A SMART factory has a SMART warehouse

The year 2020 will be marked as a decade of faster progression of Indian industries to industry 4.0.  Industry 4.0 revolution has given birth to the concept of smart factory where all processes are digitalised and production facilities are well connected. Because of the connected environment and automation in manufacturing and other ancillary equipments, it leads to continuous improvement in  processes and we get much optimized operations. While we all recognise the need, importance and high relevance of concept of Smart factory in this industry 4.0 era, one should never forget that warehouses are going to take the frontier role when it comes to certifying a factory as Smart factory.

The word ‘SMART’ for a factory can, therefore,  be expanded to-

S-ystematic production

M-easurable Processes

A-daptable to flexible production schedules

R-eal time visibility and control on the manufacturing processes

T-echnology supported systems

While the products can be produced fast with optimized processes in an modern automated factory, the revenue of the organization will not go up if last mile delivery system is not efficient and is not able to support the business growth plans. While logistic and supply chain experts are continuously exploring ways and means to improve on the last mile delivery time, the beginning of this actually happens with improvement in first mile delivery time which, in the context of warehouse intralogistics, are movement of FG, RM, PM, WIP between production, storage area and dock area and despatch and receipt throughputs with zero error and damages.

Activities and actions in a Smart warehouse are designed to achieve much faster and error free flow of materials and man-machine movements while maintaining full visibility and control on the same. While dealing with technology, digitalization and automation in industry 4.0 era, the warehouse custodian must not overlook the very basic but highly critical fundamentals of an efficient floor layout which can make or break your smart warehouse initiatives.

From above, we derive a conclusion that a smart factory is smart in most sensible meaning when it has a smart warehouse where the word ‘SMART’ can be expanded to-

S-ystematic storage and retrieval,

M-easurable KPIs

A-daptable to agile and flexible supply chain

R-eal time visibility and control on the inventory

T-echnology supported systems


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