Innovation at the Heart of the Intralogistics & Materials Handling Industry

The term innovation is applied somewhat generously in many industries.
However, innovation truly is the heart of the materials handling and intralogistics industry and will be vital, along with exceptional customer service, to ensuring the industry continues to thrive long into the future.
From 12th to 14th July 2016, the industry’s top names will gather at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre for CeMAT Australia 2016, where the latest advances which are shipping and improving the industry will be on show.
The exhibits will particularly focus on how these innovations benefit other industries.
“Many companies include innovation as part of their strategy for numerous reasons, but they all have on thing in common: constant innovation makes their customers’ experiences better, which in turn grows their businesses,” says show director of CeMAT Australia, Sarah Haughey.
CeMAT Australia will bring together key innovators from across the globe, including Swisslog, which develops automated solutions for warehouses and distribution and KUKA Robotics, a leading manufacturer of robotic systems.
For the first time, the duo will have a joint exhibit at CeMAT Australia, to highlight the growing potential for human-machine collaboration to add value to customers’ processes.
Greg Sale, CEO and Managing Director of KUKA Robotics Australia said: “Robots will be a critical component of the factories and warehouses of the future.” Shaun Roper, Managing Director of Swisslog Australia adds: “Swisslog and KUKA are well-equipped with the key technologies and specialised automation expertise required to play a key role in shaping this image.”
Also thinking about the future is Vivid Industrial, which applies itself to the paradox of achieving human -centric lighting in industrial environments and drastically reducing business operating costs.
The Melbourne based company firmly believes true innovation considers both the present and the future and with innovation at the heart of its approach, Vivid Industrial creates modular intelligent industrial LED lighting systems which strike the right balance in quality lighting, efficiency and long-term performance.
Custom Animation, a privately owned Australian company specialising in design and integration of automated material handling systems, agrees adding: “Advancement and reinvention comes through a strong need to identify and meet clients’ ever-changing needs,” said Marcus Rose, Sales Manager at the company.  “We invest heavily in innovation and continuously develop our product range, beyond standard capabilities, by combining clever engineering with our vast knowledge in Materials Handling in order to design, build and implement equipment for unique and not so unique applications.”
Innovation is imperative to the bottom line, as Custom Animation, Axis Industrial Solutions and Vivid Industrial are aware, because meeting customers’ needs means greater efficiency and this drives the economy.
Custom Animation continues, “As a ‘tech’ based company, innovation is integral in remaining relevant in the industry. If we fail to innovate and meet our clients’ needs, we will quickly fade into the background becoming irrelevant and outdated.”
Paul Sanbrook, Director at AXIS Industrial Solutions, an industrial packaging supplier echoed their thoughts, saying its recent  launch of the Loadhog Lid, was “a commitment to saving money and time by eliminating disposable packaging.”
Similarly, Manhattan Associates, which provides advanced, omni-channel chain software to a number of clients in the logistics industry, adds that innovation should encompass all aspects of a business, including CSR and environmental strategies.
Raghav Sibal, Managing Director of ANZ, Manhattan Associates, said: “Current innovation is based on the evolution of the customer experience but the by-products of that innovation are also very exciting. For example, more efficient supply chains often lead to fewer trucks or transport vehicles and more efficient routes. This has a tangible impact on carbon emissions and helps organisations reduce their effect on the environment whilst also saving money.”
Sustainability is also on Vivid Industrial’s radar and an example of this is the cutting edge outcome based reporting capability of its Matrixx Intelligent LED Lighting System, which will be at CeMAT Australia. The modular LED lighting system houses an intelligent energy measurement and verification system, and is designed specifically to withstand the harsh Australian industrial environment – properties which can cut client’s lighting energy usage by up to 90% and make project outcomes transparent and verifiable.
Sarah from CeMAT adds: “There is no doubt that innovation is a major theme for the industry and we look forward to having exhibitors in one place, where positive discussion can occur, and which will shape the future landscape of material and intralogistics handling.”
Gregor Baumeister, Manager of the Palletizing and Packaging Systems Division, BEUMER Group concludes: “In order to achieve sustained success, companies must be able to quickly turn new ideas into marketable products. This is essential for survival, particularly in the light of increasing globalisation which leads to stronger competition, so the pressure on companies to innovate increases. The BEUMER Group has therefore firmly integrated an innovation management process for the systematic planning, control and monitoring of innovations in its company strategy.”

Iveco gains new ISO 9001 rating -an Australian first

Iveco Australia, a brand of CNH Industrial, has become the first commercial vehicle manufacturer and distributor in the Australian market to have gained certification the recently revised ISO 9001: 2015 Quality Management Systems Standard. 

The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) regularly reviews standards to ensure they remain relevant in a changing business environment.

The latest update to ISO 9001 introduces a number of new changes requiring certified organisations to focus on risk mitigation in all aspects of the business and in the products that they deliver.

The ISO 9001:2015 version of the Standard places increased emphasis on customer satisfaction and continuous improvements and to align management systems practices within the organisation with quality objectives, efficiency & compliance with applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.

Senior management across the company have reinforced their commitment and personal involvement in ensuring quality in all aspects of the business.

Iveco Australia Marketing Manager, Darren Swenson, said that the latest certification from an accredited body such as LRQA, further demonstrates the robust management systems practiced in Iveco Australia, leading to an even better customer experience for Iveco commercial vehicle owners.

“Iveco Australia is the first organisation to be certified by LRQA Australia to the revised ISO 9001:2015 Standard,” Mr Swenson said.

