The Top 3 Automation Technology Trends We Confirmed at MODEX 2018
Last week, the Fetch Robotics team journeyed to Atlanta, Georgia, to take part in MODEX, the largest manufacturing and supply chain expo of 2018. From start to finish, we had a blast. In addition to debuting our brand new VirtualConveyor CartConnect and RollerTop robots at the event, our team also had the opportunity to meet a ton of new people and witness first-hand the one thing that was on everyone’s mind — warehouse automation technology.
In speaking with numerous logistics and warehouse professionals, we confirmed the presence of three key trends among those who were in the market for warehouse automation solutions. For leaders of modern industrial and commercial facilities, these three trends translated into specific solution features sought — each of which were deemed non-negotiable when it came to their automation technology investment dollars. See each listed below.
Trend #1: Flexibility
Flexibility was top-of-mind for a number of buyers we spoke to at the event.
The physical dynamics of industrial and commercial facilities shift rapidly. For that reason, flexibility and the capability to extend existing conveyance workflows were a top priority for warehouse and logistics personnel seeking automated solutions.
The reason for this is actually quite simple. These types of solutions help meet key metrics and reach productivity goals. The ability to automate many different types of workflows out of a common flexible platform, extends the life and value of this automation, even if operational requirements change.
Trend #2: Speed to Automation
Another hot topic of discussion among the logistics and warehouse professionals we spoke with was their need for speed. Solutions that take months and even years to implement are no one’s idea of a good time or a fast drive to ROI. For that reason, solutions that can deploy quickly and adapt to existing workflows, but are still flexible (see #1!) enough to adapt to operational changes, was what the majority of modern logistics and warehouse professionals were seeking.
Fetch Robotics CEO Melonee Wise has understood this from the start. Prior to debuting our VirtualConveyor CartConnect and RollerTop automation robots, she made that message clear.
“We are committed to helping our customers increase warehouse efficiency with the fastest time to automation,” Wise said. “ [Our] RollerTop and CartConnect robots add flexibility and maximize existing conveyance across factory and warehouse workflows, providing our customers with a breadth of options to meet their goals.”
Trend #3: Usability
In conversations with some of the world’s largest 3PLs, retailers, and manufacturers, we confirmed that those seeking automation technology require solutions that are intuitive, can scale and can be managed easily with little to no technical expertise.
Fully aware of this, each day at our booth during the event, Melonee took to the stage to demonstrate how the FetchCore Cloud Robotics Platform for On-Demand Automation sets up robotic workflows that improve warehouse productivity in just minutes. In real-time, she showed audiences how simple this is to do using FetchCore’s simple click-and-drag interface. She explained how FetchCore allows you to easily create and/or modify robot tasks with just a few clicks. Finally, she made a crystal clear case for why FetchCore and our line of VirtualConveyor and DataSurvey robots can complement any warehouse optimization strategy.
Melonee was able to do all of this in just 10-minutes. The same amount of time it took for an average show-goer walking the floor to be bombarded with pitch after pitch that did nothing to help anyone make a clear and informed buying decision.
What did help these show-goers, however, was Melonee’s demonstration and promise of usability. And on that point, she absolutely delivered.
As noted at the top of this post, Fetch Robotics debuted both CartConnect and RollerTop while at the show. Upon our announcement, John Santagate, Research Director, Robot Services, IDC, had the following to say about the release of our new robots. It’s pretty clear our offerings are aligned with what the market is seeking.
If you would like to learn more about how Fetch Robotics’ material handling and automated data collection solutions can improve throughput, efficiency, and productivity in your facility, please see the links below. If you would like to discuss your immediate needs now with one of our solutions experts, you can schedule a free consultation here.
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