ALC to launch technology summit at MEGATRANS2018

The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) has announce that its inaugural Supply Chain Technology Summit 2018 will take place on Thursday 10 May, onsite and in partnership with MEGATRANS2018.
The ALC was one of the first organisations to endorse and support Australia’s largest freight and logistics trade expo.
“Technology is a major component of the logistics supply chain and will play a dominant role in the exhibitions at MEGATRANS2018,” said Michael Kilgariff, Managing Director, ALC. “The Supply Chain Technology Summit 2018 will align well with the technology theme and ensure that those who attend the integrated event can maximise their time and investment.
“The ALC operates a number of events each year and technology has been an increasing focus. The dedicated Supply Chain Technology Summit will focus on the policy priorities articulated by ALC in Freight Doesn’t Vote – our submission to the Inquiry into National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities. This includes collecting greater data on freight movements, adapting to automated technologies and global labelling standards.  Further details on the Summit will be announced in 2018.”
MEGATRANS2018, held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre 10–12 May 2018, will bring together those who plan, implement and control the efficient and effective forward flow and storage of goods, services and related information between the point of origin and point of consumption.

Rio Tinto to double autonomous fleet by 2019

Rio Tinto will work with Caterpillar and Komatsu to expand its fleet of autonomous haul trucks in the Pilbara by more than 50 per cent by 2019.
The mining group, which has launched the projects as part of its $5 billion productivity program, plans to retrofit 29 Komatsu haul trucks at the Brockman 4 operation with Autonomous Haulage System (AHS) technology, starting next year.
Brockman 4 will be run entirely in AHS mode once this project has been completed by 2019.
Rio will also retrofit 19 793F trucks with Caterpillar at the Marandoo iron ore mine. The equipment manufacturer will install Cat Command for Hauling software for operation of the fleet as part of the project. It is expected the first few trucks at Marandoo will be retrofitted in mid 2018.
Chris Salisbury, CEO – Iron Ore, Rio Tinto, said the company was excited about starting this new chapter in its automation story with Caterpillar and Komatsu.
“Rapid advances in technology are continuing to revolutionise the way large-scale mining is undertaken across the globe,” he said. “The expansion of our autonomous fleet via retrofitting helps to improve safety, unlocks significant productivity gains, and continues to cement Rio Tinto as an industry leader in automation and innovation.
“We are studying future additions to our autonomous fleet in the Pilbara, based on value, to help deliver our share of $5 billion of additional free cash flow for the company by 2021.
“Rio Tinto is committed to working closely with our workforce as we transition to AHS including providing opportunities for new roles, redeployment, retraining and upskilling.”

New sorting systems installed for AusPost

Siemens Postal, Parcel & Airport Logistics (SPPAL) has installed six sorting machines at four mail sorting centres for Australia Post.
The Open Mail Handling Systems (OMSs) were installed in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, where they will be used to sort flats, plastic-wrapped magazines and small packages.
They assume the tasks performed for years by sorting machines previously supplied by Siemens.
“We needed to update our existing equipment to handle the large variety of mail coming through our sorting centres, so we selected Siemens’ OMS technology to maximise the volume of product that could be processed through automation,” said Jadd Brammall, Head of Processing, Australia Post.
“The equipment was delivered on time against a very aggressive schedule and our new OMSs have enabled us to significantly improve our efficiency and provide the best platform for meeting the future needs of the business.”
Michael Reichle, CEO, Siemens Postal, Parcel & Airport Logistics, added: “The OMS is our answer to the demanding requirements our customers have to meet, as it’s capable of processing a broader range of mail types and formats than other sorting systems on the market.”
Five of the delivered OMSs are equipped with four input lines and 284 outlets for mail trays and can each sort up to 50,000 items per hour. The sixth OMS is fitted with two input lines and 148 outlets and can sort up to 25,000 items per hour. Barcode readers and printers are used in all six systems.

