26 Sep How Kinetic Mesh Networks Enable Flexible Warehouse Automation
The digital transformation wave is sweeping through warehouses, revolutionising their operations. In fact, it may already be underway. Consider this: there were 4,000 robotic warehouses in operation worldwide last year. By 2025, forecasts suggest that four million commercial robots will be deployed in 50,000 warehouses across the globe, marking a remarkable 12-fold increase in just six years. Surprisingly, the real driving force behind the success of smart warehouses isn’t the robots themselves or the management systems; rather, it’s the connectivity that is turning the concept of the industrial internet of things (IIoT) into a massive reality. In this context, Rajant Kinetic Mesh Networks play a pivotal role in connecting and enabling these innovations.
The surge in e-commerce, driven by consumer demand, has turned warehousing into a massive industry, valued at around EUR 300 billion. Industry giants like Target, e-commerce leaders such as Amazon and JD.com, and global logistics titan DHL have already recognized the value of investing in warehouse automation and digitalisation. This investment not only enhances the customer experience but also boosts operational efficiency, ultimately leading to increased profits. These market leaders are not alone; companies of all sizes, from retailers to e-tailers, logistics firms, and fulfillment service providers, are all leveraging digital technologies to supercharge their warehouse operations, making them more efficient and agile. A robust WiFi network had been the preferred choice for connectivity in these environments, however, a Rajant Kinetic Mesh Networks takes warehouse connectivity to the next level.
Reducing Labour Costs
Labour constitutes the most substantial portion of total warehouse operating expenses. In an environment characterized by intense competition for a limited pool of warehouse workers, recruitment and retention have become formidable challenges for warehouse managers. Wages have risen while productivity has declined. It’s clear that the introduction of advanced automation technologies can substantially reduce warehouse operating costs, potentially saving an estimated EUR 20 billion.
So, what’s holding the warehousing industry back? For players without deep pockets like the major warehousing giants, the challenge lies in making wise investments in automation and technology to upgrade processes, enhance efficiency, and achieve rapid returns on investment.
Enhancing Warehouse Productivity
As the manufacturing industry becomes smarter, it’s only logical that warehouses, both large and small, must follow suit. Rethinking manual warehouse operations and fixed mechanical automation is a top priority. However, utilizing legacy wifi and subpar connectivity is not the path forward.
Due to mobile robotics becoming more affordable, it’s now feasible to invest in autonomous forklifts, automated guided vehicles (AGVs), autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), drones, and other mobile devices, but traditional connectivity solutions have not kept up. That’s why many companies are looking to leverage Rajant’s Kinetic Mesh network to receive the full value of their investments in the latest automation technologies.
The result is a smart warehouse with increased labour productivity and, consequently, greater profitability. For instance, AGVs are gaining popularity in warehouses due to their precision, speed, and cost-effectiveness. Over the next five years, the compound annual growth rate for the AGV market is projected to be nearly 20%, showcasing the anticipated cost savings and efficiency gains across various industries.
AGVs improve the safety and efficiency of tasks such as picking, packing, and shipping. They enhance process visibility, make data readily available for analysis and warehouse optimization, and can operate alongside other smart devices across vast warehouse spaces. Powered by Kinetic Mesh Networks that are far superior to WiFi networks because they are built for mobility. In situations where other short-range wireless technologies based on unlicensed spectrum struggle, Rajant Kinetic Mesh Networks offer seamless, continuous coverage and the ability to prioritize critical machines and devices.
The Impact of IIoT on Employment
Concerns about job losses due to Industry 4.0 loom large in many minds. Are robots taking jobs away from people? Yes, they are, but typically, these are physically demanding jobs with high worker turnover rates. Robots excel at these monotonous, repetitive tasks, such as reading barcodes and handling tasks like picking, packing, and transporting products. While automation and digitalization can boost productivity and reduce the need for human labour, they also create opportunities for reskilling and upskilling the workforce. After all, warehousing remains a people-centric business, driven by consumer demand for products, including more customized ones. Even as the automated workforce grows, human workers in warehouses, fulfillment centers, distribution hubs, and third-party logistics remain essential to bridge the gap between supply and demand.
Finding the Right Balance
Balancing automation with human labour is crucial. With advanced automation and robust Kinetic Mesh Networks which are uniquely designed for environments and applications where client devices and even the network itself are in a state of constant change and motion, warehouse managers can eliminate the anxiety associated with recruiting seasonal workers during peak shopping seasons like ‘Singles Day’ or the year-end holiday rush, when millions of packages need to be shipped to customers worldwide. Mobile robots can alleviate the strain and uncertainty, resulting in improved warehouse operations and a better overall experience for both workers and consumers.
Why Warehouses Need Connectivity
Boosting warehouse efficiency hinges on having reliable, secure real-time connectivity. Unfortunately, many warehouses still rely on traditional WiFi systems and various short-range wireless technologies based on unlicensed spectrum, leaving them vulnerable to interference, security issues, and performance degradation as more devices are added to the network. These limitations significantly impede productivity gains.
Embracing Rajant Kinetic Mesh Networks can catapult your warehouse operations into the digital era. This move eliminates process and technology fragmentation that has been hindering warehouse efficiency. While Wireless Networks offer significant enhancements in terms of flexibility, intelligence, speed, bandwidth, and security, there’s no need to wait. Leveraging Kinetic Mesh networks enables you to embark on your digital transformation journey right now, with the most appropriate connectivity available.
No matter where your warehouse IoT journey takes you, we’re here to assist you. Rajant Kinetic Mesh solutions for industries make transitioning to the smart warehouse effortless.
Connectivity forms the foundation for greater efficiency, productivity, agility, and visibility across all your assets, people, and processes. Smart investments in Rajant’s fast, reliable, and secure WiFi network connectivity which is fully mobile, intelligently adapts to change, instantly and without outside intervention, to keep mission-critical operations moving, will undoubtedly propel your warehouse operations far into the future.