The pandemic pushed automation ahead of where we expected it to be, seeing increased use of AI and machine learning in a range of industries. One area in which it’s being especially successful is grocery stores. Especially grocery delivery.
It was widely believed that groceries would be the last holdout for ecommerce. Grocery delivery was the norm at the beginning of the 20th century, ut a 100 years later the difficulties seemed monumental. Holding food at the right temperatures when different foods need different temperatures is a challenge. Using human shoppers and drivers can be costly. Consumers resist paying for shipping and handling.
Then came the pandemic.
Consumers asked down on a lot of these issues when the alternative was taking a chance on the virus, or the people driven to violence by the virus. Robots turned up in grocery store aisles and began packing in warehouses. They cleaned and restocked and checked shelves.
And they delivered. Demand for delivery increased by 380%.
Kroger is investing heavily in robots. Not just in stores — at least in Florida Kroger is using robots instead of stores. Instead of opening brick and mortar stores in the Sunshine State, Kroger has opened automated warehouses and is delivering groceries directly from those facilities. Kroger has special trucks with cold areas, and drones that deliver special “bundles” for specific purposes, from coping with headaches to aging cupcakes.
HyVee uses in-store bots to track stock accurately in spite of staff shortages. Retailers, like the hospitality industry, are facing severe labor shortages. Human workers can’t keep up with all the tasks that need doing, so automation is coming to the rescue.
Your Indramat components
Indramat motion control systems have seen a lot in their time. Most Indramat machinery that is still out in the field predates AI, machine learning, autonomous vehicles, and of course the pandemic. But a lot of those drives, controls, and servo motors are still working just fine.
When you need factory repair or reman for your Indramat motion control systems, we’re here to help. As Indramat specialists, we can get you back up and running fast.