Nowadays, drones seem to be everywhere - from bouncing around the local store to performing military duty. But one place that we haven't seen a lot of them is the warehouse.
Although drones don't have the ability to place and pick items, there are some operations that require the use of drones. These include stock counting, physical inventory and circle counting.
When it comes to some repetitive actions that humans cannot perform, drones can be of much help. This is because they are 100 times more energy efficient and 100 times more efficient.
For instance, an 800g drone can carry an 80g bar code scanner to do the same thing. Also, drones can count as much stock in two days than a team of 80 people.
The labor and time-saving benefits are especially glaring in the uniform warehousing, counting large stock and handling units that age above the head.
While reorganizing your warehouse, taking care of some changes might mean creating more space before the first drone hits your shelves. However, these changes should not affect the normal operations of the warehouse.
You can adopt the drone in different layouts with a change in software. If your warehouse is large and uniform, it will be much more drone-friendly.
Here's how to make your warehouse drone ready:
Rearrange the shelves - Before anything else you need to ensure that the shelves are ready, uniform and of good height. Avoid changing the height of shelves, especially in one length of ranking.
Try with a metal shelving, it's reliable, visible and accessible.
Remove the obstacles - Try as much as you can to recess the pillars so that nothing protrudes in front of what the drone might strike.
Take care of the safety - While taking care of the safety, consider investing in PPE with visor mounts. Remember, drones come with propellers that spin at high speed and can break up when they strike objects. Splinters of these materials may damage your eye.
Data - Make sure that you store the height of bin locations in your system or save them in the spreadsheet for easy importing to the drones operating system. Drones can inspect items and even take photos hence your WMS should link images to items for later inquiry and reporting.
Consider housekeeping issues - Your drones may entangle in loose packaging, wire or straps. You should replace shelf barcodes consistently for the center of the bin location. Also, print them in large to make them easy to scan.
Handling units - Since early versions will only handle one pallet, you need to make sure that each pallet has a unique number such as the serial number that's in consistent location in the middle of the pallet. Also, ensure that you stuck the labels on straight barcodes.
From the business perspective, the drone technology seems to offer more benefits to the business - provided that you can keep the costs at minimal levels.
With this in mind, it’s hard to believe that there's anything against drones becoming part and parcel of a warehouse. Your warehouse should be drone-ready.