Driving Innovation: Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) in Warehousing

Driving Innovation: Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) in Warehousing

In the ever-evolving landscape of warehousing and distribution, a new workforce is emerging, one that doesn’t require breaks, vacations, or even sleep. Welcome to the era of Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs), where innovation meets efficiency in the realm of material handling. In this blog post, we explore the rapid rise of AMRs and their transformative impact on modern warehousing.


Unshackling Productivity

AMRs represent a paradigm shift in how goods are moved within warehouses. These intelligent robots are designed to autonomously navigate through dynamic environments, adapting to changes in real time. By offloading routine tasks such as material transport, picking, and even packing, AMRs liberate human workers from physically taxing and repetitive activities. This newfound efficiency translates into higher productivity and an opportunity for employees to focus on value-added tasks that require human intuition and creativity.


Seamless Integration

One of the defining features of AMRs is their ability to seamlessly integrate into existing warehouse infrastructures. These robots do not require dedicated paths or extensive modifications to the facility. Through advanced sensors, mapping technology, and AI-driven algorithms, AMRs effortlessly navigate through aisles and shelves and even interact with human coworkers, ensuring a harmonious collaboration between man and machine.


Flexible Adaptability

Warehouses often experience fluctuations in demand, seasonal peaks, and evolving inventory patterns. AMRs thrive in this dynamic environment. Their adaptability allows them to be reprogrammed or reconfigured swiftly to accommodate changes. Whether it’s scaling up operations during high-demand periods or rearranging workflows due to shifting priorities, AMRs offer the flexibility that traditional fixed automation systems struggle to provide.


Enhanced Accuracy and Data Insights

The integration of AMRs isn’t just about physical tasks; it’s also about data acquisition. These robots are equipped with various sensors that enable them to collect and transmit valuable information about inventory levels, traffic patterns, and even facility conditions. This real-time data empowers warehouse managers to make informed decisions, optimize routes, and improve overall operations.


Safer Work Environments

Safety is a main concern in any warehouse setting. AMRs are designed with a multitude of safety features, including collision avoidance technology, emergency stop mechanisms, and the ability to adapt their behavior in response to human presence. By taking on physically demanding and potentially hazardous tasks, AMRs contribute to a safer work environment for human employees.


Embracing the Future Today

The rise of Autonomous Mobile Robots heralds a new chapter in warehousing history. These innovative machines are not just about efficiency; they’re about reshaping the way we think about labor, collaboration, and the potential of automation. As businesses continue to search for ways to streamline operations, enhance accuracy, and stay agile, AMRs offer a compelling solution that combines cutting-edge technology with tangible benefits. Join us in exploring the present and future possibilities of AMRs and witness how they are driving innovation in the heart of warehousing operations.

Things to Consider when Relocating Your Warehouse

Things to Consider when Relocating Your Warehouse

Relocating warehouse operations is a critical decision that can significantly impact a company’s supply chain, profitability, and overall business performance. However, in recent times, the prospect of higher interest rates has introduced a new layer of hesitancy among businesses contemplating such a move. This post delves into the reasons behind the hesitancy to relocate warehouse operations in light of the recent increase in interest rates and the economy overall.

Financial Considerations

One of the primary reasons for hesitancy is the financial impact of higher interest rates. Relocating a warehouse involves substantial capital investments, including land acquisition, construction costs, equipment purchases, and employee relocation expenses. Higher interest rates increase borrowing costs, which can affect a company’s ability to secure favorable financing terms. As a result, businesses may hesitate to proceed with relocation plans, fearing increased debt burdens and reduced financial flexibility.

Uncertainty in the Economy

Higher interest rates are often seen as a signal of a tightening monetary policy aimed at curbing inflation or cooling down an overheating economy. The uncertainty surrounding the economic outlook due to higher interest rates can make businesses reluctant to undertake significant operational changes, such as relocating warehouse facilities. Executives may prefer to wait and assess the stability of the economy and how interest rate changes will impact their business in the long run before committing to a costly relocation process.

Market Volatility and Demand Fluctuation

Interest rate hikes can trigger market volatility, affecting consumer spending patterns and overall demand. Businesses might be hesitant to relocate their warehouse operations due to concerns about potential shifts in market conditions. Uncertainty about the future demand for their products or services can make companies reluctant to invest in new facilities, fearing that they may not be able to sustain operations or generate the expected return on investment.

