Featured in Material Handling & Logistics

Data Replicas, Digital Twins and AI (Oh My!)

How disruptive technology can drive innovation in the warehouse.

By Keith Moore - Posted June 8, 2021

The warehouse of the future is a man and a dog. The man is there to feed the dog. The dog is there to make sure the man doesn’t touch anything. More frequently in supply chain circles, we hear this concept referred to as a dark warehouse. From a technologist’s perspective, all of the recent automation introduced at distribution centers makes it seem as if the movement towards a fully autonomous dark warehouse isn’t too far away.

However, have you ever talked with the folks running operations? When you have a frank conversation with warehousing IT groups, 3PLs and shippers, you might feel as if we’re nowhere close to removing the human factor from the warehousing equation. Most sites today have manual planning processes supplemented by warehouse management systems, and very little automated decision-making is done. Most robotic systems that are in-place are treated as discrete function providers to supplement human labor, with little consideration for how robotic work can operate synchronously with human labor.

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