machine vision

Towards the best in machine vision technology

In the 40 years since its founding, Cognex has pioneered and refined the best in machine vision technologies. Sven Klockmann talks to MHD about the company’s tireless efforts to achieve 100 per cent barcode read rates.

Read more

Man driving Toyota forklift

How Toyota is revolutionising the potato industry

Leading potato supplier Beta Spuds has made the move to invest in reliability by purchasing nine new Toyota forklifts. MHD talks with Matthew Cocciolone, CEO at Beta Spuds, to discuss why they decided to transition away from a rental model.

Read more

AS Colour system Dematic materials handling racking

AS Colour NZ boosts DC capability

New Zealand-based apparel label AS Colour is to support the company’s significant business growth with an advanced materials handling installation in its new Auckland distribution centre.
Founded in 2005 in Auckland and operating in NZ, Australia and California, AS Colour produces apparel products for the wholesale and retail markets, with a number of retail outlets located in NZ and Australia.
“Following recent continued growth, AS Colour has outgrown its existing DC and made the decision to move to a new facility,” explained managing director and founder of AS Colour Lawrence Railton. “As part of our evolution into a new DC, AS Colour also wanted to optimise our warehouse operations by boosting productivity and efficiency when handling the high number of SKU we deal with.”
Working with Scott Kerr at Kerrect Logistics, AS Colour evaluated a range of automation options before choosing a tailored Dematic Multishuttle Goods-to-Person (GTP) System for its new DC, which provides high-density tote storage and high sequenced order picking productivity.
“AS Colour wanted to find a way to pick orders faster with minimal touches, in order to minimise product packaging and presentation challenges caused by handling the same product multiple times,” said business development manager at Dematic Seth van Dijk “The system we have tailored for AS Colour is based on the goods-to-person methodology, where the storage and delivery of products to fulfil orders is automated through the use of the Dematic Multishuttle high-rate storage and retrieval system.”

High-speed picking

Using the Dematic Multishuttle Goods-To-Person (GTP), AS Colour products are stored in totes in a secure high-density environment until they are retrieved and delivered in orderline sequence to operators at four ergonomic workstations. This significantly improves productivity by eliminating non-value-added time spent on tasks such as travel, and manually locating and retrieving stock.
Managed by Dematic iQ Warehouse Control System software, the installation features a two-aisle Dematic Multishuttle GTP system, with double-deep storage for 19,425 totes across 18 levels and 36 bays. It also features automated order tote delivery to 4 x 1:1 workstations as well as order tote take away to a dedicated conveyor sorter and packing area.
“In addition to the productivity, efficiency and high-density benefits the Dematic installation will bring to our new facility, we will also gain much more visibility into our warehouse operations,” added Mr Railton. “The new system will deliver real-time information, which places us in a better position to monitor and optimise our picking and replenishment productivity rates.”
The new AS Colour DC is due for completion in the first half of 2021.
 
 

Dematic First wooden electric conveyor 1922.

Dematic celebrates 200th anniversary

Dematic’s first wooden electric conveyor in 1922.

Warehouse equipment and automation company Dematic is celebrating its 200th anniversary. The company’s origins date back to 1819 when Mechanische Werkstätten Harkort & Co was founded and produced the first steam-powered crane.
“Innovation is at the core of what we do,” said Hasan Dandashly, president and CEO, Dematic. “As our business grows in an increasingly digital world, we are focused on designing and implementing equipment combining the latest advancements in software, robotics and mechatronics to drive optimal performance. By focusing on the long-term needs of our customers, our innovative products have enabled us to be a market leader for not only decades, but centuries.”
Dematic’s recent past traces back to 1995 when Mannesmann Demag, the world’s first complete supplier of intralogistics was formed. Ten years later, Dematic GmbH & Co. KG was established as its own enterprise focusing on automated storage for small parts. From cranes to a global supplier of integrated automated technology, software and services, Dematic has always remained at the forefront of the industry by focusing on the future.

Dematic Truck Loader 1960
Dematic’s truck Loader from 1960.