“Whilst it’s important to have a quality management system in place, the fact that we were amongst the first few companies in the world to achieve this prestigious certification, demonstrates the commitment and leadership in the organisation – it helps ensure that a company’s products and services meet a high level of quality.

“One of the benefits of having a certified management system is that it ensures that all business processes and operations are critically reviewed and assessed for promoting business effectiveness,  improving value to our customers and ensuring that our products and services continue to be reliable, safe and to specifications,” Mr Swenson added. 

Mirvac receives planning approval for Calibre at Eastern Creek

Mirvac Group, has received planning approvals from the Department of Planning and Environment for its most recent industrial estate, Calibre, at Eastern Creek. 

Set to raise the bar for contemporary industrial estates in Australia, Calibre will deliver state of the art facilities that blend flexible warehousing and office accomodation over 120,000 square meters of floor space.

Located at the heart of Sydney's Eastern Creek industrial precinct, at the nexus of the M4 and M7 motorways, the site is perfectly positioned as a distribution hub for the eastern seaboard, allowing seamless connections to major transport routes.

The planning approvals mark the start of work at the 22 hectare site, formally occupied by Australian Federal government quarantine. Demolition works begin in February 2016 and full construction jobs for the Western Sydney employment area and has the potential to employ 700 full time employees once operational.

According to Group Executive of Industrial at Mirvac, Stuart Penkilis, Calibre will offer significant benefits to a wide range of industrial users.

"As Australia's, and particularly Sydney's residential markets continue to put pressure on inner city property, sites such as Calibre offer a unique opportunity for large-scale users to consolidate operations and increase efficiencies.," Penkilis said.

"Calibre will set a new benchmark for industrial property, offering flexible office and warehouse facilities. We want to go above and beyond traditional industrial offerings, ensuring design excellence and leading sustainability are incorporated into all aspects of this high quality development, delivering long-term efficiency for our customers"

"In the era of online retail and same-day delivery, a major consideration for logistical companies is access. Calibre's proximity to major motorways with its own dedicated signalling intersection, will maximise speed of delivery which will ultimately deliver improving efficiency"

Mirvac worked closely with the Blacktown City Council and the Department of Planning and Environment to facilitate community feedback on the development application.

Calibre will have energy efficient lighting, rainwater harvesting, photovoltaic solar, cyclist and end-of-trip facilities creating savings for the tenants. The site adds to Mirvac's already extensive industrial portfolio, which spans 15 assets across Australia including: Nexus Industry Park and the Hoxton Distribution Park.

Smarter overhead work leads to safer materials handling

Materials handling equipment generally falls into two categories: on-floor movers, and overhead movers.

Industrial trucks can move materials along any flexible unfixed path, and are generally inexpensive to purchase and maintain compared to larger or fixed systems.

Forklifts and other ride-on movers require a large amount of space to manoeuvre on the floor and to park while not in operation.

Conveyors take up a large amount of floor space for installation.  Since the machinery is fixed in place, it can impede traffic flow of employees, materials or other equipment.

In a large volume manufacturing facility, both load limits and crowded floor space can increase move time and decrease productivity by requiring more or longer trips to get materials where they need to be.

There is also safety hazards associated with both of these systems.  Forklifts can fall over due to unbalanced loads or lifting a heavy load too high.

This poses a significant risk to the operator who has the potential to be pinned under the forklift or under the fallen material load. 

Heavy or unbalanced loads can also fall from a forklift which poses a risk to both the operator and other workers in the vicinity.

Depending on the layout of the facility, poor visibility can also result in forklift operators driving off loading docks, falling or getting stuck between docks or walls and trucks or trailers or running into another truck or worker on the floor.

Conveyors often operate at a height equal to a person, which can pose risks of employees getting clothing or appendages caught in machinery. Many conveyors also raise material above head level on flat belts, which risks unsecured materials falling on employees below.

There are safety benefits to using overhead lifting systems.  Minimizing employee physical labour and keeping employees separate from potentially dangerous machinery can reduce injuries caused by improper lifting and falling materials. 

Rally planned at PWCS as strike action continues

The long running industrial dispute at the Port of Newcastle is set to continue as coal terminal workers walk off the job again today.

Hundreds of workers will rally at Kooragang Island opposite the Port Waratah Coal Services terminals this afternoon.

Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) assistant secretary Ian Bray has again stated the union's long-standing position that the goal is to reach a fair deal.

"We are determined to reach an agreement, hopefully through productive discussions with the company," Bray said.

While MUA Newcastle branch secretary Glen Williams underscored that the membership of the union is solidly behind continued action.

 “Our members, who have made this terminal highly productive and operated in a framework of harmonious labour relations for many years, continue to be greatly disappointed that the company’s continued belligerence and attacks on job security are standing in the way of a fair deal,” Williams said.

Strike action by workers at the site has seen more than 85 hours of stoppages since May 15.

The dispute between workers and PWCS has been running for over 12 months.

MUA branch secretary Mick Forbes said PWCS wants to change enterprise bargaining clauses related to dispute settlement and contracting.

Forbes described the proposed changes as “union busting”.

The MUA claim anti-union proposals in the new agreements seek to undermine the safety and health of workers and tear up longstanding settlement procedures around contract issues.

PWCS has previously told LMH it was hopeful a resolution would be reached.

“There is nothing that PWCS is proposing or seeking to negotiate in the new agreement that does not respect the rights of employees to belong to a union, or to be represented collectively,” he said.

The spokesman said contingency plans are in place to mitigate impacts to the local supply chain.

Chief executive of PWCS  Hennie du Plooy has said though he was ‘disappointed’ by continued industrial action by unions at the coal terminal, strikes had not affected the operation of the Hunter Valley Coal Chain.

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