What Is Right-Fit Robotics?
Every fulfilment operation is different. Implementing large-scale robotics and automation isn’t feasible for the smaller warehouse operation that is looking to improve accuracy, improve customer wait times, and reduce the dependency on labour. In this blog, we’ll explore the idea of right-fit robotics and how it can help improve fulfilment at a more focused level.
Right-fit robotics is when smaller operations use specialised robots to do a simple, repetitive job in order to increase accuracy and speed of order fulfilment.
Benefits include a lower cost, adaptability, and flexibility.
Challenges can include safety, maintenance, and getting the right fit.
Enabling Businesses to Use Automation in a
Right-fit robotics is a practice where smaller businesses and supply chain operations, which have a smaller capacity for robotics and automation than bigger companies, utilise specialised robots that are designed to do a simple, repetitive job in order to increase accuracy and speed of order fulfilment.
These robots aren’t intended to do large-scale, diverse work across various areas of a warehouse operation. Instead, these machines optimise areas like picking and packing, receiving, and put-away by doing the tedious and time-consuming jobs that traditionally slow down fulfilment and increase costs.
Right-fit robotics allows smaller brick and mortar stores, or micro-fulfillment centers that can’t adopt a large-scale form of automation, to increase their speed, accuracy, and adaptability.
The main difference between right-fit robotics and larger-scale automation is that the robots used here are smaller and smarter than the larger equipment. These robots are designed to do singular, repetitive, and simple tasks faster and more accurately than humans can, leading to more efficient fulfilment, and therefore happier customers.
When the topic of automation and robotics is brought up, a lot of people tend to see it as a form of replacement. However, with right-fit robotics, one of the main goals is augmentation of the workforce rather than replacement of it. Finding a way to have people with robotics as a unit, instead of against or simply along-side them, making these machines an extension of the workforce.
In terms of adaptability, right-fit robotics has pros and cons. The pros include being able to change the positions and locations of the robots much easier to better meet the needs of your operation at any particular time. Since the robotics used in this instance are smaller and less diverse in function than larger-scale equipment, the initial cost is lower than other available options for automation.
Like all automation, there are a number of challenges to face when trying to implement more robotics into your operation.
One of the challenges when implementing robotics and automation into your operation is safety. When your human workforce starts working with robots, new safety measures will have to be taken into account to make sure that your workers stay safe and understand how to properly use the machinery, like any other new tool or piece of equipment.
As mentioned above, the limitations of individual robots are another challenge. As your business evolves and new capabilities are required of your automation systems, right-fit can not scale as easily as more diverse equipment.
Having more of your processes rely on robots means that much more could be in jeopardy if spontaneous repairs are needed. It can be time-consuming to get the right part and the right person to complete the repair, and in the meantime, costs can add up when you need to compensate for the
lost automation. However, amazing things are being done with 3D printing where parts can be
Getting robots to work for you is different than getting people to work for you, so finding a correct fit using professional services and an iterative approach can help to ensure the right size of robotics is being used.
Conclusion: The Future of Right-Fit Robotics
Right-fit robotics is an evolving concept that holds a lot of possibilities and opportunities for smaller operations that want to level up their fulfilment to save money, time, and improve customer satisfaction.
Instead of using human labour for the repetitive, tedious task throughout the fulfilment process, using robotics frees up funds and manpower that can now be allocated to more important areas of the operation.