Mirvac opens logistics hub in Western Sydney

Mirvac has celebrated the official opening of its logistics hub Calibre, in Eastern Creek, Western Sydney.
Calibre’s 22-hectare site includes a mix of flexible warehousing, A-grade office space and advanced specifications with 110,000sqm of floor space across five buildings. Ideally placed to cater to logistics, warehousing and manufacturing companies, Mirvac secured premium brands CEVA Logistics, Miele, Pet Circle, Sheldon & Hammond and ACFS e-Solutions at Calibre, with the Estate 100 per cent leased ahead of its practical completion.
“At Calibre we’ve elevated the standard for industrial and warehouse facilities in Sydney with our focus on quality, functionally and flexibility which will futureproof the estate for years to come. Mirvac drew on its uniquely integrated business model and cross-sector experience to bring the best of office and residential design to an industrial asset, to exceed customer and industry expectations,” General Manager, Industrial at Mirvac, Richard Seddon said.
Treasurer of NSW, The Hon. Dominic Perrottet MP, said the logistics hub was boosting employment in Western Sydney creating hundreds of jobs during construction and on a permanent basis.
Mirvac Group said approximately 450 construction jobs were generated during the development phase with 480 permanent jobs resulting.
Displaying best practice design and sustainability, Calibre has energy efficient lighting, rainwater harvesting, photovoltaic solar, cyclist and end-of-trip facilities and 100 per cent natural lighting to reduce energy bills and create savings for customers.
Operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, Calibre is located at 60 Wallgrove Road, Eastern Creek at the centre of Australia’s national supply network within the Eastern Creek logistics hub.

Toyota Materials Handling opens new facility in Sydney

Toyota Material Handling Australia (TMHA) has announced it has opened a new purpose built, state-of-the art facility for its branch in Orange, New South Wales.
The branch recently relocated from its former Cameron Place location to a prized position on a 2,000 square-metre site at the intersection of Northern Distributor Road and Astill Drive.
TMHA Orange branch manager Richard Bopping said the new premises is an improvement for staff and customers in every way.
According to Richard, the previous site’s workshop was also proving to be too cramped, given the branch’s growth in Central Western New South Wales.
“We operate across a massive area stretching as far out as Bourke, Cobar, Dubbo, across to Mount Vic and even occasionally Broken Hill and down to Cowra, and everything in-between such as Mudgee, Forbes, Parkes, Narromine,” he said.
“Our core business is our forklift rental fleet, which is over 200 units-strong and is serviced out of the branch. We have more than double that, again, with retail customers that we service and provide parts and repairs for.
“We also deal in warehousing equipment such as electric pallet jacks, stackers and also skid steers loaders. New products have come online recently – such as sweepers, scrubbers, scissor-lifts, vertical lifts and the Taylor Dunn product line – to name a few. These are opening opportunities for us to expand into other markets and with our new premises we are well-placed to support our expanding range,” he said
With a site (land) size of 2000m2 and a building of 880m2 – with office being 140m2 and another 140m2 for an office mezzanine level – TMHA Orange has ensured it has all the appropriate space it required, with the addition of future-proofing. “In the future we would be able to support a rental fleet double the size of our existing fleet of 200 units, we would have enough provisional space in our workshop to support that,” Richard said.
The new building has been built for TMHA with environmentally sustainable principles in mind. “We have greatly reduced environmental impact footprint with the new building. We have solar on the roof which will just-about negate any power bill and a water tank plus a greywater system for the building. And we were able to achieve all this at a similar cost to running our old one,” Richard concluded.

