Sort Out Simple Tasks with E Tech: A Material Handling Automation Partner

With the e-commerce boom and the rapid rise of direct-to-consumer platforms, it is more important than ever for manufacturers to stay competitive. And to stay competitive in this market, manufacturers, packers and distributors require automation solutions that optimize use of their human resources, as well as their ability to adapt and scale.

E Tech Group, a material handling automation company, understands this ever-present need for leading-edge process control solutions, especially as they apply to parcel hubs, distribution centers and the like. But what, exactly, do those control solutions entail? And what tangible value do they offer?

What is Material Handling Automation?

The term “material handling” refers to moving materials or products within a facility or warehouse. Material handling processes are simple, but they’re repetitive, making them prone to human error. These encompass a number of processes in the manufacturing and distribution industries, including:

  • Counting
  • Labeling and packaging
  • Loading and unloading
  • Palletizing
  • Recycling/disposal
  • Retrieval
  • Storage
  • Sorting

Automation Equipment for Simple Tasks

The processes involved in handling materials within a facility do not require complex thinking, problem solving, or skilled handling. This presents an opportunity, should technology rise to the occasion, to transition handling and distribution tasks to machine labor. Some examples of the robotics equipment we employ to automate repetitive processes include:

  • Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) – self-driven vehicles/equipment that can move around a facility without human intervention
  • Automated Storage & Retrieval Systems (AS/AR) – use robots to store and retrieve materials from high-rise racks and efficiently reach locations in large facilities
  • Autonomous Robots – robots that can perform tasks without human intervention, such as counting, sorting, picking, etc
  • Conveyors – belts that move products along a certain path
  • Palletizers – automatically pack things into pallets
  • Sorters – automatically separate things into different groups

Control System Software for Material Handling

The right control system design is the key to making the most of your robotics and automation hardware. Since material handling tasks are tedious and error-prone, automating and accurately configuring these mechanized systems can slash task completion times, error and procedural defects.

Material handling automation solutions include:

  • AI and machine learning
  • DCS
  • IIoT
  • Manufacturing execution system (MES)
  • Motion control system (MCS)
  • PLC
  • Warehouse management system (WMS)

As an integrator with extensive domain expertise in material handling and industrial distribution, E Tech Group is adept at working closely with our clients to create custom control systems that optimize your automated processes. To accomplish this, we leverage software from the most innovative and trusted names in industrial automation, including:

  • Rockwell (PlantPAx) and Allen Bradley
  • AVEVA (OSIsoft)
  • Emerson (DeltaV)
  • GE
  • Inductive Automation (Ignition)
  • Siemens
  • AVEVA Wonderware
  • Schneider

Benefits of Automating Repetitive Tasks

There are myriad ways that choosing to upgrade your automation system to integrate new processes adds value to your operations, both ones your bottom line will see immediately and ones that will strengthen your capabilities long-term:

·      Increased efficiency

Automated material handling systems move materials more quickly and accurately than manual systems. This can lead to faster production times, throughput and reduced costs.

·      Reduced labor costs

Automated systems can free up human workers to perform complex tasks like quality control or customer service. This can help to reduce labor costs and curb the effects of the labor shortage on your company.

·      Improved safety

Automated systems can help to reduce the risk of accidents, such as those caused by lifting heavy objects or working in hazardous environments. This can help to improve workplace safety.

·      Increased flexibility

Automated systems can be easily adapted to changes in the production process. This can help to improve production flexibility and allow for scalability without a full retrofit at each new stage of growth.

·      Improved traceability

Automated systems can help to track the movement of materials throughout the supply chain. This can help to improve supply chain visibility, making it easier to locate bottlenecks or isolated process errors.

·      Increased security

Automated material handling systems contain robust security features that ensure the integrity of your network. This can lead to less network breaches and associated risks.

E Tech Group: Future-Proofing Your Workforce with Automation for Material Handling

E Tech Group works across industries to help companies automate tasks that robots and AI can how handle. One of the largest control system integrators in the US, E Tech Group serves clients across North America with material handling automation solutions, including palletizing, sorting, retrieving, counting, packaging, and more.

From distribution centers to pharmaceutical research facilities to OEM automotive factories, the value of automating simple processes can simply not be understated. Take advantage of current technology and stay poised for future advances with E Tech Group’s robust, flexible and scalable automation systems.