QUESTION: What is a 'black warehouse'?
Director & General Manager Andrew Noble explains
A black warehouse is a relatively new term being used to describe a fully automated warehouse. The use of robotics and picking technology has led to narrow racking aisles and the creation of ‘Black Warehouses’ which are 30m+ tall and predominantly dark and unoccupied.
The adoption of learning algorithms within the warehouse management software is further improving speed and accuracy of picking. Full Robotic intervention has been most successful where entire pallet picking is required. A human workforce has always had an advantage over robots where reasoning is required to identify an individual SKU from a pallet or picking space, determine how to grasp it and maintain appropriate pressure without damaging the packaging or the contents. However, that advantage gap is fast diminishing as robots learn to not only teach themselves the quickest receive or dispatch configuration, they can also learn dexterity and differentiate between SKUs to pick an individual product.