IoT and Inventory
IoT devices can be used to manage inventory in a variety of ways. RFID tags and readers are one method for tracking inventory levels and location. This technology can be used to provide automated inventory tracking and management in real time. Other IoT solutions include using sensors to monitor temperature and humidity levels. Also, the use of connected scales and other weighing devices can assist in providing more accurate inventory counts. Below are some more examples of IOT devices to move your facility into Industry 4.0
By providing a quick, automated way to transport goods from one location to another, automated guided vehicles (AGVs) can help to improve the flow of goods throughout a distribution center. AGVs can be programmed to follow a specific path and can be used to quickly and efficiently move pallets, containers, and other items. AGVs can also be used in real-time inventory identification and storage, allowing for more accurate tracking and management. Furthermore, by providing a more efficient way to move goods throughout the facility, AGVs can help to reduce human labor costs.
In a distribution center, robots can assist with product picking and stacking in a variety of ways. Robots, for example, can be used to pick items off shelves, scan them, and place them in containers. Robots can also sort and stack items like boxes and pallets, as well as move them from one location to another. Furthermore, robots can be programmed to perform more complex tasks such as item packing and labeling, as well as inventory tracking and management.
By providing a unique identifier for each item, barcodes are used to manage inventory. Items can be scanned with barcode scanners and tracked as they move through the supply chain. This enables businesses to keep track of inventory levels in order to determine when to order more products and when to restock shelves. Barcodes can also be used to track product expiration dates, ensuring that customers are not sold out of stock items. Furthermore, barcodes can be used to connect inventory data with customer information, giving businesses a more detailed picture of how their products are being used.
Vision systems can help manage inventory in a distribution center by providing automated, real-time inventory tracking and management. Cameras are used in vision systems to identify items and track their location, allowing for more accurate inventory counts. Vision systems can also be used to detect flaws or errors in a product line, ensuring quality control. They can also be used to detect any irregularities or discrepancies in product packaging, as well as to identify and track expiration dates. Finally, vision systems can be used to monitor the flow of goods throughout a distribution center, allowing businesses to better manage product movement.
Algorithms and Inventory
Inventory tracking algorithms, sorting algorithms, and shipping algorithms are the most common algorithms used to track, order, and ship inventory from a distribution center. Inventory tracking algorithms monitor and manage product stock levels in the distribution center. These algorithms also determine when new products must be ordered and when existing products must be reordered. First in, first out (FIFO) and Last in, First Out (LIFO) are the two most common inventory tracking algorithms (LIFO). FIFO tracks inventory that is received and sold in chronological order, whereas LIFO tracks inventory that is received and sold in reverse chronological order. Average Cost, Specific Identification, and Periodic are some other common inventory tracking algorithms. Specific Identification tracks inventory based on specific attributes such as serial numbers, whereas Average Cost values inventory based on the average cost of items purchased. Periodic inventory is tracked at regular intervals, such as the beginning and end of the month.