Rockwell Automation acquires Odos Imaging

Rockwell Automation has acquired Odos Imaging, a Scottish technology company that manufactures sensing systems.
Rockwell Automation intends to apply the technology to sensing products to deliver solutions to a range of industrial applications, including automotive and general assembly, packaging and material handling, and logistics.
“This acquisition enables us to build on our portfolio of smart sensing and safety products, an important part of the foundation for The Connected Enterprise,” said Lee Lane, Vice President and General Manager – Safety, Sensing and Connectivity Business, Rockwell Automation. “It enables us to expand our existing capabilities by bringing 3D, time-of-flight sensor technology to industrial applications.”
Chris Yates, CEO, Odos Imaging added: “We are delighted to be joining Rockwell Automation and continue the development of 3D imaging solutions for industrial applications. Rockwell Automation is a company we have long admired for its ongoing commitment to innovation and substantial domain expertise. We very much look forward to playing our part in the ongoing strategy and helping to achieve the vision of a productive and sustainable future.”

Kobot Systems brings unique material handling solutions to the show

With extensive experience in manufacturing engineering and a range of unique solutions for the logistics and material handling sector, Kobot Systems is another key player in the Australian and international supply chain set to have an impact at the upcoming trade show, MEGATRANS2018.
Kobot Systems specialises in a variety of products for the wider logistics sector, including a unique range of ergonomic, flexible and safe collapsible storage solutions, tailored to suit the many needs of material handling businesses in the international market today.
It is the latest business to sign up to exhibit at inaugural supply-chain expo – MEGATRANS2018 – which takes place over the 30,000sqm of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre 10–12 May 2018.

GetSwift makes Board of Directors appointment, secures Telstra exec

Australia-based delivery logistics software company GetSwift has appointed Nevash Pillay, a member of telco giant Telstra’s executive team – to its Board of Directors.
Pillay has been in the ICT field for 18 years, 14 years in a leadership capacity.
“We are absolutely delighted to welcome Ms Pillay to our Board of Directors,” said Bane Hunter, Executive Chairman, GetSwift. “She brings a very important set of up-to-date skills, experiences, points of view and networks that will be an important component of the forthcoming company roadmap.”
Pillay noted, “I’m thrilled to be part of the Board of Directors at GetSwift, a company that is innovative, has a best-in-class software solution and adds tremendous value to businesses by improving their customers’ experiences.”

Australian researchers developing rail safety computer models

Researchers from Australia and Indonesia are developing computer models to predict how railcars will respond to different track conditions, to improve rail safety and efficiency in both countries.
They’ve already created a successful model for passenger carriages, which has been validated against the performance of trains in Indonesia. Now the researchers are working on models for freight trains.
“For railways, it’s standard practice to measure the conditions of the track periodically,” said Dr Nithurshan Nadarajah, a research engineer at the Institute of Railway Technology at Monash University.
“However, the influence of a track’s condition on the vehicle isn’t fully understood. So the thresholds for when to intervene with maintenance aren’t comprehensive, or optimised.
“Lots of relevant data is helping our computer algorithm learn about the relationship between track conditions, running speeds, and the response of a moving train under these conditions. This work will help operators predict the response of different wagons, and identify maintenance requirements based on performance.”
The researchers are also hoping the models could be used to predict optimal running speeds based on the track condition and vehicle characteristics, but that work is yet to be validated.
The project, supported by The Australia-Indonesia Centre, is using data collected by a real-time monitoring railcar – utilising the Instrumented Revenue Vehicle Technology (IRV) developed by the Institute of Railway Technology – which ran for several weeks during 2016 on a track between Surabaya and Lamongan in East Java, Indonesia. Further IRV data from an Australian line managed by the Australian Rail Track Corporation is also used for this research.
When a range of different vehicles use the tracks – for example passenger and freight wagons – the risk reportedly increases, when using the current passive track condition–based maintenance threshold.
“The increased demand on railways – particularly in a growing country like Indonesia – is quickly exposing the crippling limitations of traditional passive assessment, and a number of derailments have resulted from a combination of track defects and rolling-stock condition,” said Nithurshan.
The project involves The Australia-Indonesia Centre’s Infrastructure Cluster, with the support of the Australian Rail Track Corporation,, Public Transport Victoria, the Institute of Railway Technology, Monash University, the Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember, the Government of East Java, PT Kereta Api Indonesia (the national rail company), Java Integrated Industrial and Port Estate, the Lamong Bay Terminal container port.

