Retail Tech – Robots, Cobots and Drones in Supply Chain

This edition on Fire up 2021,is back with some insights on topics that are futuristic and also evolving.

This Series of Fire up is in collaboration with SUCSEED INDOVATION, We discussed the use of Robots,Cobots and Drones in Supply chain with Mr. Nitin Manchanda from Amazon.

Definition of  Robots and automation in the supply chain and logistics Robotics is simply a mechanism which can perform complex tasks and activities automatically. Cobot has the ability to collaborate with Humans , hence the name Cobot.
Automation has always been at the forefront of the supply chain but it has been seeing a gradual increase in sophistication in the recent years.

Types of robots and which ones are used in Supply chain.

 -Any guided vehicle on a shop floor is a robot.
-A conveyor belt with some sensors to perform some visual activity is a robot

-Narrow or Wide equipment to increase the productivity in your shop floor is a robot 

-Sensing technique which basically sorts the packages in your fulfilment center is a robot
-Storage Robots for Backend supply chain

Relationship between Retail,Supply Chain and Logistics 

The primary focus of retail is to bring an experience to the consumer and take into the next level.In order to commit your promises 100% of the time have a zero defect delivery or a zero defect logistics requires a agile supply chain at backend which involves a lot of planning as well as execution where the logistics gets in.So with the advent of e – commerce in India there have been a lot of middle operations which have increased leading to smoother logistics.

Emerging problems in distribution process
Backend Operations
-Productivity might reduce the overall supply chain.
-Defining a structure around the logistics for scale of operations and maintaining cost.

Front End:
-Adopting the technology into your operations
– Using your robots to display your catalogue.
-Use of labour can be reduced.

 Automation in a warehouse
Auto Storage and Auto retrieval systems-have helped us get rid of the Forklifts, scanners.In Manufacture line,robots and sensors are placed for quality checks, distribution and assembly.
While some Industries have a higher  adoption to technology like Automobiles, some industries do not have this due to the type of manufacturing or the level of customization available to automation.

Drones and their uses in a warehouse or Shop Floors
Drone are effective in moving materials to remote parts of the warehouse,Secondly you can have more dense manufacturing lines if you are able to facilitate material movement using drones or use an automated arm to fetch your product.
While Drones might be useful in bigger spaces, the use of a drone in small areas is not cost effective in the context of supply chain.