Backplane releases sun-proof Aplex panel PCs

Backplane Systems Technology is pleased to release Aplex Technology’s new series of IP66 Sunlight Readable seven- and eight-inch panel PCs, the APC-3072 and APC-3082.
The PCs are both powered by the Intel Atom Processor E3845 that delivers excellent performance, with minimal power consumption, supporting 6-36VDC power input with optional ignition control.
The panel PCs also support optional GPS and 3G/4G network function for real-time GPS tracking and asset management. With integrated Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, the devices can connect to local devices for updating real-time location status and route information, plus exchange data with the control centre 24/7.
The two PCs both feature a rugged design with their IP66 rated panel and a wide selection of I/O ports, multiple peripherals and M12 I/O connectors. In addition, the PCs can withstand a operating temperature range of -20°C to +60°C.
The LCD panels are optically bonded and feature anti-reflection technology, making them suitable for use in sunlight or applications where bright light can affect a screen’s readability. The 1,000 nits high brightness screen has been designed for environments where harsh daylight is an issue.
Both PCs have been developed to meet the needs of a range of industries requiring a reliable solution in rugged environments. These include food and beverage, manufacturing, factory automation, communications and in-vehicle computing applications.
Key features:

  • 7″–8″-high brightness LED backlight LCD
  • Fully IP66-certified fanless panel PC
  • Intel Atom Processor E3845
  • 4G DDR3L memory
  • Rugged engineering plastics enclosure and fanless design
  • 6~36V DC wide-ranging power input

Samsung, Packsize receive Australian supply chain excellence award

Packsize International together with its customer Samsung Electronics Australia received the ‘Excellence in Manufacturing Supply Chains’ award during the recent Smart Conference and Expo 2017 event.
Industry judges awarded the On Demand Packaging implementation at Samsung Australia’s Spare Parts and Logistics distribution centre in Sydney. In partnership with DB Schenker, Samsung Australia used Packsize’s custom packaging solution to streamline processes and optimise delivery services. Among the results achieved were production, inventory management, and stock control improvements, less corrugated fiberboard and void fill and reductions in product damage and freight costs.
Within three months of implementing the service, Samsung reported an approximately 50 per cent reduction in concealed damage and a 10 to 15 per cent reduction in the cubic volume of items shipped.
“Stock-takes that required three days can now be done in three hours,” said Samsung Australia’s Spare Parts and Logistics Manager David Ungar. “Packsize is a collaborative and enthusiastic partner, willing to share their experience and knowledge to deliver benefits, and is committed to a long-term relationship.”
“As packaging’s role in the value chain expands, so will our ability to support new operating models, improve logistics, create even greater customer satisfaction, and deliver smarter packaging design,” said Sean Ledbury, General Manager, Packsize International’s Asia-Pacific subsidiary, Packsize Propriety Limited.

New $440 million logistics hub opens in VIC

On Tuesday 11 April Wade Noonan, Minister for Industry and Employment, officially opened Drystone Estate – a 95-hectare industrial precinct that supports the likes of Target, Woolworths, The Reject Shop, Laverton Cold Storage, Rand Transport and Couriers Please.
The site is located 20km from Melbourne’s CBD, and sits close to the Western Ring Road, the West Gate Freeway and the Princes Highway.
The Victorian supply chain and logistics sector is worth $21 billion to the state’s economy each year – or seven per cent of the state’s Gross State Product – and employs 260,000 people state wide. The industrial estate is expected to create jobs for 1,200 people.
“Melbourne is the city of choice for major logistics and supply chain companies to do business,” said Noonan.
“This massive precinct will accommodate some of the biggest names in retail, and create more than a thousand jobs – which is great news for the city’s west.”

Toyota Industries acquires Vanderlande

Toyota Industries Corporation has acquired logistic process automation manufacturer Vanderlande Industries Holding
Founded in 1949, Vanderlande develops material handling systems for the retail and parcel handling industries, passenger baggage handling systems for airports. Vanderlande and a line-up of sorters, conveyors, and other materials handling equipment and software and automated equipment for warehouses.
Vanderlande has 50 sites around the world and approximately 4,500 employees.
Toyota paid approximately 140 billion yen ($1.6 billion) to obtain 100 per cent of the company’s shares and the transaction is expected to complete in Q1 2018.
Toyota said in a statement, “Today’s announcement of the acquisition of Vanderlande enables Toyota Industries to expand its range of materials handling equipment and systems globally beyond lift trucks, which will serve as an important first step for expansion of the materials handling solutions business and make a significant contribution to raising the Toyota Industries Group’s presence over the world.”

