Disruptive Technology Change in Distribution Center Automation
25.06.2015 |Rene Reiter
agent based modeling
There has been a dramatic increase in investment by both venture capital and strategic investors in new robotics technologies for supply chain automation. These investments have been driven by rapid changes in expectations for consistent, fast, flexible consumer experience across all channels. Traditionally, automation and associate order fulfillment software has been optimized around a limited set of products (or SKU’s) and for the requirements and constraints of a specific channel between manufacturer and consumer. This may result in different, and potentially incompatible technical solutions being implemented at the same distribution center. The new expectation is that the retailer provide a consistent, and hopefully superior, consumer experience, regardless of which channel is most convenient for the consumer to use.
Symbotic, an intelligent Supply network automation company, has re-invented the warehouse and re-imagined the supply chain. The company’s revolutionary and disruptive technologies aim to address challenges such as principles of operation, how the technology has evolved, and key performance metrics for alternative approaches. Technologies range from traditional robotics and non-robotics material handling methods, to more disruptive uses of autonomous mobile robots, collaborative robots, with increased sensing, planning, and intelligent functions.
In order for Symbotic to be successful, they needed to develop a sales tool to show potential customers how their technology works, and more importantly what it would look like in the customer’s current space. They chose AnyLogic to build models due to its agent-based capabilities. Symbotic is now able to evaluate, optimize and visualize solutions for potential customers enabling them to justify easily capital investments.