Automation Shaping The Future of Logistic in Asia

The Asia Pacific automated material handling market is projected to expand at a CAGR of 10% during the forecast period. Material handling involves short-distance movement within the confines of a building or between a building and a transportation vehicle. It consists of a wide range of equipment like manual, semi-automated, and automated equipment. Material handling is used for creating time and place utility through handling, storage, and control of materials as distinct from manufacturing, which creates form utility by changing the shape, form, and makeup material.

Automated material handling refers to any automation that reduces or eliminates the need for humans to check-in, check-out, sorting material, or to move materials from one place to another. Automated handling equipment is economically feasible, reduces or manual handling of materials. Most existing materials handling equipment are semi-automated as they are controlled by the human operator to carry out operations.

Asia Pacific (APAC) Automated Material Handling Market is segmented by product, industrial vertical, and by geography. Segmentation by product is done in automated guided vehicles (towing vehicles, unit load vehicles, pallet trucks, fork trucks, hybrid vehicles, light load, assembly line vehicles, custom AGVs, and others) and automated storage and retrieval systems (unit load, mini load, horizontal carousels, vertical carousels, robotic RS/AS, and others).  The automated storage and retrieval system segment to dominate the Asia Pacific market in the forecast period and automated guided vehicles segment to see a rise in the market.

The manufacturing sector does have a major part in increasing the growth of automated handling market due to its various applications. The healthcare industry to have a rise in demand for automated material handling equipment due to anincreasing population and an increasing number of people suffering from chronic diseases. Rising disposable income and improving lifestyle is driving the demand for packaged food and beverage products.  The E-Commerce industry is experiencing a high growth rate worldwide especially in the Asia Pacific region. This is due to rising smartphone penetration and changing customer preferences. It is impacting the logistics industry and in turn, will create demand for material handling solutions for automation and business process efficiency.

Benefits of automated material handling equipment’s and systems are: –

·         Improved Quality Control

Automated material equipment will provide better control over the quality of products. Advance technology will help in the more accurate inspection as machine vision will be able to catch more errors and will help in cutting waste. Increase efficiency will lead toa reduction of default material and in saving from rework.

·         Better Workplace Safety

Companies are implementing automated pallet trucks and robots for picking totes. This will help in improving safety and reducing the time in completing critical tasks. Advanced sensors have made automated material handling extremely safe and sure-footed. Manufacturers are developing guided vehicles with laser and vision sensors for a more robust view.

·         Greater Production and Flexibility 

Automated materials help in carrying out operations with greater flexibility. They can move more amount of product at a given time. Supply chain and logistics managers issue commands to automated guided vehicles and makes adjustments to other connected machines from the control room, making it more flexible and efficient. It helps in switching over from one process to another easy and without any extra efforts.

·         Increasing Efficiency

Automated material helps in increasing the efficiency of production. Moving materials automatically between each stage andstation or among two different buildings without manual labour is more time saving, safe, and cost-efficient.

·         Better Access to data

Automation material has helped in collecting data in real-time. Before it was difficult to find the bottleneck in production or where the problem or error is happening. The connected automated system has provided data about every process carrying out in a factory in one single place. The connected system helps in adjusting product flow based on surrounding conditions, including maintenance items, helping in machines and workers to work accordingly. It helps in using the information to plan ahead according to the changes and delays in the process.

·         Increase in Skilled Jobs

The automated material market will create jobs for people with higher skills, for those who can control these machines. Automation is a complement to human effort and companies that navigate the transition to selective automation. Automation will help employees to move in higher-paying roles, high-value and end-up leaving the repetitive tasks to automated equipment.

Urbanization and industrialization are creating demand for automated material handling market. The growing construction and manufacturing sector in the Asia Pacific region is increasing the use of automated material handling market due to cost reduction, increase in efficiency, and safety of workers. India to witness the fastest growth among Asia Pacific countries due to the rise in disposable income, increasing manufacturing activities, growing infrastructure, urbanization, and industrialization. Japan will have a rise in demand for automated material handling in the healthcare sector because of the booming aging population. Japan has the highest percentage of people above 60 and above. Thereby increasing the demand for effective and innovative medical device packaging that will further increase demand for automated material handling tools by packaging manufacturers. The manufacturing sector in Japan does contribute significantly tothe automated material handling market. China is the world’s fastest-growing economy and has a manufacturing sector.Being one of the largest manufacturers in the world, China will require automated material handling tools in huge quantities to sustain its business in a competitive world.

The automated material handling industry in the Asia Pacific region needs to focus on the sustainability of their products, owing to growing environmental sustainability issues and corresponding stringent laws and regulations in the region. Investments in research and development for producing energy-efficient and environmental friendly automated material handling products. Need to provide proper training sessions to enhance employee’s skills and consciousness to handle machines and equipment.