Dematic’s history in Australia and New Zealand began in 1966 when Colby Engineering was first set up, providing adjustable pallet racking. The company has continued to grow and evolve through various business transitions: from Colby to Mannesmann to Siemens to Dematic. Out of respect for its long heritage as an Australian manufacturer, and strong recognition in the market, the Colby name continues today as Dematic’s storage equipment brand.
Some of Dematic’s greatest innovations include the world’s first hanging conveyor (1930s), its storage and retrieval machines (1950s), the world’s first fully automated warehouse (1962), Dematic Multishuttle, the company’s ground-breaking mini-load handling system (2006), and the integrated software platform the Dematic iQ Software Portfolio (2018).
“Although our products provide great value, it’s really the people of Dematic that make the difference,” said Mr Dandashly. “Each employee plays a crucial role in Dematic’s history and we continue to be guided by our values of courage, collaboration, integrity and excellence. I look forward to more success in the next 200 years.”
Dematic's grocery conveyor from the 1950s.
Dematic’s grocery conveyor from the 1950s.

Kalmar has introduced what it claims is the industry's first lithium-ion powered medium forklift.

Kalmar launches 9-18t lithium battery electric forklifts

Kalmar, part of Cargotec, has introduced a medium electric forklift (9-18t capacity), powered by emission-free lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery technology. The new forklift is the latest step on the company’s journey towards offering an electric version of every product in its portfolio by 2021. It is the first forklift in the medium-capacity range to be powered by Li-ion batteries, and the battery technology will initially be available for several models with a wheelbase of 3,500 mm. Read more

Toyota automation forklift materials handling

Toyota's warehouse to go on autopilot in 2020

Toyota Australia, together with Toyota Material Handling Australia and Toyota Fleet Management, will be introducing a fleet of autonomous autopilot vehicles into its Altona warehouse from its operation start in 2020.
Manufactured in Sweden by Toyota Material Handling Europe, the fleet itself will consist of six Autopilot Tow Trucks (TAE500) and one Autopilot Reach Truck (RAE160), the flagship model when it comes to warehouse automation.
They will apply autopilot driverless technology to achieve mobility in conveyance, towing, lifting, and be able to autonomously place product throughout the warehouse and pick orders for customers.
All models in the range will also have the ability to be used in manual mode as conventional warehouse vehicles allowing complete flexibility in operations.
Built with the reliability and serviceability of their manual predecessors, the new hybrids will also include integrated navigation and leading safety systems.
The safety systems include scanners and obstacle detection devices which are designed to stop the vehicle and minimise the risk of a collision, ensuring protection for people, equipment, and infrastructure.
Fleet management, emergency-stop buttons, warning sounds, and lights will be standard across the range together with a blue LED warning light projected in front of the vehicle, to assist in noisy environments or when autopilot is approaching around a corner.
In addition to enhanced safety, Autopilot will also deliver energy efficiencies via Lithium-Ion battery technology, automatic charging, high vehicle utilisation, and low maintenance costs.
Toyota Australia vice president of sales and marketing Sean Hanley said the mobility company has a thorough understanding and appreciation of the importance of automation technology.
“Toyota Australia will continue to develop, progress, and employ these new ways of thinking whenever possible,” Mr Hanley said.
“We are extremely committed to delivering the highest level of reliability, performance, and productivity, and Autopilot ticks every one of these boxes,” he added.

Formula 2 driver Mick Schumacher has been appointed brand ambassador in a long-term partnership with intralogistics specialist SSI Schaefer.

SSI Schaefer enters the fast lane

SSI Schaefer has announced its new brand ambassador, Mick Schumacher. The reigning Formula 3 champion, who is competing in the FIA Formula 2 Championship this year, has entered a long-term partnership with intralogistics specialist SSI Schaefer.
Mick Schumacher has been impressing fans, colleagues and the general public alike for years with his stringent quest for improvement. The 20-year-old son of seven-time Formula 1 World Champion, Michael Schumacher, has long since created his own identity. As a member of the exclusive driving field of the FIA Formula 2 Championship, Mick is now one of the best young racers in the world.
“Driving for Excellence” is the clear goal for this partnership. “Mick brings a great passion that impresses us here at SSI Schaefer. Giving everything, gaining experience, and accepting challenges that work towards a solution with intent and hyper focus is what connects our company with him. True to our corporate tagline, ‘Think Tomorrow’, SSI Schaefer looks ahead to achieve the ambitious goals for our customers,” said EVP sales for SSI Schaefer Michael Mohr.
Mick Schumacher has been driving for the Italian PREMA team since 2016. The 2018 European Formula 3 Champion just recently started driving for the Formula 2 team this year and he joined into the Ferrari Driver Academy program that promotes young talents. As a young driver, Schumacher started test driving in April for Bahrain in Formula 1 for both Ferrari and Alfa Romeo Racing. “I’m delighted to welcome SSI Schaefer as a partner because we share the same core values: a down-to-earth attitude, striving for success, innovative solutions, as well as long-term thinking and action. ‘Think Tomorrow’ suits me too,” stated Schumacher.
Various joint activities are planned for the partnership between the intralogistics specialist and the Formula 2 driver. Mick Schumacher is taking part in a panel discussion at one of the world’s largest in-house events in the industry this autumn, with international logistics users, expert discussions, keynotes and live demonstrations of logistics systems.

