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Automation ‘critical’ for industry success

automation of industry

Automation is set to drive future business and industry with two thirds of organisations aiming to be fully automated by 2025.

Automation technologies will play a key role in business efficiency in sectors such as warehousing, fulfilment and distribution with data solutions at the forefront of cost and productivity savings.

Autonomous mobile robot technologies (AMRs) will be central to the growing move towards automation, according to a new report by Guidance Automation.

The report found that 61 per cent of decision makers believe intralogistics automation will bring higher value than the investment over the next five years, with 40 per cent believing that intralogistics automation is critical for the success of their business. Low operation costs, increased productivity and efficiency are the most desired benefits to automating material movement.

Currently, the biggest barrier to implementing automation is the extent of downtime needed to upgrade; in 2021 the largest barrier was lack of trained employees to maintain automated systems. Cost remains a major issue with over 76 per cent of respondents citing budget constraints as the main barrier to implementing automation.

Automation by 2025

With over half of respondents saying they have already implemented AMRs, and over a third citing they are planning to do so within the next 12 months – the fast road towards automation continues. Additionally, 62% of those who took part in the 2022 annual report said that their business would be fully automated within the next three years.

With lower operational costs and increased productivity and efficiency as the most desired benefits – over 60% believe that intralogistics automation and AMRs will bring a greater financial reward to the business than that invested.

While decision makers expressed a concern about the amount of downtime needed to implement automation, the difference in time they believe it would take for implementation compared to the actual time it takes, is between four to five months, highlighting that concerns may be misplaced. This research suggests that this particular barrier to automation can be overcome by education and implementation support from an experienced vendor.

Autonomous Mobile Robot technologies are flexible and can be introduced gradually to ensure they maximise potential and are utilised effectively. Entire infrastructures and processes do not have to be completely ripped up to introduce automation. This is why it is increasingly important for businesses to partner with an automation expert who can identify opportunities for where automation can be added, and quantify the benefits and efficiencies that can be gained.

“Our 2022 report shows how industry leaders are now really embracing the need to be automated,” said Paul Rivers, ceo of Guidance Automation. “In just twelve months we have seen a huge increase in the understanding that AMRs will bring a significant return on investment. The future of the warehouse, fulfilment and distributions industry will see a greater use of technology and data – not only will this contribute to improved productivity, space saving, and reduced operational costs – but also better ROI.”

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