Study findings and forecasts all point in the same direction: After sustainability, e-commerce and digitalisation will be right at the top of the packaging industry’s agenda in the years to come. Whilst 24/7 internet orders are booming and the use of barcodes is already widely spread, 3D printing and robots that guarantee Packaging 360, 365 days a year, have yet to advance.
24/7 DELIVERIES, 365 DAYS A YEAR
Global online trade is booming. According to a recent study, in 2019 more than every eighth euro went into e-commerce instead of stationary retail – among others to the three largest internet retailers, Amazon, Otto and Zalando. Among other reasons, this is because these three meet the customers’ demand for particularly fast deliveries, namely same-day deliveries.
But shipping 24/7 requires high logistic efforts and poses great challenges for the e-commerce sector. Innovative solutions from the field of Industry 4.0 allow goods to be stored in the right locations, which is an essential factor, 365 days a year. One central element is optimised order picking, i.e. putting various goods together for shipping. Whilst warehouses without Industry 4.0 require goods to be taken off the shelves by hand and documented on paper, modern Industry 4.0 systems provide for significantly more efficient processes – among them, augmented reality (AR) solutions. By interconnecting digital and real data, order picking processes can be performed with the aid of Pick-by-Vision data glasses. In 360-degree mode, these display the storage locations, articles and quantities throughout the warehouse. This reduces sources of error for employees whilst at the same time increasing customer satisfaction.