Toyota forklift Opening-new Adelaide branch019

Growth drives the opening of new TMHA Adelaide facility

The Toyota Material Handling Australia national head office and branch management team attending the opening of the new facility in Gepps Cross, South Australia.

The ongoing growth of Toyota Material Handling Australia (TMHA)’s Adelaide branch was a primary reason for it to recently move from its former site to a brand new, 12,000m2 facility in Gepps Cross, South Australia.
The state-of-the art facility was opened in May and visitors in attendance included South Australian Government Treasurer the Hon Rob Lucas MLC, TMHA chairman Toshi Nakazawa and president & CEO, Steve Takacs.
TMHA general manager – Branch Operations South Hamish Harper said in his time with the branch he has watched it move from strength to strength. “We worked in the old facility for over 25 years and have been GM for the last 10, and in that time I have watched its steady growth,” said Mr Harper. “Growth in our people and growth in our product lines – our offering has vastly increased from what it was a decade ago, even a few years ago. The Adelaide branch has had the full line of TMHA products for years.”
Mr Harper said TMHA Adelaide’s growth has been tracked in market share. “We’ve gone from a mid-twenties market share ten years ago to our present market share, which is in the forties, so inevitably we required infrastructure to match increased demand.
“There were constraints on the volume we could put through our workshop before, but now we have vastly increased resources to meet growth in equipment sales and our rental and servicing requirements.”
The new facility dwarfs its predecessor’s 7,000m2 footprint and 4,000m2 building size, as Mr Harper explained: “Our new facility here in Gepps Cross has 1,000m2 of office space incorporating a new-unit showroom to showcase the vast breadth and depth of our product range, and a dedicated training facility,” he said.
“We also have a dedicated parts area with its own entrance. Parts are very important to our business and we needed to ensure easy accessibility for our parts customers.
“Our new state-of-the-art 5,000m2 workshop area, accompanied by another 6,000m2 of hardstand area for loading and unloading, is impressive – especially given it’s three times the size of our old workshop. That’s a huge difference for us. It gives us the ability to service over 4,000 forklifts that we have under service and rental.”
Additional features of the workshop include a new on-site spray booth, a wash-bay that uses recycled water, overhead gantry, and storage space for the branch’s short-term rental fleet. “We also have more workbays for our staff, which means we can work on our customers’ equipment more efficiently and, hopefully, return it quicker than ever before,” he said.
Mr Harper said further time savings have been gained by bringing the storage of new machines onto the same site as the pre-delivery workshop. “The former site operated two distinct buildings: one being the main facility where we had our sales force, undertook repairs, and our parts operation. The other was basically a pre-delivery facility for equipment such as forklifts.
“Now we have increased the speed of machine delivery by consolidating the two and bringing the storage of new machines onto the same site as the pre-delivery workshop.
“We now have only one workshop and all our other functionality is in the same envelope. Being able to have all services available under the one roof allows us to service our customers more efficiently and effectively.”
Customers will not have to travel far from the previous Cavan Road location to experience the benefits of the new facility. “Our new location in Matthews Road is only around the corner from our old facility, which is handy for our customers as they’ll have the general location familiarity.
“Matthews Road is off one of the main arterials in Gepps Cross, Wakefield Road, from where you can’t miss our new signage. We’re still twenty minutes’ drive from the city, right in the heart of Adelaide’s industrial area. It’s also a central location from which we can get to our customers for service requirements.”
After many years of planning, Mr Harper is thrilled to be in the now officially opened facility, along with his staff, whom he thanked for their contribution to the project, along with input from TMHA branches, nationally.
“We’re very excited to be here and seeing our new facility in action. Everything is modern, clean and new – as is befitting of Toyota Material Handling’s image and expected of a market leader.
“We have opened a facility that can meet all of the contemporary needs of our customers who demand not just a supplier of equipment but a full provider of systems and services. It’s a demonstration of our commitment to our customers and we think they will be very pleased with our new location and experience.
“We have lots of parking for customers and staff. Customers are enjoying our new amenities including a dedicated area where we can have a coffee with them and discuss their needs. It’s an enhanced customer experience.”

©2019 All Rights Reserved. MHD Magazine is a registered trademark of Prime Creative Media.

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER
Close