Melbourne-based 3D printer signs deal with Boeing

Australian advanced manufacturing company Titomic Limited has announced it has signed an agreement with The Boeing Company to deliver additively manufacturing test parts for airplanes. This initial agreement is for AUD$170,000.
“Titomic is pleased to announce this trial agreement with Boeing to deliver additively manufacturing test parts for airplanes. Currently, with traditional manufacturing process, there is up to an 80% material waste and 6-month lead time to CNC machine these parts. These Titomic Kinetic Fusion (TKF) produced parts will allow Boeing a significant reduction in lead-times, improved performance for composite part production and cycle times,” Jeff Lang, Titomic Managing Director said.
Titomic recently unveiled the world’s largest and fastest 3d printer.

logistics growth illustrated with airliner with a globe and autoloader with boxes in a container

Logistics growth losing steam

Key logistics market growth rates fell in 2018 according to Transport Intelligence’s (Ti) global market size & growth forecast data.

  • The Global Freight Forwarding market grew 3.9% in 2018, a marked decline from an expansion of 8.0% in 2017
  • The Global Contract Logistics market was 4.9% bigger in 2018.
  • At 8.5%, the Global Express & Small Parcels market had the quickest rate of expansion amongst the logistics markets.
  • Slowing volume growth in the European Road Freight Transport market saw the growth rate slow to 2.9% in 2018.

Global Freight Forwarding

In a market heavily reliant on global trading conditions, growth in the global freight forwarding market fell from 8.0% in 2017 to 3.9% in 2018. The slowdown is not altogether surprising given the exceptional performance in 2017 when demand for air transport services surged as shippers rushed to re-stock inventories and move goods to market. As the restocking cycle drew to a close in early 2018, market expansion reduced substantially. Trade tensions between the US and China have had far-reaching implications for regional and global supply chains, which has affected forwarding growth across different countries.

Global Contract Logistics

While global contract logistics growth slowed in 2018, the change was very slight – the market grew by 4.9% in real terms, down from 5.0% in 2017. The US market performed relatively well, whilst China’s market is continuing show remarkable vigour. Manufacturing has previously been (and continues to be) a strong base for China’s contract logistics growth, but a growing consumer market led by internal investment, growing wages and a boom in e-commerce has created a vibrant opportunity in Chinese retail contract logistics.

Global Express & Small Parcels

An 8.5% expansion saw the global express & small parcels market grow rapidly in 2018, although the growth rate is a slowdown on the 9.7% seen in 2017. e-commerce is continuing to drive rapid growth in China’s express and parcels market, which is expanding much faster than the global growth rate. Although there are significant bright spots in areas such as healthcare and cross-border e-commerce, weaker macroeconomic conditions have played their part in slowing market growth, affecting major players, including FedEx.

European Road Freight Transport

Europe’s road freight market expanded 2.9% in 2018. Macroeconomic performance has been relatively limp compared against the rest of the world. The region’s major markets are facing significant headwinds – Germany sits close to recessionary territory as a result of softer external demand and disruption in its automotive sector, Italy is feeling the effects of mounting public debt, while Brexit uncertainty continues to harm investment into the UK economy.
“Ti’s new figures show robust growth across major global logistics markets. Growth rates are not flattering when compared against the previous year, where global GDP growth was the fastest it had been since 2011. Nonetheless, there have been significant opportunities for LSPs to grow top-line figures through the course of the year,” said Andy Ralls, analyst at Ti.
Note: All growth rates mentioned are in real terms (holding prices and exchange rates constant at 2018 levels) unless stated otherwise.

Jungheinrich opens spare parts centre in Singapore

Jungheinrich is expanding its spare parts logistics capacities in Southeast Asia. With the opening of a spare parts centre in the Southeast Asian trade and logistics metropolis of Singapore, the company has reduced the delivery times of replacement parts by up to five days.
Jungheinrich customers all over Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand will benefit from the increased spare parts availability. This will enable Jungheinrich to also satisfy particularly urgent customer requests in the APAC region by providing round-the-clock access to spare parts.
“The new spare parts centre in Singapore will strengthen our position as the market leader in terms of spare parts availability by now also covering Southeast Asia and the Pacific area,” Stefan Brehm, Vice President of After Sales at Jungheinrich said.
“By bridging up to seven time zones, we will be able to react faster to the requests of our customers. For Jungheinrich customers, this represents minimal downtime and maximum productivity.”
In addition to the customer service aspect, environmental considerations at Jungheinrich also played an important role. Through the additional optimisation of the region’s transport network, CO2 emissions will be reduced by 75 per cent. Furthermore, the spare parts centre is a perfect example of efficient and intelligent warehouse management thanks to its modern lift rackings and lithium-ion powered forklift trucks.

