Four Benefits of Using AI in the Material Handling Industry

Feb 27, 2024 | Automation | 0 comments

The material handling industry is responsible for overseeing the logistics, manufacturing, and distribution of goods, especially by ensuring a smooth transition between production and delivery. As industry demands increase, technological advances are vital to maintaining production requirements, and every effort is made to implement additional improvements.

Artificial intelligence (AI) has continually asserted itself as a key player in every element of the American workforce. With its ability to mimic human intelligence, AI is rapidly being integrated into every part of the material handling process. Furthermore, AI’s application extends from automating complex procedures and enhancing decision-making through data analysis to many more possibilities that have yet to be explored.

When combined with the Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, and machine learning—a subset of AI that enables machines to learn from data—AI becomes a powerhouse, driving the industry towards unprecedented operational efficiency and safety. In short, AI is revolutionizing traditional material handling methods and offering unparalleled efficiencies and innovations. With that overview in mind, let’s take a deeper look at four specific benefits that AI offers within the material handling setting.

1: Enhanced Operational Efficiency

AI’s impact begins behind the scenes with predictive analytics—a process that uses data-driven algorithms to estimate outcomes—forecast inventory requirements, which ensures just the right amount of goods are processed to cut down on waste. This capability also maintains the necessary balance between supply and demand, ensuring each business meets the customer’s needs without falling behind or overspending on excess stock.

From there, AI excels in automating tasks on the floor that any human employee views as crucial but routine and boring—sorting, packing, palletizing, and more. Automation not only speeds up the production cycle but also minimizes human error, leading to more reliable and efficient operations while freeing up warehouse workers for other tasks where human oversight is more valuable.

Following its work in the back office and on the floor, AI significantly enhances efficiency out the door and on the road as well. As materials are routed through the facility and headed out for delivery, AI oversees load movement to ensure the optimal handling of goods. The results demonstrate that more time is saved and operational costs are reduced, which means less fuel is consumed and each delivery is more efficient.

2: Increased Safety and Ergonomics

A production site that uses AI to analyze its data is consistently shown to have a safer and more comfortable working environment. For example, AI-powered systems excel in identifying potential safety hazards, using predictive analytics to foresee any possible problems and suggesting ways to mitigate the risk of workplace accidents.

While safety is a top concern, the physical comfort of each employee is also important to create a healthier workforce, reduce strain, and increase productivity. To that end, AI assists in crafting a more ergonomic work environment, such as creating assessments that offer concrete ideas on redesigning individual workstations to minimize the risk of injury. For the company that takes such a proactive approach, the result is an industry that increases its protection of its employees while simultaneously decreasing any financial burden that occurs in case of an accident.

3: Improved Decision Making and Predictive Analytics

Back in the office, AI assists decision-makers by sifting through and analyzing vast amounts of data from various sources. As managers gain access to actionable insights at their fingertips, their decision-making process is strengthened, enhancing their operational strategies and ensuring that their organization maintains its competitive advantage.

Additionally, AI-enabled predictive maintenance assists workers out on the floor to foresee equipment failures before they even occur. This allows for timely maintenance scheduling, reducing unplanned downtime and extending critical machinery’s lifespan like conveyors and automation systems.

4: Personalization and Customer Satisfaction

AI tools play a critical role in providing personalized insight and improving customer service in real-time. Online tracking devices offer accurate and up-to-date details about inventory levels, order statuses, and delivery schedules, which enhances the customer experience. Meanwhile, AI-powered chatbots offer additional support with updates, improving customer engagement online.

AI also enables each company to create personalized material handling solutions for each customer according to their specific needs and preferences. This level of customization improves operational efficiency and client satisfaction. For instance, an e-commerce store that introduces AI into its order fulfillment process not only streamlines overall production but also boosts its overall customer happiness.

Take the Next Step with an Expert Conveyor Company

Integrating AI into your material handling operations offers significant benefits, from improving efficiency and safety on the floor to enhancing the decision-making process in the back office. As the industry continues to evolve to meet increasing demands, adopting AI technologies is not just an option but a necessity for businesses aiming to stay ahead of the competition and meet the demands of a rapidly changing market.

Elevate your material handling operations by collaborating with the Power Pack Conveyor Company. Our team is dedicated to ensuring each conveyor is meticulously customized to meet the specific needs of our clients. This approach guarantees enhanced productivity, reduced costs, and an improved bottom line for your business.



About the Author

Dan Farrar is the CEO of Power Pack Conveyor Company, a pioneering industrial conveyor manufacturer since 1929. Power Pack Conveyor Company specializes in designing, engineering, and manufacturing conveyors, conveyor components, and turn-key systems for OEMs, System Integrators, and Distributors.

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