NTC telematics review needs wider focus: ALC

The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) has called for the National Transport Commission (NTC) to consider the benefits of using telematics to improve multiple aspects of heavy vehicle safety, including the control of speeding compliance and advancing land transport market reform, for the review of regulatory telematics it is currently undertaking.
“ALC has a longstanding record of advocating for the mandatory use of telematics to enhance heavy vehicle safety,” said Michael Kilgariff, Managing Director, ALC.
“It is pleasing that the NTC has at last agreed to examine matters including industry adoption rates, barriers to adoption and the governance and legislative arrangements surrounding the use of telematics in heavy vehicles.”
Kilgariff noted that it is important that the parameters of the review are sufficiency broad so as not to impede active consideration of the benefits of telematics, both in terms of enhancing road safety and boosting national productivity.
“Industry has consistently told the NTC and other government bodies that mandatory use of telematics is essential to driving efficiency and safety improvements in the heavy vehicle sector,” he added.
“Discussion about making more effective use of telematics has been ongoing for a number of years, and during that time the technology available to industry has become both more reliable and more accessible, as the price of telematics equipment falls.
“ALC’s continuing discussions with industry participants regarding the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy indicate that industry is continuing to embrace innovative technological solutions.
“This means it is now easier than ever to collect reliable data that can shape the development of a more efficient and safer freight transport network.”

Former Toll Group GM joins supply chain firm TM Insight

Supply-chain consultancy TM Insight has appointed Rob Turner, former General Manager – Business Development and Solutions for logistics company Toll Group, as a Director of its Supply Chain division.
Turner has designed, built and operated automated warehouses across multiple industry sectors including retail, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), general merchandise, automotive and healthcare.
“TM Insight’s reputation, team members, and unique approach were an attractive proposition to join the business,” said Turner. “I am really looking forward to sharing my experience with TM Insight’s current and future customers in what is a rapidly changing environment.”
Turner will be led by Adam Noakes, head of the Supply Chain Division, who joined TM Insight from Kmart in 2013, where he was General Manager of Supply Chain.
“A key factor for our clients is that all of our directors bring industry experience rather than just theoretical consulting experience,” said Noakes. “This is what our clients value most, and Rob is without doubt one of the top-tier supply chain professionals in Australia.”
Founder of TM Insight, Travis Erridge, added, “To have someone of Rob’s calibre join us is a huge coup for our business. Being able to add Rob’s broad industry knowledge and expertise will significantly enhance our supply chain offering to our clients.”
Turner will begin in the role in December 2017.

Amazon Australia launch may have gone “horribly wrong”

Australian retailers partnering with Amazon have been left confused after the e-commerce company failed to launch its full Australian site on Black Friday, 24 November, ChannelNews reports.
The retailers have reportedly not received any communication from Amazon, since getting an email earlier in the week advising them to be prepared for a soft launch at 2pm yesterday, Thursday, 23 November.
ChannelNews shared that an executive from Synnex, a major distribution partner for Amazon, said it had not received a single order.
“It appears that something has gone horribly wrong and they have decided not to launch,” the executive said.
One retailer told ChannelNews that it felt that it was being kept in the dark. “We have no order, we don’t even have access to an Amazon tracking portal,” the source said. “Our stock is sitting in warehouses ready to go.”
Technology distributor Ingram Micro said it had had no orders so far, and suggested that the original communication announcing a soft launch may have been a tactic by Amazon to prompt local competitors to announce their own Black Friday discounts.

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