectors exist today for container transhipment high technology, such as the CTA in the port of Hamburg, Germany, or ECT in Rotterdam , which are impressive compared to its automation and performance.

Since the 90’s many Port Container Terminals (TPCs) have joined their logistics automation processes, establishing itself as a universal and permanent trend in the sector.

In the same vein, technological advances and management tools dedicated to automation, occupy much of the market for equipment and software for such terminals.

These systems make it clear how the efficient design of a container terminal can provide a new dimension in handling the load. In this case, automation is the only effective solution for reducing costs.

An automatic Trio for a production of excellence

As pioneers in the automation of port activities, and improving processes associated logistics, these ports have been breaking records for decades.

For loading and unloading ships, transfer and storage of containers with cranes ship to shore, automated guided vehicles and automatic storage of container cranes, these ports currently offer a trio of processes with a high degree of automation .

The benefits of these automated services are:

-a huge increase in container handling and terminal performance.

-Reducciones cost per port charges.

Better utilization of storage space.

-increase of production in the movement of containers with the respective cost reduction.

-The implemented software enables a smoother interaction in all transport components.

And automation of land vehicles office? 

It may sound like science fiction, but it is not. Google created the first prototype of autonomous vehicle : the Google Car . .

This car just would have a power button and an electronic monitor that will indicate the path from start to finish. Its maximum speed would be about 40 km / h, and its sensors with which it is equipped establish the position of the vehicle as the proximity of other cars and people. 

But for the field of logistics and delivery processes, have autonomous vehicles and would be a more complex issue, especially as such deliveries to end customers.

If an automated file management offices was created, the vehicle should go anyway accompanied by a person who fulfilled the role of delivering the product and have direct contact with the end customer. 

If we hypothetically in such a case, it would be beneficial in part because the worker would not be involved in driving and hence their rates of stress are almost nil. Consequently, when the time when the worker is with the final customer destination, is expected to be in a good mood, which translates into better customer service. 

However, the chances that these driverless vehicles become involved in accidents, they also present a risk factor.

And there was the first fatality of an autonomous vehicle in the United States in May this year. The accident was occurred aboard a Tesla Model S, which had enabled the autonomous pilot.

The reason was because a truck improperly turned to take an exit to the left. This maneuver was so rapid, that could not be anticipated by the pilot autonomous system or by the driver either.

The figures, however, represent another reality about it . The results of a study by the University of Virginia Tech, showed that human drivers have an average of 4.2 accidents per 1.6 million rollings kilometers , while the autonomous cars reduce a quarter of that figure: 3 2 accidents per 1.6 million kilometers. 

This makes us think how safe can become autonomous cars in the future, raising its own security system, as well as the mix of human drivers with electronic drivers.



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