Warehouses and manufacturing facilities are going through a time of immense evolution. If you’re a manager, you might wonder what to expect through the rest of 2023 and beyond. Here are the three top trends in automation that everyone should be paying attention to.
Right now, you probably have some sort of facility or inventory management system. As you bring in different technologies, you likely independently link each one into your overall management system. But this can create operational inefficiencies by dividing all of your different processes into individual silos.
Next up for many warehouses and manufacturing facilities is true software integration. Using a single management platform, you will be able to consolidate and execute all of your various technological solutions throughout your facility. You’ll have the information you need from all areas of operation to make better decisions and streamline your processes.
Obviously, the challenge for many of us is cyber security – physical and electronic. This can range from biometrics, physical access, firewalls, routers, and even monitoring employees computers and devices.
Autonomous Mobile Robots
You may already be using some type of robotics on the floor. This type of automation is only expected to continue to improve. Autonomous mobile robots, or AMRs, work alongside humans as they move around the existing aisleways with no need for separate infrastructure. From drones scanning inventory stacked on high shelves to picker robots pulling merchandise for shipment, AMRs can truly transform your workspace.
There has been a lot of buzz recently about artificial intelligence, or AI. While a lot of this is hype, one thing that AI is very, very good at is analyzing huge datasets. Predictive AI has the potential over the next few years to transform logistics by looking at everything from seasonal trends, operating efficiencies, Six Sigma, to weather forecasts.
Are Light Industrial Jobs Going Away?
The big question for many people in the light industrial field is whether automation will replace human employees. And the answer, at least for now, seems to be no. We are many years away from fully autonomous AI, if it ever develops at all.
Instead, the specific tasks your workers do may start to change. Now is the time to start investing in upskilling and reskilling your current team with a broad focus on soft skills.
Over the next few years, they will need to know how to program and repair robots, interpret the data gathered by predictive AI, and keep your facility running smoothly by working hand in hand with the latest technologies. Making the investment in their learning and skills now, and then backing it up with ongoing training, will help to ensure that your team is future-proof as you embrace ever-evolving automation.
Given the rapid pace of technology in the light industrial, manufacturing and logistics sectors of the economy, attracting talent with enhanced skills and education is more important than ever. Surestaff is the leading staffing firm in the industrial, manufacturing, logistics, food/beverage, and warehousing space and can provide top talent with the latest skills.
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