Smart logistics refers to using new technologies, such as blockchain or big data to optimize the processes inside and outside the warehouse. The introduction of new technologies and automatic systems in logistics ensures maximum performance of operating cycles without interruptions. This article will deepen the concept of Smart Logistic, the leading technologies in a warehouse today, and, above all, how to exploit them to digitize and automate an installation.
What Is Smart Logistic?
Smart Logistics is the process of adopting new technologies in all operations inside and outside the warehouse, from the receipt of goods in loading bays and unloading to distribution and delivery to the customer in the agreed conditions. In other words, this concept involves the installation of intelligent devices to automate operational cycles. Technologies such as artificial intelligence, Big Data, or the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) have come to transform the warehouse completely.
The Internet of Things (IoT) market in logistics will grow by approximately 13.2% every year until 2030, rising from a turnover of 34,504 million. Dollars in 2019 to 100,000 million in 2030. The Smart Logistic aims to increase the control of processes, optimize the warehouse performance, and minimize operating costs by using connected devices and collecting all the produced data. An analysis of this data allows the Logistics Manager to have complete information on what is happening in the installation before deciding.
The Smart Logistic favors replacing manual systems with automatic handling means or robots in those most repetitive tasks, such as handling the goods, positioning and the extraction of the load units, or preparing orders. These processes are coordinated by warehouse management software (WMS). This program limits the risk of errors in the warehouse. It optimizes all the operating cycles in the installation, from the management of the location of the products to the picking paths of the products.
Intelligence And Digitalization For Warehouse Cycles
The Smart Logistic requires a brain that digitizes inventory control, typically a WMS, which brings artificial intelligence and reliability of the processes taking place in the installation. Among these operating cycles, we highlight the procurement of the production lines (synchronization of internal orders) or the picking paths model to optimize the operators’ movements. Similarly, a warehouse management program such as Easy WMS by Mecalux allows total stock control.
It monitors all the incoming and outgoing products that occur during the day. In addition, this software automates slotting (location management) based on criteria and rules established by the Logistics Manager, which simplifies and speeds up operators’ activities. The digitization of the warehouses ensures the revenue of all the data generated and their transformation into useful information for the Logistics Manager.
A module such as Supply Chain Business Intelligence of Easy WMS helps make logistic decisions based on the real performance of the warehouse. This software collects all the data and helps the Logistics Manager transform all the information produced in the warehouse into logistic KPIs, including reception and location cycles.
Smart Logistic: The Role Of Automation
Process automation is one of the main characteristics of Smart Logistic and the direct consequence of implementing new technologies in the warehouse, such as automatic transport and storage systems ( transport systems for pallets, mini loads, or stacker cranes for pallets ). These automated solutions are applied in repetitive tasks to ensure a continuous workflow. These are systems that accelerate the activities carried out in logistic installations and optimize the storage capacity of the installation to the maximum, allowing the goods to be compacted. You can read more here about the automation of warehouses, and how that can help boost productivity.
The Smart Logistic also introduced robotics in stock: it is increasingly common to find AGV vehicles, mobile robots (AMR), or cobots in processes such as the movement of goods or the preparation of orders. These solutions would not be feasible if they weren’t completely safe. The consolidation of artificial intelligence and the IoT has facilitated the coexistence in the warehouse of products, automatic systems, and operators, guaranteeing physical integrity. The replacement of the operator in more physical and repetitive activities and his relocation in those that bring greater added value favors the safety and productivity of workers.
How To Move Towards Smart Logistic
Turning conventional logistics into smart is not a simple process. Logistic planning is individual for each company and requires concrete solutions that usually combine manual, semi-automatic, and automatic systems. To optimize logistic cycles and implement new technologies in the warehouse, it is essential to identify the needs, where productivity can be increased, and the extra costs can be reduced in operating cycles. The first step is installing management software such as Easy WMS, which has more than 80 basic functions, which can be scaled through different advanced modules.
Another usual strategy on the path towards Smart Logistic is to limit the presence of manual handling vehicles and replace them with automated solutions such as transport systems and stacker cranes (both for pallets and containers). These systems are especially useful when the flows of goods are constant and repetitive, as they increase the yield of the warehouse. Its warehouses have been equipped, among other things, with stacker cranes for pallets, shuttles, and automatic Pallet Shuttles. Implementing these automated solutions has increased installation productivity. “We have a continuous and controlled movement of goods.
Smart Logistic: Maximum Efficiency In Warehouse Operating Cycles
Smart Logistic is already a reality in many stores, new concepts such as blockchain hand, artificial intelligence, or the Internet of Things Industry (IIoT). These technologies promote the automation of processes to achieve maximum warehouse efficiency, eliminating extra costs and ensuring work cycles 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Through automated transport solutions and the installation of warehouse management software, Smart Logistic guarantees efficient stock control, greater safety for operators and products, and the elimination of errors in activities such as order preparation.