Disruption to Supply Chain

Relocating warehouse operations can disrupt a company’s supply chain, leading to potential delays, increased transportation costs, and logistical challenges. Higher interest rates might discourage businesses from undertaking such a disruption, as they could impact the seamless flow of goods and services to customers. Companies that rely heavily on just-in-time inventory management or have stringent delivery deadlines may hesitate to relocate their warehouses, fearing negative consequences on customer satisfaction and brand reputation.

Operational Efficiency and Adaptability

Warehouse relocation involves not only physical aspects but also operational adjustments. Companies must ensure that the new location provides equal or improved operational efficiency, including factors such as proximity to suppliers, transportation infrastructure, and access to skilled labor. Higher interest rates may lead businesses to question whether the benefits of relocation outweigh the potential risks and costs associated with adapting their operations to a new environment.

Long-Term Commitment

Relocating warehouse operations is a long-term commitment that requires careful planning and consideration. Higher interest rates can impact the viability of long-term financial projections, making it difficult for businesses to assess the potential return on investment. Uncertainty about the future trajectory of interest rates and their impact on the overall business climate may lead companies to delay or postpone relocation plans until the economic environment becomes more favorable and predictable.

While the decision to relocate warehouse operations involves multiple factors, the recent increase in higher interest rates has introduced an additional layer of hesitancy among businesses. Financial considerations, uncertainty in the economy, market volatility, supply chain disruption, operational efficiency concerns, and the long-term commitment required are all valid reasons contributing to this hesitancy. Businesses must carefully evaluate the potential risks and rewards of relocation, taking into account both interest rates and broader economic factors, before making any decisions that can shape the trajectory of their operations and future success.

ABCO Systems can help you evaluate your warehouse and whether staying in your current space or if relocating makes sense for the future of your operation. Our team of talented engineers can help redesign your existing space to make your space more efficient if moving is not in the company’s best interest. Reach out to our team to assist you with that evaluation.

Tips for Conveyor Maintenance: What You Need to Know

Tips for Conveyor Maintenance: What You Need to Know

Conveyor systems are important pieces of equipment used in many industries. Whether you are a manufacturer, distributor, or retailer, maintaining your conveyor system is essential to running a successful business. Regular maintenance helps to ensure that your conveyor system runs smoothly and efficiently, saving you time and money in the long run. Knowing what to look for and how to address any issues that arise is key to keeping your conveyor system in top shape. In this article, we will discuss tips for conveyor maintenance, so you can keep your conveyor system running in peak condition.

What are common issues with conveyor systems?

Conveyor systems often experience wear and tear over time. While they are designed to last for many years, the frequency of use, the amount of weight they are designed to carry, and the overall condition of the system all play a role in how long they will last.

As a machine operator, you are also responsible for inspecting the conveyor system periodically. Depending on your industry and the type of conveyor system you have, you may not need to inspect the system as often as other operators. However, it is important to inspect the system periodically to make sure there are no issues or potential problems that need to be addressed immediately. Inspecting your conveyor system can also be a good way to spot any issues that need maintenance before they become larger problems.

What safety measures should be taken when performing conveyor maintenance?

Before you begin any maintenance work on a conveyor system, make sure you are familiar with the system and the potential hazards. For example, the system may include moving parts that could cause you injury if you are not careful. When working on older systems, you may also need to wear breathing equipment to protect you from harmful fumes. You should also be familiar with the location of any shutoff valves or emergency stop buttons to make sure you can stop the system if needed. If you are unsure about the proper procedures or safety precautions to take when working on a conveyor system, contact your supervisor or the person responsible for maintaining the system for instructions.

What should you look for when inspecting conveyor systems?

During your conveyor system inspection, you should look for problems with the system, such as wear and tear. You can also perform a preventive maintenance checklist, which is a good way to address certain issues before they become more serious. The ABCO Systems Maintenance and Service team uses checklists to ensure they address all aspects of your systems. You can find a checklist online and customize it to suit your system. There are also online tools available that allow you to enter information about your system and generate a checklist customized to your specific equipment. When performing your inspection, keep an eye out for any of the following issues: – Excessive noise – This could indicate a problem with the bearings or other system components. – Oil leaks – These can indicate wear or damage in the system. They can also pose a fire hazard if the oil drips near hot components. – Poor lubrication – This can cause friction and overheat the system. – Excessive vibration – This can be an indication that parts are loose and need to be replaced.

