Instituting a system of IoT devices into your warehouse can make for a more efficient and cost-effective operation. With smart warehousing, the automation of various processes and the monitoring of all kinds of parameters can help you reduce costs associated with energy usage and labour. With IoT, you can scale at your own pace while boosting your facility’s versatility, increasing your visibility, and consulting your own digital twin to test workflows.
Scale at Your Pace
IoT and software as a service (SaaS) solutions provide modular features which allow you to add as many elements as you want when you need them, or can afford them. If you’re not ready to acquire a fleet of Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs), you could still consider outfitting your present equipment with IoT sensors which could monitor different variables to ensure they’re running efficiently. These sensors also detect adverse changes which can signal you to perform maintenance before the equipment becomes a hazard. On an even lesser and more affordable scale, you could even start by outfitting your facility with automated lighting and temperature controls to decrease your energy costs.
Staying Versatile and Inventory Control
Optimizing the transfer of products throughout your smart warehouse relies on the versatility of such a system. Responding to stock overflow using temporary storage opportunities is a critical and versatile ability enabled by IoT inventory management systems.
The way you organize your labour also benefits from a versatile mindset made possible by IoT. With various smart solutions, automated processes, and AMRs, you can free up your employees for more sophisticated jobs and balance the need for on-site staff. This helps you limit costs while remaining effective.
Data visibility is critical to maintaining the workflow and processes within your warehouse. This visibility is becoming increasingly important to investors and customers who now expect the real-time location of their resources or products. More than that, IoT sensors can provide managers with an easy-to-use UI which presents them with all the information they need concerning incoming and outgoing goods. With this kind of information at their fingertips, managing is simplified and there is less room for error.
Using AMRs and Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (ASRSs) is a useful option in the storage and fulfillment industry. The efficiency of your throughput can depend on automated conveyor belts, self-driving forklifts, and more. If you’re not ready to invest in such technology yet, then consider automating processes on a smaller scale. Are there any manual tasks which could be automated without the addition of robot help?
Testing with Digital Twins
If you haven’t heard of a digital twin, they basically help you recreate your warehouse in digital space to test different operation modes using whatever supply chain scenarios you choose to import. Why are digital twins so important? You can test different methodologies throughout the various processes within your warehouse without having to employ those methods in real space. Essentially, you can determine what works best for your throughput without the potential costs that come with experimenting within your physical warehouse space.
Re-examine your layouts using real-time data in a virtual space to determine the best physical layout for your facility. During these examinations you can identify operational efficiencies, sources of downtime, and more, so you can improve planning and workload allocation to increase your throughput.
Using a digital twin to test throughput strategies, automating your processes, and increasing your visibility when it comes to equipment and products all helps you reduce costs around your smart warehouse. Wherever your start with making your warehouse smart, scalable IoT applications offer greater efficiency and cost-effectiveness to your warehouses. To learn more about the different ways IoT solutions can be implemented in the storage and fulfillment industry, contact us at Evolution Data.