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Use of Automation, AI & Digitization in warehousing industry in India & globally

05 May 2022 | MANUFACTURING TODAY INDIA STAFF WRITER

Driven by e-commerce and manufacturing sectors, 2021 witnessed about 4200 plus acres of manufacturing and warehousing land transactions.

Viral Shah, Executive Director (Group IT Director), at V-Trans (India) Ltd

India is on the success path to becoming world leader in technology-enabled businesses and tech-savvy society. The warehousing and logistics industry in India is not far behind this technology revolution and has witnessed this boom which has paved the way for robust delivery and business growth.

According to the report ‘Warehousing Market in India 2021’, the industry which is valued at 1,050 billion in 2020 is expected to expand at a CAGR of 14.86 per cent between 2021 and 2025, taking the value to 2,028.86 billion by 2025. Driven by e-commerce and manufacturing sectors, 2021 witnessed about 4200 plus acres of manufacturing and warehousing land transactions.

Globally also, the warehouse automation market is observing a steady growth. Logistics companies have adopted automation and the advantages it offers. Warehousing is one of the largest sectors which holds immense potential for automation. In today’s times, most businesses, including warehousing and logistics, are transformed by the growth of new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI). Self-governing vehicles, warehouse industrialization, predictive analytics, and smart roads are all examples of technologies that are becoming the new norm in today’s world.

Strategic location and technology enabled well-planned warehouse, improves the customer experience. It also provides a competitive edge through supply chain economics. Technologies such as machine learning and the benefits of using expertise of artificial intelligence (AI) enhances production and delivery. It is no surprise that tech giants like Google and Amazon have started to invest in AI. Various artificial intelligence implementations in the warehousing industry are to robotize time-consuming behavior and save money.

In India, adoption of technologies has been at a slow pace compared to global standards. However, automation holds immense benefits for warehousing companies. Some of them include – A solution to labor shortages, an opportunity for improved productivity, and greater flexibility. Warehouses are getting smarter as time goes on, accommodating warehouse management systems (WMS), blockchain technology, and state-of-the-art robotics. These technologies will eventually allow warehouses to function entirely on their own. Massive service upgrades by large, modern technology-based warehousing operators could potentially become a trend. The warehousing industry is maturing, and even newer developers have begun to include quality criteria and infrastructure as a regular offering.

Warehouse management is an integral part of most corporations. A smart warehouse is a large building in which raw materials and manufactured goods are stored that uses machines and computers to complete common warehouse operations previously performed by humans.

A ‘smart warehouse’ is where the entire operations are handled by AI, right from procurement to delivery. Warehousing companies can utilize technologies such as IoT, computer vision, AI, and automation that work to improve the accuracy in operations.

Smart warehouse is the future.  Adding on to automation within warehouses, many companies are embracing augmentation technology, a technology that permits their human workers to act more proficiently and pick orders with more precision. Some examples are as below:

  • Virtual reality goggles that overlay pictures on current shapes. For example, consider a pair of goggles that could allow workers to look at a wall of bins and instantly highlight the one that holds the item they need to complete an order.
  • A wristband vibrates when workers hand is close to the right bin, increasing pace and precision when picking orders.

Owing to the robot revolution happening in India and new generation of robots filling the warehouses with – logistics sector, automobile industry, and e-commerce sector, they are being the major adopters of warehouse automation. India is looked upon  as one of the important markets for warehouse automation systems in Asia.

From big costs savings to adapting to shifting inventory and real-time monitoring, automated warehousing is the future of the industry. Today companies are leveraging automated warehousing to maintain pace with client demands and accelerate delivery. One of the most effective ways to improve supply chain is to adopt new technologies.

Efficiency is the name of the game, as every sector is under constant pressure to achieve more with less. In the past two years, the industrial and warehousing sectors have seen tremendous expansion across the country and at the global level.

Smart warehouse is the future in today’s world. The Indian warehousing industry is on the threshold of big boom and will majorly contribute to the Nation’s economy and growth in the post pandemic times.

References:

https://www.allerin.com/blog/the-growing-role-of-ai-in-warehouse-automation

https://www.europeanbusinessreview.com/ai-in-logistics-how-artificial-intelligence-is-transforming-the-logistics-industry/

https://www.approvedforwarders.com/how-companies-are-using-automation-ai-in-supply-chain/

https://www.automate.org/editorials/warehouse-automation-trends-for-2020

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ARTICLE BY MANUFACTURING TODAY INDIA

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