How Robotics as a Service Can Help Logistics Business Become More Efficient

By: Arshdeep Singh Mundi, Managing Director, Jujhar Group

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Integrating robotics and artificial intelligence into logistics and transportation is one of the hot subjects in discussions and debates. This application’s impact on the company is highly effective and successful. The deliveries are being optimized and the supply chain is being streamlined. Companies and manufacturers need to learn about robotics and machine learning as it has become the mainstream.

Robotics as a Service: The recent trend in the Indian logistics industry

Due to increased data volumes and advancements in technology, Artificial Intelligence is gradually becoming popular. One of the extensive and prominent applications of AI is automation via robotics. When robotics are used in industrial distribution, processes like organizing, transferring, delivering, and retrieving products from a warehouse are automated by utilizing robots and machinery with intelligent systems.

This means that, in contrast to a robotic arm in a traditional production line, an innovative logistics robot may learn new jobs and manage activities that previously required human support. Industrial robots streamline procedures while supporting manual labour. Due to this, robots in the logistics industry have become extremely efficient. Owing to the plethora of benefits rendered by the robots, Robotics as a Service both as a concept as well as a trend is making its way into the logistics industry.

The Efficiency of the Logistics Industry with Robots

Automation relieves the workforce from routine tasks and enables them to allocate their time for the key functions in the businesses. This way the leaders are able to focus on improving operations, seamless supply chain management, offering exceptional customer service and query resolution, quick delivery, etc. Robots are not only boosting productivity but also streamlining operations.

It is one of the cost effective methods of digitizing logistics. Robotics-as-a-service works on a subscription-based or pay as you go model. Hence, customers can utilize the services without investing a hefty amount in the beginning. The initial cost of implementing mobile robots is not expensive and greater ROI can be generated with minimum investment. RaaS enables operations of mobile robots as per the need along with a speedy change of product. This way, the concept renders flexibility in the logistics sector. The tech also enables scalability of operations especially the fleet size to be convenient and easier.  Mobile robots enabled by Robotics as a Service can ensure scalability and meet the labor shortage challenge by amplifying the service size to increase capacity and productivity for a limited duration.

Effective warehousing management

Logistics robots automate storing and transporting goods along the supply chain. These robots are frequently used in warehouses and storage facilities because they provide greater uptime than manual labour. In this case, safety concerns may also arise and hence robots must be built in a manner that they coexist with people. Collaborative robots, which are secure, lack sharp edges, and immediately shut down after colliding with something, could effectively solve this problem.

Cobots boosting productivity and supplementing labour

Another aspect of warehousing and logistics that is being facilitated by robots is palletizing. The classic robots, however, were expensive to put up and program. On the other hand, due to the reasonable pricing, Cobots are an excellent option for light to medium duty palletizing applications. They are a wonderful choice for automating the outbound shipment process because they are effortless to program.

The logistics sector has financial and societal difficulties, including rising fuel prices, driver shortages, and environmental issues. The rise of Robots-as-a-Service, also known as collaborative robots, or cobots, is one of the recent advances in the industry that appears to be lowering these barriers. They assist in expediting laborious, time-consuming procedures, reducing logistical expenses, and streamlining the supply chain. Furthermore, warehousing cobots are a tool to supplement labour and increase productivity rather than a substitute for human labour. 

Seamlessly dispatching orders

After receiving instructions regarding the placement of the goods, the machines whizzing around the warehouse pick up the bulky shelving units, which can weigh hundreds of kilograms, and carry them to human workers, who select suitable items for orders or store merchandise. The daily dispatch of hundreds of thousands of orders from a single distribution centre is assisted by an army of thousands of these mobile robots. This is something that won’t be possible with manpower and would take up a lot of time and as well as money. 

Drones: The new-age robots

Without question, when we think of the future and artificial intelligence, drones are the warehouse management robots that immediately come to mind. A drone is a robot that can fly, carry a certain amount of weight, move objects, and access inaccessible places (this includes geographic areas, isolated villages, and deep shelves or places higher in a warehouse). Depending on their antennae and batteries for the autonomous process, different drone models can have more or less power. Drones are already being adopted by various brands across sectors. Businesses are investing much money to outfit themselves with drones for everyday operations. They are being used more frequently by infrastructure firms with experience in oil and gas, power, railways, and road transport to expand capabilities and boost productivity. In fact, they are also being used to inspect and track the progress of various projects. Various leading e-commerce brands and food aggregators are also harnessing the power of drones for the delivery of food, medicines, etc.

Simplification of complex processes with automated arms and machinery

The robots with arms that can pick up items, close and seal boxes, and transport parcels from one shelf to another are the ones that are the simplest to spot. This kind of equipment has been the most popular up to this point, and it is common in many businesses, particularly those in the automotive sector. These robots can handle more difficult operations than traditional machinery, apply analytics simultaneously, and help workers with monotonous chores like processing orders or organizing pallets.

Automated Storage and Retrieval System (AS and RS)

Robot-assisted automated storage and retrieval systems can store or remove loads from predetermined storage sites. AS and RS are different, swinging on the procedure required, the nature of the operation, or the products they will be handling. They can be configured as a crane that picks up items between aisles or as a crane that moves along a defined course. Aisle-climbing robots are also available to retrieve consumer orders. This frees up the employees’ time, so they may focus on more challenging tasks like packing and shipping the goods.

Summing Up!

The robots increase productivity and cut expenses in a world where e-commerce is rising. Human workers no longer need to traverse the routes to collect things from what may number in the millions of inventory items, saving time and labour and decreasing errors. Customers will benefit from speedier same-day delivery times, while employees will see a change in duties. Regarding logistics, the most recent robotic technology applications are bringing about significant change and advantages. Companies are able to increase efficiencies and save costs now that various processes are being taken care of by robots. Customers are benefiting Robotics as a Service from better service as well as quick delivery times.