How often should you inspect the conveyor system?

Depending on your industry and the type of conveyor system you have, you may need to inspect the system regularly. Manufacturers will often provide recommendations for the best maintenance practices for your system. You should also follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance intervals to avoid costly breakdowns and repairs. If you do experience a breakdown, it is important to troubleshoot and repair the system as quickly as possible. A minor issue that goes unaddressed can become a major problem quickly. If you schedule regular inspections, you can spot potential issues before they become serious.

How can you prevent conveyor system breakdowns?

A regular maintenance schedule is essential to prolonging the life of your conveyor system and preventing breakdowns. Periodic inspections can help you identify wear and tear before it becomes a serious problem that requires extensive repairs. You should also make sure to use the system within the manufacturer’s guidelines. If you overload the conveyor system by exceeding the weight capacity or attempting to move more products through the system than it is designed for, you greatly increase the risk of breakdowns and other problems. You can also help to prevent breakdowns by following these tips: – Maintain proper speed, load, and tension settings. – Clean the system regularly to reduce the risk of corrosion and contamination. – Use lubricants to reduce friction in moving parts. – Replace worn or damaged parts promptly.

What should you do if you experience a breakdown?

If your conveyor system breaks down, you should first attempt to identify the cause of the issue. If you are not able to identify the problem, you may want to call a professional to help troubleshoot the issue. Some common issues and their causes include: – Excessive noise – A problem with the bearings, belts, pulleys, or other system components. – Oil leaks – Damage to seals, gaskets, or other system components that allow oil to leak. – Poor lubrication – Parts moving against each other without sufficient lubrication. – Excessive vibration – Worn or damaged parts that are loose and may cause excessive vibration. – Overloaded system – Exceeding the weight capacity or moving too many items through the conveyor system.

What are the benefits of regular maintenance?

Regular maintenance is essential to keeping your conveyor system in working order. Even if you have a brand-new system, regular maintenance will help prolong the life of the system. A well-maintained system will operate more smoothly, efficiently, and safely compared to systems that are neglected. You can also expect to see a reduction in breakdowns and repairs if you perform regular maintenance on your system. This can save you time and money in the long run. A well-maintained system will also be safer to operate, which is important when working with heavy machinery. A poorly maintained system can lead to accidents and injuries, which is why it is so important to follow best practices for conveyor maintenance.

What are the top conveyor maintenance services in New Jersey?

While you may be able to perform some of the maintenance work on your conveyor system yourself, you can ensure your equipment is always up and running by having a preventative maintenance contract in place. ABCO Systems can perform a regular inspection of the system, replace worn or damaged parts, apply lubrication as needed, adjust tension and speed settings, and perform any other regular maintenance tasks. It is important to choose a service that is certified and follows manufacturer recommendations when working on your equipment to help ensure they perform the work correctly.

Why choose ABCO Systems for your conveyor maintenance?

Conveyor maintenance is an important part of running an efficient business. ABCO Systems, LLC provides its customers with best-in-class installation of some of the most technologically advanced material handling products on the market. To be compliant with manufacturers’ requirements for warranty, the systems must be properly maintained as part of a comprehensive pre-scheduled maintenance program. Headed by Heather Castro as Service Department Manager, ABCO Systems technicians and service staff are highly qualified to perform these required services. If you want to keep your systems running, run with the WolfPack and ABCO Systems Maintenance and Service Team.

Automations Solutions – Sortation

Automations Solutions – Sortation

Advances in technology have increased the efficiency of warehouse processes in many ways. These technologies can now augment the work of humans as well as automate tedious, manual tasks allowing the labor team to focus on more complex tasks. Warehouse automation takes on many forms, such as machines and robots, that assist workers with distribution-related processes that start when goods arrive at the warehouse all the way through when they leave the building. Implementing warehouse automation solutions can help increase the productivity and accuracy of those processes while reducing labor costs and improving overall safety.

