North America is undergoing a significant demographic shift with an aging population. According to the World Population Prospects, the number of people aged 60+ is expected to double by 2050. As the workforce ages, retirement statistics increase, and labor shortages become a concern for companies Nationwide. The question becomes how supply chains can adapt to the changing landscape. Embracing robotics and automated solutions can offer a wide range of benefits in terms of productivity and efficiency and in enhancing the well-being of an aging labor force. This blog will explore the positive impact of robotics on the aging workforce and how supply chains can leverage automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS) to address these challenges.
Addressing Robotics & Job Loss Fears
E-commerce warehousing brands in the United States added a substantial number of jobs. However, employers continue to struggle to keep up with the pace of surging consumer demands as the economy rebounds. In a recent finding by Gartner, it’s predicted that by the end of 2023, the demand for robotics to work alongside human workers will have quadrupled in comparison to past years. Consumer demands have skyrocketed specifically in clothing, sports, groceries, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals. Implementing robotics and automated storage solutions is not reducing jobs but rather filling positions that are challenging to workers. Especially as demand for quicker goods increases, brands are able to adapt and keep up.
Benefits of Robotics + Human Workers in the Supply Chain
Increased Productivity and Efficiency
As workers age, their physical abilities may decline, making it more challenging to perform physically demanding tasks. Robotics, including Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) and Vertical Lift Modules (VLMs), can take over these tasks, allowing workers to focus on more cognitive or supervisory roles.
AMRs can transport materials within a facility, reducing the need for manual material handling. Additionally, VLMs can automatically retrieve and store items, optimizing storage space and minimizing the time spent searching for items. These technologies reduce the risk of workplace injuries and increase overall productivity, benefiting both the company and the aging workforce.
Robotics Are Enhancing Workplace Safety
Automation can significantly improve workplace safety by reducing the risk of accidents and injuries. Robotic systems and other automated storage solutions are designed to work seamlessly alongside human employees, minimizing the chances of accidents and improving overall workplace safety.
Experienced workers possess a wealth of knowledge and expertise that can be invaluable to a company. However, as these employees near retirement, they are often concerned about transferring their knowledge to younger workers. Robotics can help bridge this knowledge gap. By automating various processes and tasks, supply chains can capture and document the expertise of their experienced workers, creating a valuable knowledge base that can be passed on to the next generation of employees.
Flexible Work Environments with Robotics
As workers age, they may require more flexibility in their work arrangements. Robotics and automation can enable more flexible work environments, allowing employees to adjust their work schedules, locations, or roles to accommodate their changing needs. For instance, robots can be programmed to work during off-hours, allowing workers to choose shifts that align with their preferences.
McMurray Stern’s Robotics Storage Solutions
McMurray Stern’s HAIPICK robots offer intelligent picking and handling, autonomous navigation, active obstacle avoidance, and autonomous charging. With high precision and reliability, HAIPICK robotics offers flexible customization that can increase storage density by 80-130% and increase efficiency by up to 4x. Suitable for various industries, many brands experience improved ROI with our HAIPICK robots.
McMurray Stern’s Addverb robotic solutions offer fixed and flexible solutions featuring its proprietary software to enable fully customized and optimized picking, packing, storage, and other automation systems.
Zippy Sortation Robot: The high-speed sortation robot can sort up to 30,000 items/hour. Working on grid-based ground markers and providing high sortation throughput.
Quadron: Our automated tote/carton shuttle system transports goods from one point to another to quickly and efficiently organize products in the warehouse, making it easier for workers
to locate and retrieve items as needed.
Multipro: The automated pallet shuttle store and retrieval maximizes warehouse space utilization and improves storage efficiency. Store a large number of pallets of the same or a variety of SKUs with temperature-controlled conditions.
Automated Mobile Robots (AMRs): Lift and transport materials within your facility to streamline material movement processes, increasing efficiency and ensuring safety. With quick charging times and long run times, AMRs are perfect for various industries. Our 200kg robot holds up to 441 lbs, and our 500kg robot holds up to 1,102 lbs.
FANUC robots offer easy operation and simple integration, perfect for any manufacturing and distribution warehouse. FANUC robots are safe, versatile, flexible, reliable, and deliver high performance. Ideal for high-speed operations in your supply chain, they feature user-friendly interfaces and increased safety and accuracy.
Are you ready to start designing your warehouse for better performance, efficiency, and accuracy with robotic solutions? Contact us, or schedule a visit to our new Tech Center for a live tour and product demos.