How do logistic flows develop?
“Today, flows are very fragmented. In the past, warehouses would dispatch full containers (pallets, boxes, etc.). Today, they are working to Just in Time and sending more parts by the unit, often to the end customer. Without automation, logistics costs would go through the roof.”
Stéphane Conjard, director France at Knapp AG, supplier of handling solutions
How do you compare telehandler and AGV sales?
“On the French market there are about 60,000 to 70,000 telehandlers sold each year compared with 100 to 150 AGVs. If you count the number of pallets moved automatically compared with the number moved manually, there’s no doubt that handling is not at all well-automated.”
Thierry Belissa, director France at Egemin Automation, manufacturer of automated solutions and AGVs (Automated Guided Vehicles), handling and lifting equipment
Are operators still relevant within warhouses?
“Operators remain a key resource in handling. There will always be a need for them even if they will be fewer in number. At a time when systems are becoming intelligent, tasks are simplified and there is no need any more for people just dedicated to one job. Multitasking is the future.”
Daniel Chalancon, director France at Kardex-Remstar, manufacturer of automated storage systems
How will palletising evolve?
“We think that logistics centres are going to quickly come over to automated end-of-line palletising solutions. Robotics solutions already exist to manage the simultaneous preparation of several dozen pallets at the same time”
Anthony Couriol, Sales engineer at Promalyon, a manufacturer of robotic palletising and handling equipment
How to manage verticality in a warehouse?
“To improve their return on investment, clients seek to optimise the space available in warehouses. They therefore opt for robust systems which work vertically with a reduced footprint on the ground, such as the vertical conveyors whose sales in our firm have taken off this year (+25% in 2016)”
Arjan Kruidhof, head of sales at Qimarox, a Dutch manufacturer of automated systems for system integrators
Operators & AGVs: how do they share tasks?
“In the warehousing world, the supervision software suite acts as an orchestra conductor, capable of giving specific assignments to operators and automated systems such as AGVs. To know who to task, the algorithm bases is calculation on expected response times. To deal with urgent matters, operators are faster and more flexible.”
Laurent Depont, commercial director at BA Systèmes, designer of AGV-based intralogistics solutions and publisher of related software blocks