Representing over 50 members, the Automated Material Handling Systems Association (AMHSA) is the voice of the UK automated handling industry. As well as promoting the many benefits of logistics automation, AMHSA hosts training events for logistics managers on wide-ranging topics and provides technical support and legislative updates for its members.

Material handling automation covers a wide variety of technologies and applications. Transport systems include pallet, tote and bulk material conveying systems; overhead conveying solutions for production lines or hanging garment distribution; and automated guided vehicle (AGV) solutions. Storage technologies include high-bay pallet cranes, miniload stores and shuttle-based systems. Automation of the fulfilment process ranges from semi-automated solutions – such as pick-to-light, RF picking and voice picking – to fully automated solutions such as A-frames and robotic systems. In despatch operations, automation covers sorters, palletisers, carton erectors,packaging machinery, labelling equipment and automatic loading systems.

Warehouse automation not only streamlines operational efficiency, it enables real-time, computer control of the distribution network. This secures a whole host of benefits including greater stock visibility, optimisation of transport and storage processes, reduced stockholding, increased throughput capacity and enhanced picking accuracy.