This does not equate to robots replacing the need for human workers. These automation solutions take on the tedious tasks that required long hours of work and allow employees to focus on other less labor-intensive aspects of the distribution process, providing a safer environment for all involved.  Warehouse automation can cover everything from unloading trailers to fulfilling orders, but humans are still a vital part of the process.

One technology that is a part of automation is Sortation.  Manual sortation requires the labor force to organize, categorize and separate products and materials.  Automating this process can reduce the labor intensity of the overall process.  A sortation device identifies individual items on a conveyor system and is able to divert them to their proper location using a variety of discharge methods..

One of the strategic partners ABCO Systems is aligned with is EuroSort. In 2001, EuroSort emerged from a need for a solution to manage the growing number of irregularly shaped items requiring sortation in warehouses.  The first EuroSort sorter design was the Split Tray Sorter, which quickly caught on in the industry.  EuroSort learned from each installation of the Split Tray Sorter and the design was augmented and refined over time.  With the rising demand for sortation, EuroSort continued to release new sortation solutions such as the  Dual Split Tray, Push Tray, Twin Push Tray, Cross Tray, Sweeper, and Push Bar Sorters.

Let’s look at the EuroSort Push Bar Sorter.  This sortation solution was first installed in 2004 and then re-introduced in 2019 after further cultivation of the technology.  The Push Bar Sorter offers a wide range of sortable products, extreme layout flexibility, and easy scalability to allow for a fast ROI and a significant increase in productivity.

The EuroSort PushBar Sorter affords precise bi-directional sorting using an overhead push divert. This allows for the accurate discharge of a large variety of products into an extremely tight destination like an outbound carton or mailsack.  The system is designed to be space-conscious and requires a minimum of maintenance.

The EuroSort Push Bar Sorter accurately sorts items from as small as a single business card or individual polybag up to a 30-inch carton at rates of up to 3,000 items/hour.  The system is also becoming a reliable solution for linear sortation at a more affordable cost.

Let’s take a look at the benefits of the EuroSort Push Bar Sorter:

  • Modular Construction – The ultimate in flexibility!
  • Manual Induction Ease – Save money, reduce complications, and increase your flexibility with a machine that allows for manual induction.
  • No-touch Pack Out – The tightest discharge pitch in the industry enables the sorting of items directly into the outbound carton/tote/container with no secondary touch during pack out.
  • No Weld Framework – Easy installation, easy expansion, and superior modularity of your sortation system.
  • Smallest Discharge Pitch – Increased accuracy allows for a smaller discharge pitch and a denser sorter footprint.
  • Gentle Push Product Handling – Sorting your fragile items without damage!
  • Quiet As a Mouse Operation – Noise levels below 70db
  • Low Budget Friendly – High-quality automation without the high price tag.


Key Takeaways:

  • Automation does not replace human labor, it takes on the more tedious aspects of the distribution process
  • Automating the sortation of a diverse array of products can increase the accuracy and efficiency of your distribution
  • Sortation automation can be flexible and space efficient
  • Sortation automation solutions can be cost-effective and implemented without disruption to your workday or current processes.


Contact the ABCO Systems Team for more information on the sortation solution that is right for you.

AMRs vs AGVs: What are the key differences

AMRs vs AGVs: What are the key differences

Over the past several years, as warehouse automation has become a necessity rather than a luxury, companies of all sizes have started investing more in warehouse robots. Using automated robots helps to streamline how goods are sorted and shipped, increases productivity, and raises the stakes of the game for warehouses throughout the country.

As demand for warehouse automation continues to grow, warehouses big and small are looking into which robots make sense for their warehouse. At ABCO Systems, we want you to understand the different options for robots and which solution might help take your warehouse to the next level.


What are AMRs?

AMR stands for Autonomous Mobile Robot — a self-contained machine that can be programmed to carry out a wide range of material moving activities.

An AMR does not need human supervision thanks to sophisticated sensors and cameras that it uses to see. This gives it the ability to detect if a human or obstacle is in the way and move out of the way accordingly which helps keep warehouses safe even while introducing automation.

What can AMRs do?

