What is the role of a smart warehouse and what part do mezzanines play? Smart warehouses recently featured in the Top 3 of the logistics and supply chain trends to watch in 2022, according to Parcel Monitor. They are predicted to disrupt the industry, while McKinsey & Company has calculated they have the potential to reduce logistics costs by a remarkable 40%.
So what are smart warehouses? They combine the technologies of augmented reality (AR), robotics, the internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence to turn a conventional warehouse into a much more efficient, time- and cost-saving operation – good for retailers and logistics companies, and good for their customers.
A smart warehouse knows where any product is at any time. Goods that were previously stored in alphabetical order or by product are now grouped by popularity. Often pickers use AR screens or glasses to locate products and are guided by lights as to what to pick in what order. Automation can cover not just the picking system, but also moving system, sorting system, forklift system …
The benefits of mezzanines in a smart warehouse
Mezzanines can be an integral part of the process. Installed to maximise unused vertical space, providing additional room above and below, they are cost-effective space creators that can carry robotic pickers, conveyors and more.
Hi-Level Mezzanines has also pioneered robot-ready flooring to withstand the demands of these new ways of working.
We have worked with Amazon in the company’s Derby sortation facility where thousands of robot drive units pick up mobile shelves of products and take them to employees who select the items they need for each order. Items are placed in plastic crates that are carried to the packaging areas on conveyors running on our mezzanine floors. In all, we have installed 22 various-sized mezzanine platforms to carry different conveyors in the facility.
We have installed mezzanines to complement Ocado’s auto bagging machines and are doing so in JD Sports’ smart warehouse in Derby. Mezzanines also provide flexibility for changes in product storage and production capacity.
What are the benefits of smart warehouses?
- Intelligent warehouse systems using AR can increase efficiency by 15%
- Smart tracking of goods streamlines work, reduces errors and improve turnover rate
- Higher accuracy and faster turnover time increases customer satisfaction, with a lower return rate and less supply chain stress
- Return on initial set-up costs is rapid, with fewer staff needed to manage a smart warehouse.
Money saved can be reinvested in increasing capacity with single or multi-tier mezzanines.
For online retail giant ASOS we installed a three-tier mezzanine to create space and streamline the automation process in its distribution centre. Our project management allowed the company to maintain production during the building work to meet demand.
Smart warehouses are the way ahead, according to analysts. Research from Warehouse magazine showed that 68% of warehouse, fulfilment, production or distribution companies have plans to invest in automation this year.
Mezzanines are the perfect way to maximise the benefits.
Hi-Level Mezzanines provides mezzanine floors of the highest quality in the industry, yet remaining competitively priced thanks to the expertise of our team of qualified structural engineers, innovative digital design process and advanced solutions.
For 30 years we have been creating space for amazing things to happen. Contact us today for more information at email@example.com or call 01730 237 190.