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The four revolutionary selves of industry 4.0 – Self-optimisation

Article by Michael Trimmer
robots carrying boxes in front of racks

The robotic revolution isn’t coming. It’s already here. This is the next generation of warehouse automation. The economy as a whole is feeling the heat coming off the fiery engine that is industry 4.0.

To understand what industry 4.0 really means and why the changes it brings matter so very much, consider the four revolutionary selves. These are the four distinguishing characteristics of industry 4.0 technology. Important in isolation, game-changing when combined.

Read on to understand the third wave of what these technologies do when fully aligned. Discover what is really meant by self-optimisation.

What is self-optimising technology?

Self-optimising technology refers to the way that a robotic control system works to make your warehouse operations in the best possible way at every possible level.

We previously discussed how self-monitoring and self-configuring ensures your robots chose the best routes for the fastest possible performance. With self-optimisation, this moves to the next level. These routes become more than just about getting the right orders to the picking station as fast as possible. They are about making the entire warehouse operational process as optimised as possible.

Self-optimisation technology achieves the following:

This next level of organisation offered by industry 4.0 is what brings extreme efficiency to all businesses that embrace next generation automation.

How does self-optimising work?

Self-optimising is a beautiful, technical blend of the incredible simplicity of freestanding storage with the vast complexity of data processing.

With a warehouse making use of free-standing shelving and racking units, the re-arrangement of storage patterns becomes an easy and everyday process. Not something that needs significant disruption to be properly achieved.

The complex element is the vast quantity of input data that your robotic control systems (RCS) can and will process as it maintains ongoing warehouse operations. This comes not only in the form of all the incoming orders, the positioning of all the autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), and all their routing and re-routing around the warehouse. It also comes in the form of trends and patterns seen in your overall demand for specific products and product lines.

Your RCS can take all this data, and from this make a new set of decisions about your storage solution. It isn’t just about how quickly you can get the products to the picking stations. It’s about where they need to leave the storage racks after they are done.

Depending on the season, as well as trends and patterns detected by your wider warehouse management system (WMS), specific items may need to be stored in specific parts of the warehouse. If something is popular or is forecasted to be in high demand soon, it may need to be stored as near the picking stations as possible. This way, orders can be picked and processed much more quickly despatching desirable and high demand products out the door as fast as possible.

What does self-optimising change?

Self-optimising means that your warehouse is being built into the best and most efficient model it can be on every possible level.

In a manual or fixed warehouse situation, such changes would be very slow and extremely disruptive. This could possibly cause the need to pause normal operations for hours or even days while you get the seasonally selected products to the warehouse region closest to the picking stations. Not to mention all the manhours and mental energy required to decide what is and isn’t the best product to put in prime position.

With flexible automation made possible by industry 4.0, your warehouse performs all these processes in the background, without oversight. It means that not only are the moment to moment movements of items as fast as possible, it also means your warehouse is being constantly upgraded on a macro level. Allowing the information from your WMS to work with your RCS for the kind of fruitful integration that is essential in the modern logistics and warehouse marketplace.

Discover self-optimisation – discover industry 4.0

You can learn more about modern warehouse automation with Wise Robotics comprehensive guide on the subject, Automation 101. Read more about how to choose the right automation for your business, and why flexible automation is an essential revolution.

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

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