SMC opens new VIC distribution centre

SMC in Victoria recently held an open day to mark the official launch of their South Australia Distribution Centre. The day was attended by about to 100 customers who came to view the upgraded facilities and attend the product and industry presentations.
SMC Pneumatics established its first subsidiary outside of Japan in Australia more than 50 years ago.
Today, the company has 10 branches and employs over 200 people in the region. With a sales staff of 88, the company has a philosophy of being “close to the customer to enable to them to develop customer centric solutions.
The Victoria branch of SMC was recently upgraded and re-purposed as a Central Distribution Warehouse for the region. The 7327m2 land together with the 3049m2 building is owned by SMC and has space for expansion. The local stockholding of this branch was tripled to enable SMC to supply same-day delivery of standard parts to customers in Victoria, and overnight delivery to South Australia and Tasmania.
The facility includes a warehouse with large local stock holding, training facility with up to date training models and an engineering and design department.
“We established a Central Warehousing Centre at our VIC facility, and the positive feedback from the market gave us the indication that customers were ready for such facility,” said Rodney Ryan, State Manager – Victoria, SMC. “The quicker turnaround time on orders and the availability of critical spares were welcomed by customers. Pneumatics are a critical component of the production line, and customer need quick support and turnaround when spare parts are needed. We are happy to be able to answer this call.
“We have always had a philosophy of being customer centric. Our business and products have evolved and developed around the feedback we receive from our customers. The feedback was, quicker delivery and more stock of critical parts, and SMC is glad to deliver.”

Parkes NSW makes cheeky Amazon bid

Parkes, New South Wales, a town perhaps best known for its reknowned annual Elvis festival, has released a light-hearted video detailing the reasons why Amazon should choose to set its fulfilment operations up there when the eCommerce giant arrives in Australia.
Telling the story of a man using Amazon to get his hands on an Elvis costume, the video notes that Parkes’ air, road and rail connections make it a worthy contender for Amazon’s warehouses.
Parkes Shire Council noted that the town is an intermodal national logistics hub situated where the north-south and east-west rail corridors intersect, “at the crossroads of the nation,” with a regional airport and accessible road networks enabling over 80 per cent of Australia’s population to be reached overnight.
The Council added that Amazon and Parkes “adds up,” as it offers intermodal transport, affordable land and liveable communities.
Check out the video below.


Flexe – the Airbnb of warehousing

US start-up Flexe is revolutionising the way merchants secure storage, using an Airbnb-style model of allocating under-utilised warehouse space, as first reported by Bloomberg.
In less than five years, the Seattle company has established a network – or marketplace – of 550 warehouses, without spending any money on facilities. What’s more, its recently launched overnight US-wide delivery service is better than even Amazon can offer.
Flexe currently has 2.3 million square metres of storage, approximately one quarter of Amazon’s capacity, and the company expects to add a further 930,000 square metres this year.
Flexe has been designed for start-ups that do not know their capacity needs for the future; previously they were obligated to lock themselves into long-term contracts that may prove to be insufficient or overly ambitious for their future needs.
Flexe’s founders decided to tap into underutilised warehouse space, renting it out in the same way that homeowners lease their properties for short periods. The company approached large companies with space booked year-round about using their underutilised space when busy season – be it summer, Halloween, Christmas or Valentine’s Day – has ended.
They then launched ‘overflow’ services, for retailers and wholesalers needing to store pallets of inventory for short periods, later adding online order fulfilment, enabling warehouse operators to charge more to pack and ship orders directly, by truck rather than plane due to the coverage provided by the network of warehouses.
Flexe is proving popular with online brands in the US such as mattress seller Casper as customers can order through the merchant’s own website.

Awards celebrate Australia's manufacturing industry

Redarc Electronics has been crowned ‘Manufacturer of the Year’ at the 14th edition of the Manufacturers’ Monthly Endeavour Awards, held in Melbourne.
The Adelaide-based company beat out of 33 finalists from across the country to claim the evening’s top honour, and also took home the ‘Global Supply Chain Integration of the Year’ title and ‘Most Innovative Manufacturing Company’ award.
Sydney-based hydraulics specialist Enerpac was recognised for its Electric Torque Wrench, taking home the ‘Australian Industrial Product of the Year’ award.
Tasmania’s Greenland Systems was the winner of the ‘Environment Solution of the Year’ accolade for the development of its GLX100 Orange Series solar heating solution.
The ‘Safety Solution of the Year’ award went to United Forklift and Access Solutions for the design of its Athena 850 Bi-levelling Tracked Scissor Lift, while Solentive Software and Clipsal by Schneider Electric won the ‘Technology Application’ award for its Clipsec Application.
Other winners included Crop protection specialist, Nufarm, which was named ‘Exporter of the Year’, and Melbourne’s Yumarr Automation took home the ‘Outstanding Start-up’ award.
“Congratulations to all the finalists and the winners of this year’s Endeavour Awards,” said John Murphy, Managing Director of Prime Creative Media. “Prime Creative Media and Manufacturers’ Monthly are proud to recognise and reward the leaders, the innovative – the very best of what Australian manufacturing has to offer.
“We’d also like to extend a big thank you to our Endeavour Awards’ networking sponsor Industrial Capability Network (ICN), as well as our event sponsors Beckhoff, CSIRO, SICK Sensor Intelligence, SEW Eurodrive, the Australian Advanced Manufacturing Council (AAMC), Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC), the ANCA Group and Air Liquide for all of their support.”
The Endeavour Awards are the most esteemed and prestigious Awards program for the manufacturing sector in Australia.

