The smart, ever-learning warehouse is here. From accelerating repetitive tasks to smart data analysis to the optimisation of the physical building itself, AI is transforming warehousing operations.
At Arloid, we help warehouse businesses modernise using innovative AI. With our transformative technology in your arsenal, you can enhance the performance of warehouse heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), and radically reduce energy spend.
In this article, we provide an insight into the future of warehousing and how AI is being applied across the industry.
A warehouse is only as good as its pick and pack, and AI can fulfil these tasks more accurately and efficiently than their human counterparts. And, whilst the productivity of a human workforce decreases over time as workers tire, AI will always perform at optimum efficiency.
Robots can be trained to pick goods and redistribute them throughout the facility in a fraction of the time using algorithms that identify the most efficient route through the space. That means a larger volume of orders can be processed in any given timeframe – reducing cost per order.
AI can also optimise the packaging process by determining the most efficient use of materials and space. Robots are now able to manipulate objects of unpredictable shapes, sizes, and orientations as well as fulfil complex motions and handle flimsy or translucent materials like plastic bags.
Warehousing operations can be dangerous at times, but here too AI can be of service. Not only can AI use its vast processing power to predict and analyse risk to the workforce, but autonomous guided vehicles (AGV) and autonomous mobile robots (AMR) can take over any hazardous activities.
AGR and AMR work by following predetermined tracks or pathways with a restricted range of movement. As a result, they are less likely to suffer accidents or collide with obstacles than their human counterparts, and can even be used to handle the processing of hazardous materials and goods.
End-to-end visibility is becoming increasingly important to warehouse operations as customers demand speed, trackability, and accurate delivery estimations. The use of AI in warehouse operations provides a constant stream of data from every element in and outside the system. These elements can transfer data via the cloud and deliver a comprehensive overview of the status of the whole system for managers, employees, and customers.
Whilst humans are limited in their ability to analyse and assess the supply chain, AI can provide constant data analysis in real time according to location of goods, global events, and transport conditions. This allows intelligent warehouse management systems (WMS) to predict the arrival of goods much more accurately and forecast any potential delays.
Warehouse automation can also be used to optimise the storage of goods. Not only can AI process and stack products faster than human employees, but it can also determine the best arrangement for products according to purchase frequency, expiration date, and more.
More than that, AI enables automatic stock taking with fast, highly accurate results. RFID technology is replacing paper trails and facilitating the tracking of products using digital tags. This provides more efficient and precise control of stock.
Smart technology is also coming in handy when it comes to forecasting demand. By processing a wide range of data in real time, AI can pre-empt purchasing surges and predict shortages so inventory adjustments can be made before costly shortages and overstocks occur. Not only that, but AI is also able to take into account numerous factors that influence demand including weather, world events, and time of day.
One of the primary functions of a warehouse facility is the storage of goods. That means the internal environment of the warehouse needs to be intricately controlled to keep products in prime condition. Here, too, AI is proving transformative by optimising the function of HVAC.
It works like this. To determine the optimal thermal settings for the warehouse, a building-specific model is created taking into account a broad spectrum of data including weather patterns, HVAC device locations, and construction materials.
AI is then trained using Deep Reinforcement Learning. Over the course of hundreds of thousands of simulation cycles tracing the course of a year, AI learns how the building performs in different conditions and understands the optimum settings.
It can begin accurately controlling the conditions of different areas of the warehouse to provide the most efficient equilibrium between employee comfort, stock thermal requirements, and energy efficiency. With adjustments made proactively and automatically, warehouse operations can see better thermal performance while achieving energy savings of up to 30%.
If you’re ready to step into the future of warehousing, Arloid is here to deliver the smart technology you need. Our pioneering AI for HVAC optimisation is making waves across the built environment. To find out more about why AI holds the key to sustainable, energy efficient warehousing, contact us today!