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Automation in FMCG: Preparing for a Sustainable Supply Chain

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The Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry, often referred to as Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG), is known for its fierce competition and rapid pace. Predictably, the global FMCG market is projected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 5.03% during the forecast period, reaching a staggering USD 15,207,825.5 million by 2028.


In this cutthroat landscape, manufacturers are constantly seeking ways to gain a competitive edge. One proven strategy is the automation of their operations. Automation offers numerous advantages, such as enhanced efficiency, reduced costs, and improved customer service. By integrating automated systems into their retail operations, businesses can streamline processes, resulting in quicker turnaround times and superior outcomes.


The long-term demand for automation in FMCG is expected to be fueled by Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) and Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs). These technologies are set to revolutionize the industry.


Why Does the FMCG Industry Need Logistics Automation?


Enhanced Supply Chain Efficiency

AGVs and AMRs have already demonstrated their ability to increase picking productivity by 50% and cut operational costs by 30%. These benefits are driving more companies towards automation to maintain their competitive edge. Furthermore, automation helps eliminate errors often associated with manual labor. The collaboration between robots and humans allows a high-standard safety guarantee. By automating operations like picking, packing, and sorting, manufacturers can reduce human errors while enhancing overall process efficiency.


Greater Transparency in Supply Chain Management

Automated systems provide real-time visibility into the supply chain, enabling businesses to make swift decisions concerning stock replenishment and inventory management. Additionally, automation enhances safety and security in manufacturing and warehousing, contributing to environmental sustainability by reducing energy consumption and waste production. All in all, automation is a crucial tool for FMCG retailers to stay ahead of the competition.


Improved Flexibility

Automation of infrastructure improves overall supply chain flexibility. It equips businesses to better handle fluctuations in demand by enabling swift adjustments to production processes. This increased adaptability allows for quicker responses to market fluctuations.


Key Applications in FMCG Automation


Tugging Applications

Tugging applications, akin to production's "milk runs," involve repetitive tasks that often rely on manual operations to transport goods within different areas. Automation with AGVs, such as tugger trucks, optimizes material delivery safely and continuously.


Integration with Conveyors for Picking/Dropping

Today's AGVs seamlessly integrate into existing operations, interfacing with conveyors to pick and drop pallets utilizing 3D SLAM Laser technology. This collaborative approach streamlines workflow and blends with current operations, making robotic trucks an attractive option for warehouses.


Storage and Retrieval from High Racks

Storage of materials or pallets on high racks, traditionally reliant on operator expertise, can be automated with AGVs. This shift allows operators to focus on higher-value tasks while optimizing rack space efficiently to meet growing demands with an uptime of 98%.


Empty Pallet Retrieval

The task of bringing back empty pallets, a low-value-added operation, often consumes operator time. Automation through AGVs enables the transfer of loads to different stations and the efficient retrieval of empty pallets.


AGVs x AMRs Collaboration

Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) enhance conventional AGVs by adding intelligence, guidance, and sensory awareness. This enables them to operate autonomously and collaboratively alongside humans. Integrating AGVs and AMRs paves the way for end-to-end warehouse automation, from replenishment to picking. It also provides operational flexibility, enabling rapid adaptation to varying workflows based on changing conditions.


In conclusion, the FMCG industry's relentless competition and dynamic nature make automation an imperative. AGVs and AMRs are leading the charge towards a more efficient, transparent, and flexible supply chain, ensuring that FMCG retailers stay ahead in the game.



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