LINX Cargo Care Group rolls out VR safety training

LINX Cargo Care Group (LINX CCG) has created a Virtual Reality (VR) safety training platform in collaboration with Curiious and Samsung Electronics Australia which is the first of its kind in Australia’s supply chain and logistics industry.

The Gear VR training platform was designed to create an immersive VR experience to enhance LINX CCG’s safety training delivery and assessment. LINX CCG partnered with communication and technology company Curiious to conceptualise and build the immersive VR experience.

LINX CCG is committed to sending its 4,000 people home safely every day, across more than 70 sites in Australia and New Zealand.

Anthony Jones, LINX Cargo Care Group CEO, is passionate about safety. His dispersed and diverse workforce operate 24/7 in hazardous environments with large machinery. The key to improving safety is to create a compelling, simulated experience that cuts through and has an impact.

“Virtual reality training will enable us to immerse all our people in diverse situations and expose them to critical risks in our hazardous work environment,” he said.

This commitment to standardise is echoed by Peter Seaman, LINX CCG Executive General Manager Health, Safety and Environment.

“The Gear VR platform enables us to deliver consistent safety training across all levels of the organisation. Often some of the messages are lost in translation in safety training and delivered in different ways, whereas this Gear VR platform minimises room for miscommunication,” Peter said.

Anthony believes VR immersion is really powerful.

“To put people into different situations where they have the chance to see how it would play out and to immerse them in a scenario, showing them real dangers and consequences, is invaluable,” he said.

Michelle Schuberg, Curiious General Manager, also believes in the benefits the immersive Gear VR technology will bring to enhancing LINX CCG’s approach to safety.

“For LINX CCG, the platform’s end goal is to help deliver their ‘home safely every day’ promise,” said Michelle.

Linfox, Telstra partner on IoT

Australian logistics company, Linfox, will implement an advanced telematics and management solution into its truck fleet, through a partnership with Australian telecommunications business, Telstra, and GPS and fleet management solutions provider, MTData.
The Internet of Things (IoT) technology will be rolled out to the whole Linfox truck fleet and will reportedly deliver advanced transport and logistics data and quality-benchmarking information to enhance public and driver safety on Australian roads.
“We are in a critical time in the logistics industry and it’s important to deliver technology that will ensure greater safety for our drivers and the communities in which we operate,” said Conrad Harvey, Chief Information Officer, Linfox. “Safety is a key issue within our industry and community and by partnering with Telstra to implement transformative technologies that allow us to better monitor and measure safety compliance throughout our fleet, we can work to reduce risk factors and enhance safe driver behaviour.”
Telstra’s IoT solution will include Samsung tablets mounted into Linfox trucks so drivers can access logbooks and complete safety checklists, and have capability, in some vehicles, for in-cabin recording of road-safety incidents.
“The technology will require our drivers to log on and complete safety checklists before they head off on the road and will allow us to gain more accurate in-cab readings of speed and distance,” said Harvey. “The devices will enable us to coordinate our vehicles efficiently, reduce congestion on the roads and above all, ensure a higher level of safety for the community.”
The deal comes three months after Telstra’s acquisition of MTData.
“Linfox is one of Australia’s largest and most successful logistics companies and we are committed to supporting its efforts to achieve safer and more efficient supply chains,” said Michelle Bendschneider, Executive Director – Global Products, Telstra. “With MTData’s expertise in delivering IoT solutions for the heavy vehicle industry, coupled with the unrivalled capability of the Telstra mobile network, we have created an innovative solution to help transform Linfox’s business.”

Global industrial automation market to reach $80.6 billion

Analysts from Research and Markets have announced in their latest report on industrial automation that the global industrial automation services market was worth US$35.2 billion ($44.5 billion) in 2016 and is estimated to reach US$64.5 billion ($80.6 billion) by 2022, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.6 per cent for the forecasted period.
Industrial automation involves automation of manufacturing, quality control and material handling processes, with control systems, information technologies and robots used to handle different processes in an industry. Various types of industrial automation include fixed or hard automation, programmable automation and flexible or soft automation. Project engineering and installation holds major share in this market. Advantages of industrial automation include increased productivity, improved product quality, reduced routine checks and improved operational efficiency.
According to the report, the US is currently at the head of the industrial automation market, followed by Europe. Asia Pacific (which includes Australia) is expected to be the fastest growing region in this industry. The reports says during 2015–16, US companies exported nearly US$10.5 billion worth of products to foreign markets.
Some of the key growth factors of this industry are the need for operational efficiency, rapidly growing SMEs, a growing inclination towards Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud-based automation, the growing demand for smart factories, mass customisation, supply chain synchronisation, integration of systems and increasing R&D and innovation in artificial intelligence and advancement in the M2M communication technology. High installation and maintenance costs and lack of trained professions are some of the constraints in this industry.
Major companies in this industry include Honeywell International, General Electric Company, Mitsubishi Electric, Rockwell Automation, Johnson Controls, ABB, Samsung Electronics, Siemens AG and Schneider Electric. The report also pointed out that most of the regional and local vendors are vertically integrated. International players can grow by acquiring regional or local players.

