Articles

Robotics Companies. You Got Funded by a VC Investor. Now What? Advice from an Industry Veteran.

VC-funded mobile robotics upstarts --- you struck the lottery!!! Now what are you going to do with the money? Flashy new offices? Big splash at a trade show? Double-down on your AI initiatives? Hold up. If you want to create shareholder value, you need to create customer value. That means solving customer problems. Flashy offices and trade show booths are a distraction. Let’s explore what it takes to be successful in the world of industrial automation. Shall we?

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Emerging Technology Profile: NanoFulfillment

Consumer expectations for immediate gratification continues to drive growth in ecommerce fulfillment. Neighborhood stores with limited selection are rapidly giving way to retailers focused on direct home delivery with an increasing array of selection. Retailers are presented with challenges of moving fulfillment closer to the customer, providing selection and demand intelligence to avoid stock-outs, while increasing efficiency and an adaptable supply chain.

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Emerging Technology Profile: SOKUL Automation

SOKUL Automation has developed a mobile-robot based automated storage and retrieval system for goods-to-person picking, based on off-the-shelf components. They have a novel approach to equipment design that prioritizes simplicity. SOKUL has designed the system using standard shelves, totes, extractors, and carriers, at a price-point that defies (destroys) industry norms. If you are in the market for a flexible goods-to-person picking system, SOKUL deserves consideration.

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Emerging Technology Profile: On-Demand Carton (ODC)

Ecommerce retailers ship billions of cardboard boxes and pouches every year. It is a $67 billion industry in the USA alone. Almost universally, cartons are much larger than required and are produced far from point of use by 3rd party suppliers. It is both unsustainable and wasteful. Corrugated carton production is an industry ripe for disruption! The right size box, manufactured on-demand, directly at point of use, from sustainable materials, is the future. The technology to enable this revolution is available now.

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Warehouse Automation Requires Adaptability

Advanced warehouse automation technology exceeds the ability of all but the most sophisticated users to adapt it into their operations. Over the last few years, there have been numerous advances in robotic equipment, sensors, vision, algorithms, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. Complex technology that enables equipment and systems that are stronger, faster, and smarter than their predecessors.

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How to find a great job when you already have one. Discretely.

It is an unfortunate truth that the best time to find a new job is when you already have one. For talented engineering, robotics, and supply chain experts ready to explore their career options, but not wanting a recruiting firm trotting their name about the industry, there is a better way.

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5 Challenges of Micro-Fulfillment and How to Rethink Grocery Retail

Micro-fulfillment is the hot topic for e-commerce. Nearly every major warehouse automation supplier markets a micro-fulfillment solution. VC backed startups are entering the robotics space at an unprecedented pace, investing unfathomable amounts in the hopes of carving out a share of the market. The rapid rise of e-commerce and e-grocery is driving activity and investment. This article will explore the challenges to be solved by grocery micro-fulfillment systems if they are deployed at scale.

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Automation Suppliers and Industry Tools Integral to Industry 4.0

Esoteric matches specialized robotics, engineering, and supply chain talent with the needs of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. We do that by collecting detailed skilled information about the Experts on our platform. Information is collected across several categories, including: engineering capabilities, engineering tools, supply chain experience, industry vertical experience, information systems experience, robotics systems experience, and manufacturer experience.

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Venture Capital & Mobile Robotics: Bad Investment?

Warehouse automation, including automatic guided vehicles (AGVs) and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) is a hot market for VC investment. In 2020, the top 15 companies in terms of VC funding received investments totaling $888 million USD. These companies represent either the next dot.com bubble or an entry point to the Fourth Industrial Revolution that you don’t want to miss.

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Automation is a Journey. 3 Suggestions to Enjoy the Ride.

Industrial automation systems for warehousing and distribution are on the rise. They offer benefits such as: increased density, reduced labor costs, improved ergonomics and safety, increased rates of order fulfillment, and a host of other benefits. Large scale projects that make the largest impact are not for the faint of heart. The following are three suggestions to help you enjoy the ride (without wiping out)!

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Top 5 Common Design Problems with Pallet Conveyor Systems (All Avoidable).

Pallet conveyor systems have been used in industrial automation systems for decades. Despite a long history and thousands of applications, there are common design problems that appear frequently on newly installed pallet conveyor systems.

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3 Contract Requirements for Automated Warehouse and Logistics Systems.

Automation systems are often custom designed for customer specific applications with proprietary equipment, controls, and software. Problems related to system performance and software cannot be easily resolved by engaging another supplier if issues arise.

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3 essential things to know before you purchase an automated material handling system.

Business demands rapid solutions to urgent problems. Automated material handling systems require a significant investment of time, talent, and resources to define the problem, develop a solution, and deploy. It is tempting to shortcut the process of defining the problem, vetting the solution and supplier, to proceed rapidly with the more exciting deployment phase of the project.

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5 leading warehouse automation technologies you need to be following now.

Warehouse automation equipment is changing rapidly. Enter the age of autonomy. Mobile robots and multi-directional shuttles that are autonomous and independent are rapidly replacing fixed path systems. These new technologies demand advanced application expertise, but they offer increase flexibility and performance.

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10 traits you need to be successful working in the automation industry.

The automation industry is a sticky career choice. After you've found your groove in the world of industrial automation, it’s hard to imagine doing something different. If you’d like to join the industrial automation sector, the following are 10 traits you'll need to be successful...

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3 strategic ways to compensate for the lack of automation industry experts.

Booming business has led to a real people problem in the warehouse automation sector. By all accounts, industry leader Dematic blew the doors off in 2020. They reported hiring over 2,000 people in North America in the first 8 months of 2020, with plans for hundreds more before the end of the year. During a pandemic! That is almost 12 people every working day added to the roster at Dematic. Congrats!

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Chinese robotics and the return of American manufacturing.

Slogans of the preceding three Industrial Revolutions: Made in the United Kingdom. Made in the USA. Made in China. Slogan of the Fourth Industrial revolution: Made by Robots!

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Why artificial intelligence is marketing hype and machine learning is indispensable.

Warehouse automation systems have evolved with new generations of mobile robots and multi-directional shuttles that offer a high degree of operational flexibility. New technologies demand advanced application expertise. We hear industry jargon such as "Artificial Intelligence" and "Machine Learning" used frequently. Is it marketing hype? What is it and why do we need it?

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3 Automation pitfalls and mistakes to watch out for.

Why build automated material handling systems? It’s the usual suspects: reduced labor, tax advantages, improved speed of order fulfillment. Welcome to automation nirvana where orders fly out the door like clockwork and the remaining workers are optimized and engaged.

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How to get the best talent in the robotics industry to work for you.

COVID-19 supercharged two industry trends: automation and work from home.

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3 Reasons Why Resumes Are Obsolete and How to Fix It!

Resumes are outdated and LinkedIn profiles are full of boastful self-promotion. Job titles and years of service don’t reflect capability or value to the organization. Employers don’t create shareholder value by hiring based on a chronological snapshot of employment history. Understanding the broad range of skills, vertical knowledge, and domain expertise provides a fuller picture of an employee’s ability to contribute than, "Technical Guru at XYZ Corp for 3 years".

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3 Problems with Hiring a Successful Recruiter!

The problem with recruiters, both contingency and retained, is that they have other customers! Typical recruiter agreements specify that they won’t recruit from you, if they are recruiting for you. The more successful they are servicing an industry, the more conflicting interests they’ll have. Of course, you want to work with a recruiter that knows your industry. Therein lies the challenge. The same recruiter you hired because they know your industry, has a limited field of candidates.

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