New warehouse facilities for Isuzu, Anmar to be built in Melbourne

Property group Dexus has announced that truck company Isuzu and manufacturer Anmar Group have signed onto long-term leases for in-construction facilities at Dexus’ Laverton North industrial estate.
Dexus will develop purpose-built facilities across 21,685sqm for Isuzu Trucks and 15,720sqm for Anmar.
“Anmar and Isuzu Trucks are a perfect fit for our industrial precinct,” said Chris Mackenzie, Head of Industrial Development. “Anmar, a manufacturing company, complements other customers in the precinct like Unipod and Best Bar, while Isuzu Trucks will focus its facility on their Isuzu Care Program, Isuzu spare parts and a technical training centre.”
Construction will soon commence on Isuzu Trucks’ facility. It will include they company’s national head office, showroom, training and spare parts warehouse facility, and Isuzu aims to occupy the premises in December 2017.
Anmar’s facility, currently under construction, will comprise the company’s national head office, showroom, manufacturing and warehouse. The building will house the latest technology including automated manufacturing systems and Anmar intends to move in in October 2017.
“We have applied passive design strategies to each building, with careful consideration of the operations to be undertaken and building orientation,” said Mackenzie. “The basis of each design was to minimise the need for costly inclusions, such as artificial lighting, mechanical systems and automated shading.”

Victoria logistics hubs change hands for $27m

Macquarie Capital-backed investment management company Logos has purchased a logistics facility in Altona North, Victoria for $27.3 million.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Logos acquired two adjoining buildings through the deal, leased to Toll and Visa Global Logistics, and the facility has a combined gross leasing area of 21,720sqm.
Logos purchased the asset from Cadence Property Group. The facility occupied by Visa Global Logistics was completed in 2016 and the company is currently on a 10-year lease.
The second building is soon to be vacated by Toll, though Logos Managing Director, John March, has reported that there is strong interest from potential occupiers looking to backfill the space.
“We are very confident with the demand and dynamics of the Altona North market, giving us confidence to take leasing risk for an asset of this size and nature,” Marsh said.
Last year, Logos purchased the Oxford Cold Storage facility and the Toll NQX facility in Altona, which together cost more than $250 million.

Alibaba-backed warehouse robot raises $18m in funding

Chinese robot company Geek+ has raised RMB100 million ($18 million) in a funding round led by Vertex Venture, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore’s Temasek Holdings.
The Beijing-based enterprise was founded in 2015 and its robots have been likened to the Kiva robots used by Amazon to automate processes in its distribution centres.
The money raised will be used to support the start-up’s research and development capabilities and expand its team and business.
Geek+ manufactures robots for use in warehouses by the logistics industry. They are capable of selecting, transporting and sorting packages and objects, and can move autonomously to aid human colleagues with tasks.
Business Standard reports that 300 of Geek+’s robots can already be found at work in a number of industries including e-commerce, retail and manufacturing in China, covering over 50,000sqm of warehouse space.
It is backed by several large names, including Alibaba whose TMall e-commerce platform it supported during China’s biggest shopping event – Singles’ Day by sorting millions of packages.

Logistics robots market to be worth $29bn by 2021

Research and Markets has recently released a research report on the market for robots designed for use in warehouses and the logistics sector.
The report, ‘Warehousing and Logistics Robots: Global Market Analysis and Forecasts’, found that worldwide sales for the robots reached US$1.9 billion in 2016 ($2.5 billion), forecast to rise to US$22.4 billion (29 billion) by the end of 2021.
Research and Markets also reports that AI advisory service Tractica expects worldwide warehousing and logistics robot unit shipments will increase from 40,000 in 2016 to 620,000 units annually by 2021.
“The market is experiencing strong growth, with many prominent companies showing greater confidence in new robotics technologies that can yield a return on investment (ROI) in less time than it took a few years ago,” the company stated. “In the modern world’s fast-paced, customer-driven economy, the warehousing and logistics industries are looking for robotics solutions, more than ever before, to remain globally competitive.
“While robotics technology has already made an economic impact on the manufacturing sector, it is currently starting to transform supply chain operations to be faster, safer, and more productive. The demand for robots and the supply of matured robotic solutions for the optimisation of logistics processes have created a tipping point that could lead to widespread acceptance and presence of robots in warehouses and logistics operations.”

