What is Automated Warehouse Equipment?

Automated warehouse equipment refers to digital and physical tools that can be automated, increasing efficiency in your warehouse processes. ‘Warehouse equipment’ is a rather encompassing term, and can refer to any step in the inventory, picking and packing, shipping, and tracking process.

Warehouse equipment can also include a range of technologies such as warehouse management systems, guided vehicles, storage and retrieval systems, conveyor belts, and sorting systems.

The overall purpose of automating this equipment is to increase warehouse operations, improve accuracy, and reduce overall costs. Additionally, an automated warehouse can and should result in increased productivity and improved safety.

Types of Warehouse Automation

Automated warehouse equipment tools are designed to make warehouse operations more efficient, accurate and cost-effective. These tools can come in both physical and digital forms, and as such, can offer many different ways to speed up and improve your warehouse’s overall capacity.

The advantages of using automated warehouse equipment are numerous.

Let’s take a closer look at some examples of automated warehouse equipment.


1. Management Systems

A warehouse management system (WMS) can be any software designed to both manage and optimize the warehouse’s operations. WMS can automate several processes, such as receiving, picking, and shipping, as well as inventory management, use of space, and managing labour. The system can integrate other technologies the company may use such as barcodes, RFID, and voice recognition technology to streamline processes and reduce errors.

2. Guided Vehicles

Guided vehicles are robotic vehicles that are designed to transport goods inside a warehouse from one area to another. When automated, these vehicles can complete their jobs without the need for any human intervention.

Automated guided vehicles follow pre-programmed routes, so they can avoid obstacles and safely deliver goods to specific locations. They can be used for different tasks including moving pallets, picking up and delivering products, and transporting materials to any place you program them to.

3. Storage and Retrieval Systems

A storage and retrieval system automates storage systems and uses robotics to store and retrieve specific products within a warehouse. These systems consist of racks, cranes, conveyor belts and other equipment that work together to move products from one location to another. After you automate these systems, you can configure them to store products in various places like pallets, bins or boxes, as they can handle heavy loads with ease.


1. Conveyor Systems

Automated conveyor systems are used for transporting products from one area to another. These systems can be configured to handle different types of products like boxes, pallets, and containers. Automated conveyor systems really are the grunt work out of moving items. They are efficient, reliable, and cost-effective,reducing the need for manual labour and increasing the speed of product movement.

2.Palletizers and Depalletizers

Palletizers and depalletizersm, stack and unstack pallets of products, with palletizers putting products on, and depalletizers taking them off. The machines use robotics to handle the pallets, reducing the need for manual labour and increasing both the speed and accuracy of the process. Palletizers and depalletizers are often used in high-volume distribution centers and warehouses.

3. Sorting Systems

Automated sorting systems are used to sort products based on different criteria, like size, weight, and destination. A sorting system uses a combination of sensors, conveyors, and robotics to sort products quickly and accurately. Automated sorting systems are often used in e-commerce warehouses and distribution centers, like the palletizer.

Why Should You Automate Your Warehouse?

1. Increased Efficiency

Automated warehouse equipment can help increase the efficiency of warehouse operations. By automating processes such as inventory management, picking and packing, and shipping, warehouses can reduce the amount of time it takes to complete these tasks. People will eventually tire and need breaks, but machines are, by design, meant to run until the program tells them to stop. This, in turn, can help increase productivity and reduce the amount of manual labour required.

2. Improved Accuracy

“Human error” is often the phrase we hear when little mistakes are made. Automated warehouse equipment can help improve the accuracy of warehouse operations by removing the possibility of that error. When you reduce the number of people needed to do a job, the risk of human error is reduced, and the accuracy of tasks such as inventory management and order picking is improved. This can help reduce the number of errors, resulting in higher customer satisfaction rates and reduced costs associated with rework.

3. Reduced Labor Costs

When you automated warehouse equipment, you can help reduce labour costsby reducing the number of people you need to pay. Yes, machines can becostly upfront and automating them may make you take a temporary dip infinances while setting up, but the efficiency of these machines will save you time and headaches for years to come. Machines can do the work of multiple labourers in the most efficient time. This, in turn, saves you money. And we love saving money.

If automating your warehouse is something you’re able to do, it is strongly suggested you do so. There are so many ways your business can be run faster and more accurately, while also saving yourself time and money down the road. With machine capabilities only improving, the price of machines has only gone down overall. Explore the different options you have and maybe run some of the numbers on cost vs benefit again. It may make more sense now to automate than the last time you checked.

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