Robots may not be great at folding laundry or sorting fruit, but they’re aces at dealing with data. So when the FBI realized that the 2,000,000,000 documents they were storing in Virginia were more than human workers could handle, they went right to an automated solution.
They were consolidating physical records stored at 256 different locations, and had 360,000 separate bins. With an automated solution, they were able to ignore human needs like aisles giving access to the bins. They smushed them all together, and 140 robots traverse the ceiling, precisely locating and retrieving the documents needed.
AutoStore, the makers of the warehousing system the FBI went with, prides itself on being able to work outside of normal ways of thinking about space. Their high-density grid system will reduce the space needed for files. At the same time, the documents will be kept in document-friendly environments. These two factors will reduce costs, now and in the future.
They also have exceptional security arrangements. The FBI is confident that they along will have access to the sensitive information the robots are carrying around.
Human workers at the warehouse will have time freed up for other tasks, another source of savings.
Benefits of automation
If this sounds familiar, it’s because the FBI is getting the same benefits automated systems are known for already. Environments suited to the objects rather than the human beings. Taking on tasks so human workers’ time is freed for mission-critical jobs. Less waste.
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