Amart Furniture signs 10-year lease for custom-built DC in Victoria

Amart Furniture has signed a 10-year lease agreement with Goodman Group to build a new distribution centre in the Connectwest Industrial Estate on Logistics Drive, Truganina, which will have an end value of $65 million. TM Insight worked with Amart Furniture to secure the deal.

The purpose-built facility at Truganina will provide a modern workplace for the Amart team, improve quality and service for Amart customers and will accommodate the company’s anticipated future growth when it opens in the first half of 2020.

Amart Furniture CEO Lee Chadwick said the new 48,770sqm custom-designed distribution centre would replace an existing cluster of warehouses in Somerton.

“The new distribution centre will provide a modern, safe and flexible workplace for our warehouse team. This was one of our top priorities when designing the facility,” he said.

Customers will also benefit from the contemporary distribution centre with Amart Furniture COO Scott Pears citing the potential for more efficient service and faster delivery times.

“The new Truganina distribution centre will streamline our supply chain network in Victoria and enable us to continually improve quality and customer service. This modern and consolidated design will allow for direct-to-customer deliveries, from either in-store or online purchases,” Scott said.

When complete, the Truganina distribution centre will have a significant expanse of racked storage locations to house an extensive range of product types and sizes; a drive-around design with dual loading faces; a mix of recessed loading docks and on-grade roller doors; and a cross-docking facility design with two large staging areas for inbound and outbound freight.

Boston Dynamics enters logistics market with Kinema Systems acquisition

Boston Dynamics has announced the acquisition of Kinema Systems, a company that enables industrial robotic arms with deep learning technology to locate and move boxes on complex pallets.
Using a combination of vision sensors and deep learning software, Kinema Systems’ Pick technology works with commercial robotic arms to move boxes off pallets to conveyors or build stacks of boxes on pallets.
Pick enables logistics, retail, and manufacturing companies to achieve high rates of box moving with minimal set up or training for both multi-SKU and single-SKU pallets.
“Bringing the Kinema team into Boston Dynamics expands our perception and learning capabilities while the Pick product accelerates our entry into the logistics market. Beyond being a powerful tool for industrial robotic arms, Kinema technology will help our mobile manipulation robots tackle a wide variety of complex real-world tasks,” Boston Dynamics Founder and CEO Marc Raibert said.

 

Microsoft and BMW partner to build future Industry 4.0 solutions

Microsoft and the BMW Group have announced a new community initiative to enable faster, more cost-effective innovation in the manufacturing sector.
The two organisations will establish an Open Manufacturing Platform (OMP). The initiative is expected to support the development of smart factory solutions that will be shared by OMP participants across the automotive and broader manufacturing sectors.
According to both organisations, the goal is to significantly accelerate future industrial IoT developments, shorten time to value and drive production efficiencies while addressing common industrial challenges.
“Microsoft is joining forces with the BMW Group to transform digital production efficiency across the industry. Our commitment to building an open community will create new opportunities for collaboration across the entire manufacturing value chain,” Scott Guthrie, executive vice president, Microsoft Cloud + AI Group said.
With currently over 3,000 machines, robots and autonomous transport systems connected with the BMW Group IoT platform, which is built on MicrosoftAzure’s cloud, IoT and AI capabilities, the BMW Group plans to contribute relevant initial use cases to the OMP community.
“Mastering the complex task of producing individualised premium products requires innovative IT and software solutions. The interconnection of production sites and systems as well as the secure integration of partners and suppliers are particularly important. We have been relying on the cloud since 2016 and are consistently developing new approaches. With the Open Manufacturing Platform as the next step, we want to make our solutions available to other companies and jointly leverage potential in order to secure our strong position in the market in the long term,” Oliver Zipse, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Production said.
The OMP will be designed to address common industrial challenges such as machine connectivity and on-premises systems integration. This will facilitate the reuse of software solutions among OEMs, suppliers and other partners, significantly reducing implementation costs. For example, an ROS-based robotics standard for autonomous transport systems for production and logistics will be contributed to the OMP for everyone to use. The OMP will be compatible with the existing Industry 4.0 reference architecture, leveraging the industrial interoperability standard OPC UA.
 

