Midland Pallet Trucks, a provider of high-quality manual handling equipment including pallet trucks, manual stacker trucks and lift tables, is predicting that almost half of all UK warehouses will invest in some form of AI technology and automation by 2024.
With a rise in intelligent robotics that provide greater accuracy and speed when picking and packing consignments, many warehouses are looking at new technology to take the strain off their human employees.
Online-only retail giants such as Amazon are currently operating in excess of 200,000 robots globally, with the Covid-19 pandemic accelerating the appetite for automation and robotics to help fulfil a surge in online order requests that shows no signs of reducing.
New advancements in technology have meant that certain robot and automated systems can be upscaled during busy periods such as Christmas, but the human element is still just as important as new technology when it comes to the warehouse of the future, says Midland Pallet Trucks.
Although these new robots can pick and label consignments, human employees are still tasked with removing parcels from belts, servicing and resetting automated equipment and moving packages from one area to the next, leaving many warehousing staff at risk of injury despite significant investment in new technology.
However, not all warehouse operations will be able to plough thousands of pounds into new robotic units straight away, so the pandemic has resulted in many warehousing and retail companies seeking out effective ways to up productivity as consignment numbers reach record levels at the detriment of their workers.
Phil Chesworth, Managing Director of Midland Pallet Trucks said, “There’s no doubt that the warehousing sector is undergoing a period of robotic transformation, but employers still need to focus on the safety and wellbeing of their human workers as the introduction of AI to the shop floor still comes with a unique set of safety challenges.
“With certain physical tasks that still being carried out by warehouse employees on a daily basis, training and having access to the correct equipment is imperative to
safeguard the wellbeing of warehouse workers and create a fully futureproofed approach to warehousing that fuses AI and human workers.”
To find out more about the wide range of manual handling equipment available from Midland Pallet Trucks, visit https://www.midlandpallettrucks.com/