Logistics robots to represent Australia at Amazon competition

Amazon has announced the 16 finalists in its third-annual Amazon Robotics Challenge, including two teams hailing from Australia.
At the event on 27 July in Nagoya, Japan, the teams will demonstrate their latest robotics hardware and software that can pick and stow items in storage
The Challenge combines object recognition, pose recognition, grasp planning, compliant manipulation, motion planning, task planning, task execution, and error detection and recovery. The robots will be scored by how many items are successfully picked and stowed in a fixed amount of time.
Teams from Australia, Germany, India, Israel, Japan, the Netherlands, the Republic of Singapore, Spain, Taiwan and the United States will be competing for a chance of winning up to US$250,000 ($339,000) in prizes.
“This challenge is an opportunity to strengthen the ties between the industrial and academic robotic communities and promote shared and open solutions to the technical challenges we face in unstructured automation,” said Joey Durham, Contest Chairperson and Manager of Research and Advanced Development, Amazon Robotics. “It’s also a celebration of robotic innovation – something we are deeply focused on at Amazon – and provides a platform for the academic and research community to share and promote their research in a fun and rewarding way.”
The Australian teams taking part are ‘ACRV’, from Queensland University of Technology, and Applied Robotics – Smart Robotics, from the University of Sydney.
The Robotics Challenge will be held during RoboCup, a competition for intelligent robots and one of the world’s most important technology events in research and training. The 2016 contest was held at RoboCup in Leipzig, Germany, and was won by team Delft, a collaboration between Delft Robotics and TU Delft’s Robotics Institute.
“As a result of this contest, we are attracting more interest than ever before from robot manufacturers approaching us to pursue additional research,” said Carlos Hernandez Corbato, Team Delft Captain and postdoctoral researcher. “This challenge was the most exciting project I have ever done in research and the most gratifying because of how much we learned.”

Yusen Logistics standardises global fulfilment operations

Yusen Logistics is deploying Manhattan Associates’ warehouse and distribution management solution ‘Manhattan SCALE’ to power its expanding global logistics services operation.
The solution being implemented on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform is reportedly driving revenue, profitability and efficiency improvements for Yusen Logistics and its customers and will support Yusen Logistics’ ongoing business growth across the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Asia-Pacific (APAC) and Americas regions.
Yusen Logistics offers air, sea and road freight services and made the decision to standardise on a single warehouse management solution (WMS) to be deployed globally and provide consistency of service levels.
“We chose Manhattan SCALE as our strategic fulfilment solution based on a number of factors including functionality, extensibility, ease and speed of implementation, global support capability and total cost of solution ownership,” said Tony Gudger, CIO, Yusen Logistics Europe. “Our long-term partnership with Manhattan, which stretches back 14 years and has involved multiple deployments of its various WMS technologies across the globe, also counted significantly in our selection process.”
During the initial implementations in Southern Europe, Yusen Logistics reported zero issues relating to either Azure or Manhattan SCALE. The company plans to use Manhattan SCALE for the full gamut of local and global customer order fulfilment operations, spanning relatively small, single site distribution hubs to multi-site, multi-channel, high volume throughput supply networks.
Henri Seroux, Senior Vice President – EMEA, Manhattan Associates, said, “Yusen Logistics’ customers across the globe are increasingly pressured to fulfil orders profitably across multiple sales channels and geographies while simultaneously maximising product availability and customer satisfaction. We are excited to provide the technology, services and support capabilities to drive the next phase of Yusen Logistics’ global success story.”

