We have seen the importance of IoT in Logistics and fleet management, moving forward let’s talk about the use of IoT in Warehouse Management.
Today warehouses face challenges such as lack of space, offloading delay, improper space utilization, limited scope for improving revenues and a dearth of visibility into partially used locations. Use of Internet of Things in warehouse will help counter all these situations.
Many companies are already experimenting with IoT to create smart warehouses. UPS is using smart glasses in test programs to reduce the amount of labeling on packages. Athletic sportswear company Lids is using an Internet of Everything (IoE)-based robotics system to make its warehouse more efficient, with robotic carts that pick products, place them in bins and deliver them to workers. On a larger scale, many companies such as Amazon are now even using autonomous robots in their warehouses.
All the devices can communicate over a common platform in a Warehouse equipped with IoT monitoring tools. All the data or information generated by a warehouse can be stored which will give a comprehensive view of the warehouse. This real-time data collected will help in analyzing and making better decisions to improve the efficiency. It will also reduce the picking and placing errors. Use of IoT will reduce equipment damage and create error-free process which will in turn boost the performance of the system.
Implementation of IoT in warehouse provides the warehouse owners with track and trace solutions. Devices, sensors and radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags can enable warehouse managers to know the exact location and progress of any product at any time. Each product will be having a different RFID tag, this helps in keeping track of the product. Identification of products at an individual level rather than only at container or pallet level is possible. The RFID tags add a layer of safety and security by reading the RFID tag of each employee and product or shipping unit. By deploying RFID antennas within the warehouse and adding wearable technology such as Google glass and intelligent gloves, new capabilities and efficiencies can easily be unlocked.
Smart warehouses today focus on robotics, guided vehicles and surveillance cameras in a bid to reduce manpower and improve security. Automation and robotics do produce accuracy and predictability, more so in homogenous environments that have repetitive tasks. Investing in IoT can reduce the use of manual labor, increasing speed and shipping accuracy, and offer retailers an opportunity to obtain unparalleled visibility into inventory and supply chains.