  • Transport and sort goods
  • Help with the picking process
  • Manage inventory
  • Avoid collisions with humans, objects, and fixed structures

Benefits of AMRs:

  • Increases efficiency and productivity by eliminating the need for workers to complete repetitive, physical tasks
  • Frees up employees to focus on more important tasks
  • Streamlines picking processes which reduces human error
  • Saves time, cuts costs, and increases productivity
  • Can work safely with humans
  • Smaller than other machinery including forklifts
  • Can obey programming instructions
  • Can be deployed in minutes with proper route mapping

Types of AMRs:

  1. Picking and putting which picks up items and places them where they are needed
  2. Inventory management to track SKUs in real-time and alert the need to replenish low stock
  3. Transportation for bringing direct goods to their next stop

AMRs are dependable and can work for 12-15 hours before needing to be charged. A single robot can free up to two employees, allowing them to work on other more important jobs. If your team is constantly carting things around large areas, AMR technology will benefit your warehouse.


What are AGVs?

AGV stands for Autonomous Guided Vehicle — an unmanned guided vehicle that completes automated repetitive tasks that help keep warehouses moving smoothly. AGVs move materials from one part of the warehouse to another, often delivered directly to processing lines via a predetermined path mapped by QR codes on the floor. By using an AGV, a warehouse is more likely to keep running smoothly rather than deal with delays due to waiting on humans.

What differentiates an AGV from an AMR is an AGV travels on a predetermined path and cannot make corrections to its path in real time.

What can AGVs do?

  • Transport raw materials
  • Deliver materials directly to production lines
  • Deliver materials without needing human interaction
  • Move materials to storage or retrieve items from storage

Benefits of AGVs:

  • Increases efficiency and productivity by eliminating the need for workers to complete repetitive, physical tasks
  • Frees up employees to focus on more important tasks
  • Streamlines picking processes which reduces human error
  • Saves time, cuts costs, and increases productivity
  • Can work safely with humans
  • Smaller than other machinery including forklifts
  • Can obey programming instructions

Types of AGVs:

  1. Carts that move around the facility and carry materials
  2. Tuggers which can pull carts with loads up to 50,000lbs
  3. Forklifts that can move paper rolls, coils, and more
  4. Unit-load that can move single products such as a pallet or bin
  5. Heavy haul that can move machinery up to 250,000lbs

How to choose between AMR and AGV

AGVs have been a warehouse staple for decades and were first introduced in the 1950s. Until recently, they were one of the only options for automating the repetitive tasks of bringing goods from one place to another. However, with the introduction of AMRs, their status as the primary warehouse robot is being challenged.

AMRs are more sophisticated, flexible, and cost-effective. They are also more autonomous when maneuvering and can detect objects and move around them or stop. For example, if an AMR detects a human moving towards it is trained to get out of the way while AVRs follow predetermined tracks on the floor and cannot adjust their path, even to avoid hitting a person or machine.

5 Differences between AMRs and AGVs:

  1. AMRs have better data collection than AGVs
  2. AMRs are safer than AGVs because AMRs can move around objects and humans in their path while AGVs cannot
  3. AMRs are more cost-effective than AGVs as it does not require changing the building infrastructure needed to create the predetermined paths AGVs use
  4. AGVs have a simpler control system and sensors than an AMR
  5. AGVs stick to their path while AMRs can become “lost” when crossing large expanses of floor space

We hope that this article was able to shed some light upon the differences between AGVs and AMRs. While Automation continues to become an integral part of warehouse operations, robotics may still feel like uncharted territory that is financially out of reach for many businesses.  Remember that the cost of robotics is highly dependent upon many factors.  As a Systems Integrator, ABCO Systems is at your service to help you navigate your way through the countless options in robotics and all other aspects of automation.

To learn more about if an AGV or AMR is right for your warehouse, or to set up a consultation to discuss your challenges and how we can offer solutions to fit your unique needs, CLICK HERE and an ABCO Systems Team member will put you in touch with the right team to make your dreams of Robotics a reality.


4 Easy Ways to Automate

4 Easy Ways to Automate

As we enter December, you may be thinking about automation, but is it too late to implement automation in time for the upcoming Holiday Season? We all want to be able to meet and exceed the needs of our customers as well as make the best use of our labor force but think that implementing automation at this stage would be way too difficult and costly.  Think again.

ABCO Systems offers you an early holiday gift with our new white paper on 4 Easy Ways to Automate.  Click the box below to download and learn how you can easily implement an automation solution now that is scalable for future growth.