Manitou Australia partners with Modified Rugby Program

Manitou Australia has announced its new partnership with GingerCloud Foundation, through which it will support the growth of the Modified Rugby Program (MRP) for the next three years.
The partnership is aimed at creating long-term pathways for inclusion for children with learning and perceptual disabilities through the MRP, in alignment with Manitou Group’s Corporate Social Responsibility program.
“GingerCloud’s vision through the MRP to move children off the sidelines and into the main game of rugby and life is a great alignment with Manitou’s values and our CSR programs,” said Stuart Walker, Managing Director, Manitou Australia.
“Manitou is a true Australian market and world leader and in association with our national dealer network and staff, we hope we can play a role in spreading the message of inclusion, belonging and success through the MRP,” he added.
Megan Elliott, Managing Director, GingerCloud, said Manitou’s commitment to the MRP shows how corporate Australia can join forces with innovative, grass-roots community programs to create real long-term social change.
“As the MRP is all about creating a world where children like our son Max and their families can feel safe, a sense of belonging and add value to their communities, we are so proud that an organisation like Manitou with its strong family value set fostered by the Braud family, has chosen to support our vision,” said Elliott.
“We are changing the world’s perception of children with learning and perceptual disabilities one rugby club at a time and we are so proud that Manitou will be right there beside us.”
In 2017, the MRP will be endorsed by the Australian Rugby Union as a new division of rugby in Australia and was recognised in 2016 by World Rugby as a Finalist in the Global Rugby Character Award in London.
Since its pilot in 2014 with one team of 16 participants at Brothers Rugby Club in Brisbane, the MRP has grown to include 12 teams of more than 180 participants across South East Qld in three divisions in 2017: the Modified Rugby Program, the MRP 7s and the MRP Colts pilot at Wests Bulldogs Rugby Club in Brisbane.

New facility commissioned for Port of Brisbane logistics estate

Pulp and paper manufacturer Stora Enso has pre-committed to a 5,950m2 purpose-built warehouse facility within the Port of Brisbane’s Port West logistics estate at Lytton, Brisbane.
Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd (PBPL), CEO Roy Cummins welcomed Stora Enso to the estate and confirmed construction would commence on the on the 1.8 hectare site within a fortnight.
“The Port West location – particularly its proximity to the Port of Brisbane’s container terminals and wharves – will enable Stora Enso to significantly reduce its transport logistics costs,” said Cummins.
Stora Enso’s Managing Director Matthew Wood said, “The decision to select the Port West site was principally made due to the location’s proximity to the port and the associated logistics benefits, which will significantly reduce the cost of our freight movements.”
Construction of the new facility is being undertaken by FKG on behalf of PBPL (owner and developer), with occupation prior to the end of 2017. The site will be designed for the import, storage and distribution of timber products and will include over 8,000m2 of hardstand.
Port West Estate is located 6km from the Port of Brisbane and 5km from the Gateway arterial network.

New supply chain tech for Country Road

In a bid to improve its omni-channel offering and take greater control of its supply chain, Country Road Group has rolled out Manhattan’s Warehouse Management Solution.
The technology deployment is a key component of a business transformation project designed to deliver a unified brand experience for customers across channels and to drive ongoing business growth.
With over 700 stores and a growing online operation, Country Road had outgrown its outsourced logistics services model. The company made the strategic decision to invest in a new distribution centre and chose Manhattan’s solution to orchestrate goods flows through the new DC.
Peter Fouskarinis, Head of Supply Chain Australasia, Country Road Group/David Jones commented, “The Manhattan solution has enabled us to optimise our store replenishment and online order fulfilment processes, resulting in improved product availability and customer satisfaction.”
Raghav Sibal, Manhattan Associates’ managing director for Australia and New Zealand, commented, “We’re confident our solutions will continue to unlock supply chain value for Country Road Group and support its commitment to strengthening customer relationships for many years to come.”

Lindsay Australia chooses Toyota for new warehouse fit-out

Transport and logistics company Lindsay Australia has continued its two-decade relationship with Toyota after recently moving in to a new, purpose-built warehouse and refurbishing an existing facility at Brisbane’s Rocklea markets.
Lindsay Australia recently consolidated three separate sites into its new 11,000m2 combined head office, cold storage, workshop, warehouse and transport facility in Acacia Ridge. In the process it added a new fleet of 10 Raymond 8410 pallet trucks, three Toyota 8FBE three-wheel counterbalance forklifts and two BT RRE reach trucks to its existing Toyota warehouse equipment fleet.
In addition to the new Acacia Ridge facility Lindsay Transport recently moved into and refurbished an existing fresh produce warehouse at the nearby Brisbane markets in Rocklea, and the adoption of Toyota’s fast charge technology for its Toyota battery-electric forklifts enabled it to establish its own fumigation room.
“We have the only temperature-controlled DAFF-accredited facility that includes fumigation,” Bob McMillan, General Manager, Lindsay Fresh Logistics. “The opportunity came about when we no longer needed a designated battery charging area, enabling this footprint to be used for fumigation.”
TMHA corporate account customer manager Dave Bartlett said Lindsay Transport now takes advantage of fast charging in short periods of downtime rather than having to charge its forklifts for eight hours each night.
“The forklifts can be charged in period as short as 10 minutes when they’re not in use,” Bartlett said. “This relatively new type of charging technology means you can effectively get 10 hours of battery life rather than seven, and being able to set up their own fumigation facility means they can work much more efficiently while saving a lot of time and money.”

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