First Thoughts By Dan Gilmore – Editor-in-Chief OK, as promised, I am back with one more feature from the ProMat 2015 show from MHI (the former Materials Handling Institute of America) in Chicago last week. In my previous column, I provided an overall show review and noted key themes, most importantly that the technology barriers to automated case and piece picking seem to be just about gone, with tremendous advances in robotic dexterity and software control systems. As I said then, companies may not go down this path for ROI, cultural or any number of other reasons, but it rarely will be because the technology just won’t work for them. That’s a big change. This week, I am going to succinctly describe some of the new and interesting new solutions materials handling editor Cliff Holste and I found at the show. All of these were featured in video form in our ProMat Day 1 or Day 2 video reviews. You can find those here – they are very good: Day 1 Promat review , Day 2 review . Gilmore Says: If a company elects not to pursue automation of case or piece picking, it will simply not be because it won’t work. First, I will just briefly re-summarize two new solutions that were mentioned last week, as illustrative of the trends in automated case and piece picking. The first was a new robotic case picking system from Daifuku . What makes it noteworthy is that it uses a 3D vision system to select cartons off a pallet for order picking or depalletization. The technology enables the robot to do so with no prior knowledge of the pallet’s carton configuration, unlike most existing systems. So, it could work on an incoming mixed-SKU pallet from a supplier about which it has no […]
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