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The four revolutionary selves of industry 4.0 – Self-configuration

Article by Michael Trimmer

The robotic revolution isn’t coming. It’s already here. This is the next generation of warehouse automation. Industry 4.0 is landing upon sector after sector of the wider economy, bringing massive changes in its wake.

To understand industry 4.0, you need to grasp the four key elements of this next-generation technology. Each one is preceded by the word “self” in a way that makes big change happen. Because of this, businesses can see real improvement in their warehouse, all happening in real-time.

Read on to understand the second stage of these revolutionary selves. Self-configuring technology.

What is self-configuring technology?

Self-configuring technology is the natural next step from self-monitoring technology. Once you have a real-time understanding of where everything is, and where it is going, the next step is to build a better way of making it go there faster.

Self-configuring technology consists of the following processes

This level of ongoing improvement to the operation allows your warehouse to function dramatically faster. All while remaining just as safe and even more efficient overall.

How does self-configuring work?

Self-configuring is the emergent result of a continuous conversational process. This works in much the same way that self-monitoring technology is the result of an ongoing conversation between sensor feeds from the autonomous mobile robots (AMR) and the instructional outputs of the robotic control system (RCS).

However, in this case, the conversation is happening within the RCS itself. A conversation between a powerful range of algorithms determining which routes around the warehouse are fastest and most efficient, and the systems that re-calculates which routes are possible in the light of all the data coming in from the robot’s sensor suites.

This conversational back-and-forth within the RCS produces a new and important outcome. It can determine the best possible route in the context of different movements that have been made on all the other new routes. In industry 4.0, your system understands that no change is without impact. It can configure its own systems in response to changes it has already needed to make.

This is what makes Industry 4.0 so revolutionary. It is a simple thing to calculate the fastest path in a static and simple environment. What self-configuration allows is to work out the best possible route at every stage, regardless of the other changes and adaptations that have been needed up to this point.

What does self-configuring change?

Self-configuring makes your warehouse dramatically faster and much more efficient, no matter what circumstances arise.

Every possible change is received, understood, and compensated for. It doesn’t matter if that change is a new order, an unexpected obstacle, or a major collapse of some kind. Your RCS can, and will, find the best possible way through to make sure everything is done as efficiently as possible.

This is all done automatically, without any need to re-key, re-arrange, or re-organise. As a result, you can be completely confident of peak performance at all times.

In a manual or fixed automation warehouse, your system would slow down in response to dramatic change. A sudden overspill of orders or an unexpected problem with wider operations would require a huge amount of work to get back on track. With self-configuring systems, your warehouse is always working as fast as possible, no matter what happens. Also, the workflow is not disrupted and the staff’s time is not consumed with rapid response readjustments.

That’s why you can see pick rates rise up to 500% above where they were previously, when you use flexible automation.

Discover self-configuring – discover industry 4.0

You can learn more about modern warehouse automation with Wise Robotics comprehensive guide on the subject, Automation 101.

To see industry 4.0 in action for yourself, you can visit the Wise Robotics demonstration centre. The first of its kind in Europe, Wise Robotics can show you exactly how industry 4.0 changes the game of warehouse automation. Not only can you see the technology working in general, but we can also provide a scale model of the kinds of specific automation solutions your business could be using.

Book a visit to the OW Robotics demonstration centre to see for yourself why the robotic revolution isn’t coming. It’s already here.

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