From OPTO Trading Intelligence
September 7, 2020
The industrial part of the global economy has seen plenty of volatility this year. While the sector has been subject to various ups and downs over the last few years, there have been a few growth trends that have held steady.
A key emerging trend in the industrial sector is the acceleration of warehouse automation and smart factories. This trend was featured in a recent ‘Logistics Report’ put together by The Wall Street Journal, which highlighted how the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in companies making deeper investments into logistics technology and distribution centres.
The trend is being driven by both an increase in online shopping and social distancing restrictions within warehouse operations, which is furthering a need for more technological solutions. Indeed, automation leader Honeywell’s [HON] ‘Intelligrated Automation Investment’ study revealed that companies working in the e-commerce, food and beverage and logistics sectors are most willing to increase investments in automation.
I expect this to be a multi-year trend with several beneficiaries, including a number of currently private makers of robotic components. Technology advancements in robotics are moving quickly and improvements in sensing technology, machine learning and connectivity are likely to drive further investments from companies seeking to both increase supply chain efficiency and reduce costs.
Some examples of warehouse automation solutions include automated storage and retrieval storage (AS/RS), conveyor systems, pick-to-light systems, voice picking/tasking, sortation systems, collaborative mobile robots (AMRs), automated guided vehicles (AGV) and drones.
Automation within logistics benefits both businesses and customers through cost efficiencies and faster distribution. Other advantages include fewer errors and increased warehouse safety. Many companies refer to this overall movement as ‘Industry 4.0’, which includes usage of cloud computing and blockchain technology for big data and analytics insights — essentially, it marks the digital transformation of the industrial sector.
Top pure-play mid-cap picks
GreyOrange, an exciting private warehouse automation and robotics provider, relies on PTC’s Windchill cloud technology for their product lifecycle management needs. PTC acquired this technology through its Onshape acquisition.
Read the full article at Opto Magazine.