Monday, May 15, 2017

Keeping Up-to-Date with the Latest Trends in Material Handling

Material handling equipment represents an integral part of the supply chain of diverse industries for storage, control and movement of items, from the raw material stage to the distribution of finished products. The rising need for global production companies to automate operations, and foster flow of goods in an efficient manner is the key force driving growth in the material handling equipment market. According to a report from Global Industry Analysts, the global market for material handling equipment is projected to reach $134.8 billion by 2020, driven by the growing emphasis on production automation.

As technology continues to evolve in leaps and bounds, the integration of some of the latest tech is becoming a major part of our everyday lives. In the material handling industry, there is a constant push to be faster, more accurate, and more efficient.

Wearable Technology

While not a new idea in material handling, the evolution of wearable tech in recent years now allows the worker and warehouse to be more agile and functional than ever before. Wearable computers and headsets for voice picking have been in use for decades. However, the next-generation wearables, including smart watches and smart glasses, offer even greater agility.

Instead of a worker needing to scan material using a wrist or hand scanner, the glasses could scan a barcode when the worker looks at it, removing steps from the process. They can also be used to display items and quantities needed, removing the need for checklists while at the same time scanning items picked to ensure they are the correct item. Smart watches could talk to RFID tags in pallets, logging what is being moved. Instead of a worker needing multiple devices, these watches and glasses also incorporate microphones and earpieces, allowing the user to communicate or receive verbal communications while on the move.

The Internet of Things

Visibility and trackability has always been an area where retailers have aimed to improve, and as the Internet of Things grows, it provides incredible promise as far as improving these aspects. RFID tags allow improved tracking and monitoring, as well as improving the efficiency of picking and packing at the warehouse level. Real-time data can be analyzed to improve operations on the fly, instead of waiting for reports and summaries later.

We invite you to look at these and other trends, and to take in the latest in packaging and processing technology for Latin America and the world at Expo Pack Guadalajara 2017, running from June 13 through June 15. One of the largest expos of its kind, it will feature manufacturers focused on the material handling industry from around the world. Our team from PEER Bearing will be in attendance as well – come visit us at Booth 2530!

One of the major industries we serve at PEER Bearing is the material handling industry, producing ball and roller bearing systems that are reliable, efficient, and adaptable. Contact us to see how we can help meet your material handling needs, and make sure to connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter to stay up to date with the latest goings-on.