Use cases for Hyper Automation
Yeah you are right. RFID itself did not have its way strong enough into global distribution systems. Automated data capture has a long way to go in some of the more modern DCs of leading global players. Thus the case for IOT should be ruled out early on.
Not really. Primary concerns around RFID systems include cost factors, issues with integration, lack of substantial business case outside fraud detection and tracking. However, the case of IOT is altogether different. Imagine the intelligent bin that provides real time inventory updates with each pick. Some of the leading airlines experimented with ‘smart ULDs’ (eg., DyCoNet) way back in 2011. If used intelligently, lost baggage would be a theme of the past. Cellular transport systems replacing ASRS may not be a long call if the technological advances are leveraged the right way. However the question is the utility of such cellular transport systems involving multi-million packages in the express logistics industry. Yes that could be a long shot if they were to be used as stand alone. Imagine an optimum combination of standard sortation systems and cellular / bot based units for a typical thanksgiving peak in any major DC across US. It has a potential to reduce the peak load man power needs substantially.
While advanced human-machine interfaces (example usage of google glass for order picking) have limited real time usability in large scale ware house operations, early success was seen in leveraging swarm algorithms for bot based DC operations for order picking.
It is interesting to see how IOT changes the world of distribution.