A lot has changed since the last MODEX event in 2020, yet much has stayed the same. Automation in material handling has become more important than ever with rising labor costs in conjunction with labor scarcity. Here are three key takeaways from MODEX 2022.
More companies than ever are making and selling automated material handling equipment.
A client that is just stepping into the world of automation will have to avoid many pitfalls when starting the process of choosing an automation partner. With so many options available, make sure you find a solution that fits your operational needs. Consider the following:
- Vehicle maintenance and local support
- Ease of installation and change
- Software fees
- Product reliability
Not all robotic offerings have iterated over the last few years.
One of the things to note at the show, many of the robotic offerings have not had changes over the last few years. Some products still require wire or tape guidance or other facility infrastructure to navigate, while other require additional middleware to interact with Warehouse Execution System (WES) or other Warehouse Management Systems (WMS.)
When investigating a potential automation partner ask about their product and software roadmap. Any robotics company that is not committed to working on improving their product offering and software reliability should raise a red flag. Look for an automation partner that is willing to investigate adaptions to their software/hardware to meet your future requirements.
The Return-on-Investment conversation is better that ever for a robotic solution.
While inflation and cost of materials has increased the investment level for AMRs or AGVs over the last few years, it has increase less sharply than overall labor and personnel turnover costs. If you’ve investigated automation in the last few years and found that the project didn’t warrant the investment, it may be time to re-consider because of the following:
- Increased fully burdened labor costs. On average you’re seeing a 30-40% increase in fully burdened costs over the last few years.
- HR costs of finding, hiring, onboarding, and training new employees in a constantly shrinking labor pool.
- Loss of productivity of new hires and the loss of time overseeing new hires from a management point of view.
- Loss of productivity of not having a fully staffed team over the long term – always playing catch-up.
If you are interested in learning more about robotic solutions from ELT Systems Group, please contact us for your available options. Free consultation and potentially a robotic demo at your facility may be available.
Contact the systems group or Jason Dodge directly for further information and to get started on your project today.
Automation Manager | Systems Division
Eastern Lift Truck Co., Inc.
Cell: (609) 605-1043