The material handling industry is currently experiencing a paradigm shift away from large monolithic huge $100m’s Capex projects where buildings are virtually (and actually) wrapped around the automation equipment to smaller and flexible automation solutions where customers can add more robots and capacity as and when they grow.
This has been particularly felt in Goods to Person (G2P) automation, frequently deployed in e-commerce fulfilment warehouses.
Whilst this trend has been going for 20+ years, it has accelerated sharply in the last 3-5 years. Part of the reason for this was that Amazon acquired Kiva Systems in 2013 and effectively removed the market leader in G2P automation, creating a huge vacuum in the market. In recent years there has been a plethora of companies entering the flexible G2P automation sector with a variety of solutions.
In 2020 the Pandemic hit and the world stood still for a few months. However, in early 2021, many G2P vendors reported that orders books were filling up fast. What is to expect for 2022?