China is planning to create what looks like will be the largest, longest and most complex logistics network in history – at a cost to itself of almost $1 trillion.
The so-called Belt & Road Initiative will virtually encircle China, most of Asia and much of Europe, and will mostly consist of interconnected roads, but will also include sea lanes and railways, and possibly some airways.
In total, it will connect approximately 60 countries, and cost anything between $4 trillion and $8 trillion. And the timescale is anyone’s guess.
Aethon has demonstrated new products at Automate 2017 in Chicago specifically designed to address the needs of manufacturers looking to automate material movement and connect islands of automation within their plants.
Grabit, a startup automation systems provider to the manufacturing and warehouse logistics industries, has shipped multiple units of its material handling robot, Stackit, to what it says is “an industry-leading athletic shoe and apparel company”.
Grabit also shipped multiple units of Meterit, its “intelligent conveyor system”, to a “global leader” in express package delivery services.
Swisslog Warehouse and Distributions Solutions Americas, a Member of the Kuka Group and leading provider of best-in-class intralogistics solutions, announces the formation of a new automotive business unit focused on developing and delivering intralogistics automation to tier one suppliers and original equipment manufacturers.
Markus Schmidt, president of Swisslog WDS Americas, says: “Tier one suppliers and OEMs have already been turning to Swisslog and benefiting from our turnkey solutions designed to streamline their work-in-process manufacturing, kitting, and parts storage. Continue reading Swisslog Americas forms automotive group
Kinema Systems claims to have launched what it describes as “the world’s first deep learning 3D vision system for industrial robots”.
A large part of the world’s commerce moves in boxes arranged on pallets. Depalletizing boxes in warehouses, distribution centers and factories is a difficult task that has become more challenging with changing demographics and an increase in product mix.
Mobile Industrial Robots, a developer and manufacturer of autonomous mobile robots for logistics, has launched its newest robot, the MiR200.
The company says the MiR200 is “a more powerful mobile robot in almost every aspect” than the company’s flagship MiR100, which has already been installed in more than 30 countries by companies such as Airbus, Boeing, Flex, Honeywell, Michelin, Procter & Gamble, Toyota and Walmart.
Project uses artificial intelligence to identify, grab, and separate food and beverage cartons
The Carton Council of North America says that it has been conducting a pilot program that uses artificial intelligence to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of carton recycling.
Its research concluded that the system was 50 per cent more productive.
Through a collaboration led by the Carton Council with two Denver-based companies, AMP Robotics and Alpine Waste & Recycling, a robotic system has learned to identify the wide variety of food and beverage cartons in order to grab and separate them from the recycling stream.
The AMP Cortex, nicknamed “Clarke” after the sci-fi author and futurist Arthur C. Clarke, has spider-like arms with specially designed grippers to pick up and separate cartons at a materials recovery facility.
Signs exclusive distribution deal with robotics and laser guided vehicle specialist Skilled Group
KernPack, a distributor of specialist packaging machinery and solutions, has signed an exclusive UK and Ireland distribution deal with Skilled Group, enabling it to sell the company’s complete range of robotic palletising systems and automatic guided vehicles.
Part of KernPack’s strategy to widen its capabilities, by adding end-of-line warehouse automation to its packaging and mailing solutions, the deal also takes the company into the warehouse and logistics market.
Designed for automated warehousing and truck loading, Skilled Group’s products are already used around the world by Bridgestone, Coca-Cola, Nestlè, Kraft, Unilever and Johnson & Johnson in installations costing up to €10m.
UPS says it has successfully tested a drone that launches from the top of a UPS package car, autonomously delivers a package to a home and then returns to the vehicle while the delivery driver continues along the route to make a separate delivery.
UPS conducted the test on Monday in Tampa, Florida with Workhorse Group, an Ohio-based battery-electric truck and drone developer. Workhorse built the drone and the electric UPS package car used in the test.
Mark Wallace, senior vice-president of global engineering and sustainability at UPS, says: “This test is different than anything we’ve done with drones so far. It has implications for future deliveries, especially in rural locations where our package cars often have to travel kilometres to make a single delivery.
Mobile Industrial Robots, a developer and manufacturer of autonomous mobile robots, claims it has seen “an astounding 500 percent growth in sales” in 2016, with over 200 MiR100 robots and accessories installed in more than 30 countries.
The company says it has an “ambitious” plan, and has recently expanded its global presence, establishing regional offices in New York and Shanghai.
With substantial increases in hiring in 2016, MiR also tripled the size of its Denmark headquarters, relocating to a new location that will support its ongoing expansion.
uShip, the online shipping marketplace and freight automation software provider, has closed a $25 million Series D round led by DB Schenker, one of the world’s largest logistics companies and an existing uShip partner.
DB Schenker’s funding comes on the heels of unprecedented investment in logistics and supply chain technology.
ZF teams up with Nvidia on artificial intelligence system for autonomous cars, trucks and industrial applications
ZF says its ProAI system for automated driving is built on high-performance Nvidia Drive PX 2 AI computing platform, and will enable vehicles to “see, think, and act”.
ZF is one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers and a global leader in active and passive safety technology, and has been working with Nvidia to develop artificial intelligence systems for the transportation industry for some time.
The two companies are looking at various sectors, including:
automated and autonomous driving systems for passenger cars;