IKEA Ghent recently started using Verity drones at night to help count inventory in the warehouse. The drones fly entirely autonomously. The IKEA store in Ghent is the first one in Belgium to do so. There are plans to expand the rollout to further areas.
There are at least 97,000 square feet in the Ghent IKEA warehouse. Because of this, manually counting every item in the racks takes a long time, at least three months.
The counting task is not only time-consuming but also dangerous for the workers because they are working at a height.
IKEA Belgium will now conduct warehouse inventory using drones as a result. For this purpose, the Swedish furniture giant has partnered with Verity, the world's leading provider of autonomous flying drones for interior spaces, based in Switzerland.
Since 2014, Verity's drones have carried out more than five million completely automated warehouse counts for clients all around the globe.
Six Verity drones take off every night to count the items in the warehouse racks by reading barcodes. There is no need for drone pilots since the drones fly entirely on their own.
Each drone is automatically charged on a docking station after each flight. Only ten minutes may be spent in flight on a single battery charge, however, when coupled with a recharge duration of 30 minutes, this is enough to complete the target counts.
IKEA Ghent's logistics coordinator, Bram Nevejans, claims that the warehouse personnel need not worry about losing their employment since they may utilize the extra time to engage in other activities.
Moreover, according to Colombine Nicolay of IKEA Belgium, there has been a significant improvement in ergonomics for the personnel.
IKEA tested out a warehouse counting drone for the first time in 2019. Globally, IKEA operates 461 stores.
The use of inventory-counting Verity drones has recently expanded to include branches in Belgium as well as Sweden, Italy, and Germany. During the course of 2022, an additional 20 shops are expected to use the technology.
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