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Social Distancing: Autonomous Robotics and the New Normal

Carrie Konopacki
Apr 6, 2020

Everyone is competing to increase their margins and bolster profits. No rock is being left unturned and no warehouse space is going unused. Technology is leading the charge for superiority in optimization. M2M, IoT, Digital Supply Chain, Blockchain and Robotics are a few of the technologies being explored, expanded, and exploited in the race to automate and streamline productivity.

Consumer demand and expectations for immediate product fulfillment at the best price is a supply chain hydra that’s a byproduct of e-Commerce. Head one demand off at the pass and a new one is created — forcing the industry to adapt and conform quickly to accommodate the increasing expectations of said demands. Can consumers really be blamed? Near-immediate fulfillment was offered and they whole-heartedly accepted.

Now, warehouses are at capacity and infrastructures are stressed from the demand. Is your Warehouse Management System (WMS)/Warehouse Execution System (WES) working for you?

Warehouse of Change?

There are various WMS systems from which to choose. The most common are: Cloud-based, stand-alone (third party) or included in your ERP system. Each has its pros and cons. The current state of the industry will exploit any fractures or faults in your WMS system. Can your choice integrate with external programs or does your infrastructure limit your options?

The reality is, COVID-19 has changed the way everyday businesses operate. New standards are being implemented daily. Some in haste, others long overdue. Social interactions will never be the same. Social distancing is the new norm. Now no one can cough or sneeze without causing alarm to the people in their vicinity.

In the materials handling space, robotics is a solution that is immune to social distancing and the risks associated. Robotics is risk mitigation.

The Role of Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs)

The continual advancements in technology (software and hardware) allow most — if not all — companies access to autonomous mobile robots (AMRs). Transactional and manual processes in the workplace can be replaced with AMRs, resulting in a cheaper and more reliable workflow. Warehouse operations then become value generators instead of overhead.

In the new norm of social distancing, robots can replace some workers or, better yet, enable them to be more productive without putting their health at risk. The Mobile Autonomous Robotic Cart (MARC™) by MūL Technologies is one of the newest tech tools in the material handling space to support best practices brought about by COVID-19.

Meet MARC

 

MARC is the simplest point-to-point autonomous cart that allows your workers to stay in social distancing compliance while efficiently performing all duties. MARC’s intuitive EZ-Go Navigation™ panel sends MARC between pre-programmed work stations with the simple push of a single button, keeping workers safely separated. Plus, laser-guided navigation and proximity sensors ensure predictable movement. MARC is the social distancing robot with the quickest ROI in the industry. Contact the MūL Technologies team now to learn more.

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