A plethora of cutting-edge innovations and technologies are continuously being unveiled in the developing field of logistics and supply chain management with the goal of streamlining costs, improving productivity, and optimising operations. One of these novel ideas is the intriguing idea of “dark warehouses.”
Dark warehouses, also known as dark factories, symbolize a future where robotic systems shoulder most tasks, guided by advanced automated warehouse control systems that manage the entire operation. The term “dark” symbolizes the noticeable dearth of human involvement in these state-of-the-art facilities.
What are Dark Warehouses and how do they work?
Dark Warehouse are designed to be fully automated, using advanced technologies such as robotics and guiding software for accurate order fulfilment. These technologies allow the warehouse to operate without human intervention, reducing costs and increasing efficiency.
There may be minimal human intervention in lights-out warehouses when it comes to more complex processes, such as goods receipt and the packaging and labelling phase, but most of the installation is automated and remains dark.
Advantages of Dark Warehouses
1. Increased Efficiency
With the help of advanced technologies to perform tasks quickly and accurately, dark warehouses are designed to be highly efficient. Because everything is automated, there is no need for human workers to move products around the warehouse, reducing the time it takes to complete tasks and increasing overall efficiency.
2. Reduced Labour cost
Dark warehouse operation needs little or no human intervention. This reduces labour costs, as there is no need to hire workers to move inventory.
3. Inventory management
The dark warehouse layout powered by best-in-class software suite prioritises storage and self-pickup options, which greatly optimises SKU management, particularly for retailers that manage large SKUs.
4. Improved Safety
Unlike the traditional Warehouse set up, dark warehouse operates with minimal human intervention, reduces the risk of accidents and injuries.
5. Dark Warehouse Solutions
Behind setting up a fully automated warehouse – lies the combinations of highly efficient solutions. These includes AMRs for material movement, dense racking for storage and software to manage the inventory flow within the warehouse. In Addverb, we combine technical expertise and our hardware solutions moving towards dark warehouse.
To setup your warehouse Automation solution – Talk to us.
Setting up a Dark warehouse? This is what you need –
- Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems for improved space utilisation – Arranging items and using vertical storage systems helps warehouses store more goods. Item grouping and shelving are crucial in warehouses and distribution centres to operate efficiently.
- High-speed sorting robots – The sorting robots move goods and materials to different locations within the warehouse. They operate independent of human control; they need human help only to tend to the placement of objects on the inbound end or to monitor the reject lane and other output locations.
- Series of Autonomous mobile robots guided by intelligent software – These robots can move boxes and pallets in a busy warehouse all by themselves, thanks to wireless commands from a computer system and laser-guided eyes that help them find their way.
Dark Warehouse – an ultimate milestone?
Dark warehousing, also considered as an ultimate solution for optimizing industry operations and output, has never been adopted to the fullest. Dark warehouses pose a significant drawback in terms of substantial initial investments. Unlike ongoing labour expenses, which accumulate gradually, full automation of a warehouse demands substantial upfront capital that may be challenging for some companies to rationalize. Additionally, the simplicity of dark warehouses is limited, as the automation cost escalates with process complexity.
Using more automation in warehouses is a positive step towards improving efficiency, and whether warehouses will eventually be completely dark is a question for the future.