What makes a supply chain tops in APAC?

This year marks the 13th anniversary of the Gartner Supply Chain Top 25 — an annual recognition of achievement and advancement of supply chain capabilities.
Here are the highlights of the Gartner Asia/Pacific top nine companies.
No. 1 — Lenovo (No. 24 in Gartner’s Global Supply Chain Ranking)
Lenovo moves up to the No. 1 spot within the Asia/Pacific region for 2017 as the Chinese high-tech company continues as a leader in the mature PC market, selling four devices every second.
Investments in digital capabilities, such as predictive analytics, are paying off, allowing the business to simulate threats and opportunities while driving forecast accuracy improvements and optimising inventory holdings. Coupled with a mature S&OP process and a shift from traditional product-centric to more customer-oriented quality measures, the business is on a strong footing for continuing success.
Upstream, Lenovo is implementing an enterprise-grade visibility and risk management tool to improve performance in sourcing, manufacturing and logistics. While it has increased ownership of factories over the past several years and is using network optimisation to drive capacity utilisation across business units. Lenovo is also investing in smart manufacturing, including automation, toward a goal of having the most advanced factories in the PC industry.
No. 2 — Samsung Electronics (No. 25 in Gartner’s Global Supply Chain Ranking)
Samsung takes the second spot on the Asia/Pacific list in 2017 down from No. 1 in 2016. The Korean consumer electronics giant also dropped significantly in the global rankings this year from No. 8 to No. 25 on the back of governance failures that lead to the much publicised quality issues with the Galaxy Note 7 smartphone batteries.
While the resulting product recall was a blow to the brand’s reputation, a continued long-term focus on core fundamentals, such as supply chain agility,  supplier/customer integration and end-to-end value chain collaboration, has helped maintain a strong peer vote and enabled it to solidify the No. 2 spot. A lower-than-average CSR score of 4 out of 10 is an improvement opportunity for it to regain its leader status in the region.
No. 3 — Huawei (No. 26 in Gartner’s Global Supply Chain Ranking)
Chinese multinational Huawei moves up two places from last year to No. 3, driven by enviable growth in recent years, sporting a 31.3% three-year average revenue growth rate, as it climbed to No. 3 in the global smartphone market. Strong customer partnerships, digital supply chains and smart factories had been the key drivers of the Huawei supply chain capability improvements. In addition, a strong focus on sustainability reflected in Huawei developing more energy-efficient products with minimal environmental impacts, while reducing carbon emission and conflict materials across its global supply chain. Longer term, and in conjunction with its strategy to become a major global player, Huawei has also developed a vision that embraces the goal of being a responsible value-driven organisation. Pursuing strong growth and customer orientation through cost innovation and risk mitigation in collaboration with suppliers and customers, the company also strived to improve cybersecurity of its products.
No. 4 — Toyota (No. 31 in Gartner’s Global Supply Chain Ranking)
As the only business to have placed in the top 10 within the Asia/Pacific region every year since 2007, Toyota is an extremely consistent performer. The business has a strong track record of investing in new digital technologies with significant deployment of robotics and autonomous guided vehicles across its manufacturing facilities. New investments in innovative technologies are being made through the Toyota Research Institute (TRI), which has recently partnered with MIT to investigate how blockchain technology can be used to securely share and monetise businesses and individual driving information. The TRI also recently established a $100 million fund, called Toyota AI Ventures, to provide early-stage financing to startups focused on key technologies, including artificial intelligence, robotics and autonomous mobility. A number of notable investments in new manufacturing capacity are also being made, such as the development of a new $1 billion facility in Guanajuato, Mexico and $300 million investment into its existing Burnaston plant in the UK.
No. 5 — Bridgestone (No. 51 in Gartner’s Global Supply Chain Ranking)
A new entrant to the Top 25 for 2017, Japanese auto parts manufacturer Bridgestone has come in at No. 5 on the Asia/Pacific list and No. 51 overall.
A range of initiatives and technology investments focused on integrating the supply chain planning functions (production planning, distribution planning and transport planning) in recent years has allowed the Japanese auto parts manufacturer to substantially improve overall visibility of available products to end customers. This improved supply chain integration is now proving to drive higher levels of customer satisfaction while simultaneously reducing overall supply costs.
Bridgestone also impressed on the CSR front by taking an end-to-end view of its impact on the environment. For example, Bridgestone estimates that around 90% the CO2 emissions produced by tyres actually occur after they have been fitted to the vehicle, and have invested in a range of technologies including “ologic” to optimise tire design. The result is reduced aerodynamic and rolling resistance that improves the fuel economy of the vehicle itself. This proactive and comprehensive approach to its CSR policies helped it score a 9.00 in that portion of the rating.