Stock pickers help museum manage 250k-strong collection

The Australian Museum is employing Toyota Material Handling Australia’s (TMHA) new range of elevated work platforms (EWPs) at its new, purpose-built warehouse facility in Sydney’s west.
The Museum currently has two Bravi Spin-Go stock picker EWPs supplied by TMHA in operation at its 3000sqm warehouse in Castle Hill, with plans to add a larger Bravi Sprint EWP and other Toyota warehousing equipment to the fleet soon.
The Australian Museum’s Dr Anja Divljan said staff at the new facility found the Bravi Spin-Go EWPs to be an easy and efficient way to access some of the 250,000 items of the museum’s collection that are stored at the site.
“The staff here find the EWPs easy to use and they are functioning very well in what is quite a unique warehousing environment,” Dr Divljan said.
The BRAVI Spin-Go EWPs are currently used to access items stored in compactus units that reach four metres in height.
“This part of the warehouse is situated on a floating floor, so there is a weight limit in place,” Dr Divljan said. The higher-reach capacity Bravi Sprint stock picker will be used in the remainder of the warehouse that sits on a solid floor and is fitted out with regular pallet racking.
“This area contains larger and heavier items, many of them on standard pallets, so we are also working with our local Sydney TMHA branch to assess our need for more traditional warehouse equipment like a counterbalance forklift, walkie stackers and pallet jacks,” she said.
“Most of our collections staff aren’t qualified to use a forklift, but they were able to get to work with the EWPs after TMHA organised on-site inductions and familiarisation to a standard recognised by the Australian market.”
TMHA business development and compliance sales manager Andrew Jones said the company had taken a real solutions-based approach to helping the Australian Museum set up its new storage facility.
“The Australian Museum has a lot of different items of varying size, weight and fragility that need to be stored and easily accessed by collections staff. We decided the agile Bravi Spin-Go EWPs would best suit their needs to start with, so we delivered a demonstration unit to the warehouse to physically illustrate and trial its capabilities and confirm that it was the right tool for the job,” he said.

Dematic announces Egemin Automation integration plan

Following its acquisition by the KION Group, Dematic has announced plans for integrating Egemin Automation into its organisation – Egemin Automation was purchased by the KION Group in 2015. The integration, targeted for completion by the end of 2017, will result in the world’s largest Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) supplier, while supporting Dematic’s system integration capability in Europe.
In the first of two major integration moves, Dematic will be creating a ‘Mobile Automation Centre of Excellence’ which will combine the Dematic, Egemin Automation and NDC (a recent Dematic technology acquisition in Australia) AGV products into one global group. The Centre will also include Egemin’s in-floor chain conveyor (E’tow) offerings.
The Centre will be headquartered in Holland, Michigan in the US, the current home of Egemin’s North American operations, under the leadership of Tom Kaminski, former CEO of Egemin NA.
Jeff Moss, CEO, Dematic International stated, “As a member of the KION Group, Dematic and Egemin Automation will leverage KION’s leading market position and continued investment in forklift technology to offer an unprecedented level of expertise, techology and world-class manufacturing to customers. By combining three great brands, the Dematic Mobile Automation business is now effectively the world’s leading provider of innovative AGV and warehouse technologies that will optimise the supply chain.
“Together, we offer the marketplace a unique combination of automation and industrial software solutions that will maximise employee efficiency and minimise customer investment.”
In the second integration move, Egemin’s warehouse automation activities (E’wds) will continue to be located in Zwijndrecht, Belgium and will be integrated into the Dematic Central Europe organisation, reporting to Barbara Wladarz, Managing Director, Central Europe. The Benelux team will continue to serve all European regions in the design and delivery of warehouse and distribution solutions. The enhanced offerings will provide focused vertical market solutions including pallet warehouse systems and standard convey and sort solutions addressing the diversified requirements for markets, such as food & beverage, pharmaceuticals, distribution and logistics, production and manufacturing.
“Current customers of Egemin Automation will benefit as this new and empowered organisation will leverage the strengths of Dematic to offer even more comprehensive solutions and support,” said Jan Vercammen, Managing Director, Egemin Group.
Moving forward, Vercammen will serve as Vice President, Business Development, Dematic International. He will be responsible for business development activities and identifying and facilitating best practices throughout the Dematic International regions of Europe, China, and ANZA.

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