Benefits of Using Cobots in the Ecommerce Supply Chain
Ecommerce growth has been on an upward trajectory for the last few years, and there are no signs that it will slow down soon. The growth of the eCommerce sector is driving the need for speed and efficiency required to fulfill orders placed by customers. Unfortunately, most of the work in Ecommerce warehouses is repetitive and requires a high degree of accuracy; otherwise, the company will suffer heavy losses or reduced returns. The repetitive nature of work in Ecommerce warehouses makes it unattractive, especially if you are operating in tight labor markets.
If you are experiencing these challenges, then you have probably thought about automating specific processes in your Ecommerce setup. But the biggest challenge associated with automating logistics operations is that they are highly variable. You will be dealing with different products each day which makes it challenging to assign the work to a machine. It, therefore, means that you cannot automate the entire process in a packaging operation. You will need to have an automated system that can work amongst humans. This is where collaborative robots, popularly known as cobots, come in.
Origin of Collaborative Robots
Cobots were first introduced in the mid-1990s. The first set of cobots was robot arms fitted on conveyor belts. They were used to load and unload containers from a conveyer belt. Modern cobots are more superior to their cousins, traditional robots. They have built-in features that enable them to offer more assistance to human operators.
Modern robots are mobile, flexible, and scalable compared to traditional robots. Cobots have been enhanced with artificial intelligence and machine learning that helps them to work alongside humans. The popularity of cobots is rising steadily by the day. Experts predict that the cobot industry could grow to over $13 billion in 2025.
Revolutionizing the Ecommerce Industry
Cobots have changed the eCommerce playing field in many ways. Giant companies like Amazon are already reaping the benefits of using cobots in their logistics. If you are still lagging, this could be the best time for you to follow suit. Here’s how cobots are transforming eCommerce.
One of the significant benefits of using a robot in your operations is that it will save money and boost your revenues. Companies using cobots to run their operations realize a return on investment with a short time. Since cobots work alongside humans, they help in boosting productivity which reflects positively on the balance sheet. Cobots can pick up repetitive tasks which leave the workers with enough time to handle complex tasks.
Easy to Install and Program
Unlike traditional automated systems, a modern robot is easy to install and program. They allow installation of custom-made software to suit your needs. You can implement changes in your cobot within a few hours, unlike in the traditional robots where it would take weeks to make a small change. Besides, cobots can operate in tiny spaces. You don’t need to make changes to the existing infrastructure to accommodate cobots.
Most of the systems, especially those run by humans, are prone to errors. Some errors can be costly to the profits and reputation of a company. Most of the errors occur due to distractions or fatigue. Fortunately, this doesn’t happen to a robot. Mistakes that can escape the human eye cannot pass unnoticed when using a cobot. Cobots have built-in quality-control features such as sensors, cameras, and barcode readers to ensure they are performing tasks accurately.
Reducing On-the-job Accidents
Accidents sustained at work do not just hurt the employee. Workplace accidents reduce productivity and can also cost your business in workers’ compensation. Implementing cobots in your Ecommerce business reduces the workload on your employees, thus reducing the chances of getting injured. Also, cobots can be used to perform tasks that pose a danger to the workers. Cobots can efficiently in any environment since they are not slowed down by the risk of causing harm to themselves or the employees.