This Chinese manufacturer jumped one position in its ranking among Asia/Pacific supply chains, while advancing 13 places overall compared to 2016 rankings — supported by strong three-year revenue growth. A winner of a Gartner Chainnovator Award 2017, Haier has been investing strongly in transforming its supply chain through digitalisation. Haier’s “Interconnected Factory” seeks to improve customer experience through integrating demand into supply chain and factory processes — by developing an end-to-end ecosystem that promotes a shift from mass production to mass individualisation. A part of Haier’s supply chain success has also come through its successful strategy of globalisation and developing R&D, design and production capabilities closer to market.
However, with a CSR score which currently stands at 2.00 — the lowest among the group — the company has opportunities to improve its CSR activities.
No. 7 — Wesfarmers (No. 59 in Gartner’s Global Supply Chain Ranking)
A new entry to the list at No. 7 is Wesfarmers, a retail-industrial conglomerate with significant Australian focused operations across a variety of retail segments, from grocery to department stores, home improvements and office supplies. The business operates dedicated supply chains across its various brands that support over 4,000 retail locations.
Recent investments in the KUKA robotic system within Wesfarmers grocery-focused business, Coles, are a proof point of its focus on optimising and digitising its supply chain capabilities. Its Officeworks brand has leveraged its “every channel” strategy that focuses on integrating physical and online channels to become a true unified commerce leader. Headwinds do lie ahead for the business, with Amazon and other international players building or expanding their Australian operations while Wesfarmers attempts to integrate its recent acquisition of U.K. home improvements retailer, Homebase.
No. 8 — Woolworths (No. 75 in Gartner’s Global Supply Chain Ranking)
Australian grocery giant, Woolworths, dropped four places in Asia/Pacific, and a substantial 37 places on the global ranking in 2017. Low scores across the areas of revenue growth and ROA have severely impacted its placement in this year’s list.
Woolworths is taking a back-to-basics approach and focusing on value chain collaboration and improving supply through the brokering of longer-term supplier relationships. If it can combine this with previous investments in demand sensing capabilities, it should be in a strong position to comprehend the rapidly changing consumer environment and make informed trade-off decisions to optimise the flow of goods in and out of its network in the future.
Woolworths also continues to push hard toward its CSR targets across three main pillars — people, planet and prosperity. Lofty 2020 targets, such as employing 40% women in the executive and senior management teams, zero food waste going to landfill, net zero deforestation for high impact commodities such as palm oil and timber and dedicating 1% of earnings (three-year rolling average of EBIT) to community programs, have seen it achieve a score of 9.00 for its CSR policies in this year’s evaluation.
No. 9 — Sony (No. 103 in Gartner’s Global Supply Chain Ranking)
Sony, the Japanese conglomerate moved up one position in the Asia/Pacific list and eight positions in the global list from 2016. The company continues to face economic headwinds and its three-year revenue growth slowed significantly compared to last year. It improved its ROA marginally, while maintaining its CSR score. Sony showed its commitment toward CSR by implementing EICC framework to monitor compliance in its electronics manufacturing sites in and outside of Japan. The company has set targets for reducing environmental impact of logistics through a series of measures, including lightweight and compact product design, and optimising shipping efficiency.
Supplier risk assessment and compliance to Sony Supply Chain Code of Conduct is an essential part of Sony’s strategy to ensure supply reliability. On the other hand, process automation helps the company respond to the markets quickly, which is also supported by a centralised inventory management system.

Samsung sets containership record

Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) has set a new world record for world’s biggest containership with Mitsui O.S.K. Lines’ (MOL) Triumph.
The 400m-long vessel is 58.8 metres wide, and has a depth of 32.8 metres. The Ultra Large Container Ship (ULCS) can transport 20,150 containers.
Three other 20,150 TEU containerships are due to join Triumph at MOL, Port Technology reports.
Final preparations are now being made for Triumph’s maiden voyage, set to take place after the ship’s delivery on 27 March 2017.
A naming ceremony took place for the ship in Geoje shipyard, South Korea, on March 15 2017. The event was attended by representatives from SHI and MOL, including the CEOs of both companies.
Triumph boasts eco-friendly features including energy-saving equipment such as propeller, rudder valve and stator.
SHI expects to deliver 10 more 20,000 TEU containerships in 2017.

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