3 Trends We’re Expecting to See at ProMat 2019

ProMat 2019, the world’s biggest supply chain, manufacturing, and distribution trade show is coming up on April 8-11 at Chicago’s McCormick Place, and many attendees are already gearing up to see the latest innovations and technologies there.

Our team at Supply Chain Services will be attending the show to network with customers and check out some of the latest developments, and we’re particularly excited about three big trends we’re expecting to see at this year’s show.

 

1. The Android Effect

The entire mobile computing world has been changing, as device manufacturers, app developers, and end users have been switching to Android as their new OS of choice.

With Microsoft’s Windows Embedded operating systems reaching their end of life and Microsoft largely exiting the enterprise mobile space, Android-based mobile computers and app solutions are now driving the future of productivity.

Our partners at Zebra Technologies have already developed over 20 Android mobile computing devices in recent years, and they’ll be on hand at ProMat 2019, demonstrating their latest technologies.

These include the groundbreaking TC8000 touch computer, a dual-purpose Android device that provides tilt-free barcode scanning and touch mobile computing. This breakthrough device has increased warehouse worker productivity by 14% per worker per shift in controlled tests.

Zebra will also be showcasing its TC52 and TC57 rugged enterprise touch computers. Styled like a consumer smartphone but built for rugged durability, the TC52/TC57 Series combines Android simplicity with a 5-inch touchscreen display that’s easy to read in direct sunlight, plus Wi-Fi and 4G connectivity options, video and image capture, and built-in scanning for barcodes, labels, and documents.

 

2. Wearable Technologies

Another major trend in distribution and fulfillment is the move to wearable devices and voice-directed picking, packing, and shipping solutions.

By combining intelligent software with multi-modal hardware technologies such as mobile computers, barcode scanners, and headsets, developers are simplifying the entire process of picking, packing, and shipping products.

Wearable solutions provide audio cues as well as on-screen visual instructions to direct pickers along the most efficient paths to warehouse locations, significantly speeding up picking processes.

Correct picks are verified with a quick barcode scan using a ring-style scanner, so workers’ hands are kept free to handle inventory throughout the process. Everything is streamlined to minimize required walking and ensure picking accuracy.

 

3. Autonomous Robots

Robotics have been a hot topic recently as labor markets tighten and consumer demand increases. There are a number of autonomous mobile robot (AMR) solutions on display at ProMat this year that can increase fulfillment productivity up to 300%.

AMRs are the latest innovation in warehousing robotics, but it’s not designed to replace human labor. It’s designed to work in tandem with warehouse workers to improve picking productivity, reduce costs, and increase flexibility in responding to customer demands.

We see robotics playing a large part at ProMat this year, especially from our partners Locus Robotics and Fetch Robotics. Both are gearing up to have impressive booths to showcase their unique solutions for fulfillment organizations.

 

We’re looking forward to checking out the latest developments in all three of these trends at ProMat 2019, but if you’d like to get a sneak preview, contact our team at Supply Chain Services now.

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