17th March 2020

4 reasons conveyor systems are key to warehouse automation

Want to accelerate business growth and provide an excellent service to your customers? Discover why warehouse automation is important and how conveyor systems can help you achieve these goals.

One of the biggest challenges to any company who distributes goods lies in the warehouse. Once a customer or client places an order, there are a number of variables that can form a bottleneck in the process.

From employee errors to lengthy manufacturing processes, just one mistake can tarnish your reputation and limit your ability to grow.

That’s where warehouse automation comes in. If you’re interested in boosting operational efficiency without spending substantial amounts of money on increasing your headcount, making some simple adjustments to the way you operate can make all the difference.

One of the key elements of automation in warehouses is the introduction of conveyor systems. By investing in this robust technology, the positive impact it can have on productivity and your customer experience are simply mind-blowing.

To prove this point, here are four compelling reasons why conveyor belts are a must in any warehouse automation strategy.

What is automation?

Since 1947 when Ford started using its automation business model, the term automation became increasingly popular. The idea of automation revolutionised the way they manufactured cars and how processes were performed. Automation enabled Ford to work more efficiently and make cars more affordable to the world.

The modern-day idea of automation is to use computer software, machines and other technology to carry out tasks which could be completed by a human, but more quickly.

There are many types of industrial automation, including mechanical to virtual.

Quicker warehouse operations

The main goal of warehouse automation is to speed up processes and improve the journey from order to delivery. According to industry reports, an order picker spends around half of their time travelling from one item to the next. That’s a lot of time wasted just standing around.

Automated conveyor systems can reduce the need for manual movements and create a fluent movement from the start to the finish of the production line.

Instead of staff having to move products, boxes or pallets one-by-one from goods-in to storage, storage to dispatch or when replenishing the product line, a conveyor system can do all of this for hundreds of products every minute.

Reduced staff costs

Implementing warehouse automation via conveyor technology can often feel like a huge investment. However, the initial cost doesn’t come near to staff wages and benefits.

The common misconception is to hire more heads to speed up processes and grow your business. But this amounts to a lot of money over a few years.

Conveyor systems reduce the need for manual movements, while using efficiency-generating warehouse management systems can reduce the amount of staff required on a shift and drive down costs.

Industrial automation

Industrial automation performs the physical tasks that would usually be carried out by a human.

Common forms of industrial automation in warehouses and factories involve anything from parts sorting, box filling and product labelling to quality control inspection, safety improvements and inventory monitoring.

Opting for bespoke automation will allow your warehouse or factory to choose which areas you want to focus on. Hiring multiple new staff at once also requires a big recruitment push, which doesn’t come cheap – especially if you’re using a top recruitment agency to headhunt the best.

Maximising the use of space

Something a lot of businesses overlook in their production line is their working capacity. Warehouse automation isn’t just a matter of whether you use the technology or not, it’s how you use it.

Incline and decline conveyors, overhead conveyors, floor-mounted conveyors elevators and spiral conveyors can all help you utilise every inch of space available in your warehouse.

Through intricate design and innovative solutions, your workforce can move more quickly and gain access to extra solutions. You’ll be surprised how a bit of planning can transform your productivity.

Healthier workforce

While maximising productivity and improving the customer/client experience is essential, protecting the wellbeing of your workforce is as equally as important.

Order picking duties and heavy lifting on the production line put staff at greater risk for musculoskeletal disorders (MSD’s). In fact, one study shows that MSD’s accounted for 33% of work-related injuries.

Warehouse automation such as conveyor systems and Robotic Arms will minimise heavy lifting and staff required – thus, driving this unwanted statistic down in your business.

Need some help?

For the past 12 years, we’ve created innovative electrical systems and conveyor systems for businesses in the UK. Our designs have helped optimise warehouse space and revolutionise operations time and time again.

To see examples of our work, check out our recent case studies and how we partner with Caldan Conveyor A/S

Or for a free quote, get in touch with us today.

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