August 20, 2021
Global technology market advisory firm ABI Robotics has predicted that commercial robot revenue in warehouses will have a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 23% from 2021 to 2030, with revenues exceeding $51 billion by 2030. The growth rate is driven by autonomous, collaborative and mobile robots, along with augmented reality powered smart glasses and handheld devices, the firm said.
“Mobile robots are at the heart of the warehouse robotics market and account for most shipments and revenue,” said Adhish Luitel, industry analyst for supply chain management and logistics at ABI Research. “These robots, made up of autonomous guided vehicles (AGVs) and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) are being used to move goods within the warehouse and being integrated within wider automated or manual workflows.”
The firm added that robotics has moved from the early exploration phase to a more mature market, in which early adopters are benefitting from live implementations of fully capable technical solutions. Several vendors, such as Advantech, Brochesia, Kontakt.io, and RightHand Robotics are offering compelling products and solutions, the company said. In its report, ABI Research assessed fulfillment and warehousing processes of operators such as Penske, A. Duie Pyle, Amazon, and JD.com to evaluate “the efficacy of deploying solutions and friction points that might arise.” ABI said these companies have been reaping benefits such as shorter dock-to-stock cycles, and improved inventory accuracy because of the successful deployment of automation and vision-based solutions in day-to-day operations.
“In addition to robots, warehouse operators should be seeking to combine the value of multiple solutions across the fulfillment workflow to achieve desired results,” said Luitel. “There is also a need for operators to look beyond productivity and assess how technologies affect worker satisfaction and safety, worker comfort, energy consumption, distance traveled, and error rates.”
As an example, ABI said “Pick-by-vision” systems from AR vendors such as Picavi require only a 15-minute training time, and can boast up to 30% efficiency gains and up to 60% in time savings for training. Order storage and automated order dispenser solutions from Alert Innovation, are able to help grocery retailers enhance an ROI by more than 50% versus traditional automated picking systems, said ABI Research.
“We can also expect intelligent automation solutions to influence processes across the supply chain,” said Luitel. “In the future, operators will be venturing further into solutions such as robotic process automation (RPA) and mobile warehousing.”
The findings are from ABI Research’s Modern Fulfillment Trends: Warehouse Robotics, Handheld Devices and Wearables technology analysis report, which is part of the company’s Supply Chain Management & Logistics research service.