UPS launches drone service to deliver medical supplies in California

UPS has announced a new logistics service to deliver medical samples via unmanned drones through a collaboration with an autonomous drone technology provider, Matternet.
The program is taking place at WakeMed’s flagship hospital and campus in the Raleigh, N.C., metropolitan area, with oversight by the Federal Aviation Administration and North Carolina Department of Transportation.
The program will utilise Matternet’s M2 quadcopter, which is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, and can carry medical payloads weighing up to about 5 lbs. over distances of up to 12.5 miles.
Throughout the WakeMed program, a medical professional will load a secure drone container with a medical sample or specimen – such as a blood sample – at one of WakeMed’s nearby facilities. The drone will fly along a predetermined flight path, monitored by a specially trained Remote Pilot-in-Command (RPIC), to a fixed landing pad at WakeMed’s main hospital and central pathology lab. This will be an ongoing program at WakeMed, and UPS and Matternet will use the learnings to consider how drones can be applied to improve transport services at other hospitals and medical facilities across the U.S.
Enhancing the UPS Global Smart Logistics Network to support hospitals and other healthcare organisations remains a key element of the company’s transformation strategy.
Healthcare and life science logistics is a priority segment for UPS, and the company is building new relationships and technologies to deliver better patient care with streamlined logistics and supply chain.
This collaboration is the latest UPS program to utilise drone flights in support of healthcare logistics. UPS partnered with GAVI and Zipline in 2016 to deliver blood products to remote locations in Rwanda. The Matternet team has already completed more than 3,000 flights for healthcare systems in Switzerland.

Volkswagen partners with Amazon to automate its manufacturing and logistics processes

Amazon and Volkswagen have announced a multi-year, global agreement to build the Volkswagen Industrial Cloud, a cloud-based Industrial digital production platform that will  transform the automotive company’s manufacturing and logistics processes.
Volkswagen will rely upon the breadth and depth of Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) portfolio of services, including IoT, machine learning, analytics, and compute services to increase plant efficiency and uptime, improve production flexibility, and increase vehicle quality.
The Volkswagen Industrial Cloud will bring together real-time data from all of the Volkswagen Group’s 122 manufacturing plants to manage the overall effectiveness of assembly equipment, as well as track parts and vehicles.
“We will continue to strengthen production as a key competitive factor for theVolkswagen Group. Our strategic collaboration with AWS will lay the foundation. The Volkswagen Group, with its global expertise in automobile production, and AWS, with its technological know-how, complement each other extraordinarily well. With our global industry platform we want to create a growing industrial ecosystem with transparency and efficiency bringing benefits to all concerned,” Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG and Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft responsible for ‘Production’ said.
“Volkswagen’s industrial cloud, which will reinvent its manufacturing and logistics processes, is yet another example of how Volkswagen continues to innovate and lead. Volkswagen’s and AWS’s collaboration will have a profound impact on efficiency and quality in production throughout Volkswagen’s global supply chain, as Volkswagen gains access to the broadest and deepest cloud with the most functionality, the most innovation, the highest performance and security, and the largest community of partners and customers of any other infrastructure provider. We are tightly aligned across Volkswagen’s businesses to help them reimagine the future of automobile manufacturing by taking advantage of all the benefits the cloud can deliver,” Andy Jassy, CEO of AWS said.

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