DHL and Wärtsilä complete tests of mobile robots from Fetch Robotics for warehouse operations

Industrial technology company Wärtsilä and the world’s largest logistics company, DHL, say they have been utilising mobile robots from Fetch Robotics to streamline warehouse operations. 

The companies say they have completed a “successful pilot”, where they tested autonomous vehicles from Fetch Robotics.

The pilot was carried out in Wärtsilä’s central distribution centre in Kampen, the Netherlands, where the entire logistics chain of Wärtsilä’s spare parts, from order intake to customer delivery, is managed.

As Wärtsilä’s partner, DHL runs the warehouse operations.  Continue reading DHL and Wärtsilä complete tests of mobile robots from Fetch Robotics for warehouse operations

Big industrial robot manufacturers looking to move into China

yaskawa china
Picture courtesy of Dr Miha Pipan

The huge and growing demand for industrial robots in China is prompting the world’s largest industrial robot makers to look into setting up operations in the country. 

In particular, Japanese companies are said to be profiting from China’s huge increase in demand for industrial robots.

Statistics collated by the Japan Robot Association show that the country exported around $4.4 billion worth of industrial robots to China in 2016.  Continue reading Big industrial robot manufacturers looking to move into China

Industrial internet of things improving everything, says Rockwell Automation CEO

rockwell ceo blake moret
Rockwell CEO Blake Moret

Industrial internet of things applications are leading to better collaboration, faster problem-solving and increased productivity, according the boss of Rockwell Automation.

Blake Moret, president and CEO of Rockwell, spoke on internet of things adoption and its impact on industrial productivity, sharing insights with more than 1,200 business leaders at Cisco’s IoT World Forum.

Rockwell claims to be the industry’s only company solely dedicated to industrial automation and information, and says it is “uniquely positioned to understand the challenges and opportunities associated with harnessing the future of smart manufacturing”.  Continue reading Industrial internet of things improving everything, says Rockwell Automation CEO

Woodside Energy to train Nasa’s Robonaut to work in oil and gas industry

nasa robonaut

Woodside Energy and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration have launched a new collaboration program under which the Australian independent oil and gas company will develop applications for Nasa’s Robonaut in its own operations. 

Under the partnership Nasa will loan Woodside an Anthropomorphic Robonaut System for a 60-month deployment in Perth. Together the two organisations will explore how the robotic technology could be used to improve safety, reliability and efficiency in the high-risk and remote environments where Woodside operates.

Woodside will contribute its advanced cognitive science technology, being developed in its Western Australian operations, and Nasa will share its expertise in Robonauts that are already being used for simple, repetitive, or especially dangerous tasks in places such as the International Space Station.  Continue reading Woodside Energy to train Nasa’s Robonaut to work in oil and gas industry

General Motors to invest an extra $1 billion in US manufacturing

gm building

General Motors says it will invest an additional $1 billion into its manufacturing operations in the US, adding to the $2.9 billion of investment it announced last year. 

And in a what may have been an extra comment aimed at President-elect Donald Trump, GM says it has invested a total of $21 billion in its US manufacturing operations since 2009.

Like virtually all other automakers and large manufacturing companies, such as Apple, GM has been the target of some criticism from Trump, who wants to fulfil his campaign promise to bring back manufacturing jobs to the US.  Continue reading General Motors to invest an extra $1 billion in US manufacturing

Honeywell partners Aereon for oil and gas IIoT

honeywell uop

Honeywell and Aereon say they will collaborate on solutions to help industrial customers boost the safety, efficiency and reliability of their operations by leveraging Honeywell’s Industrial Internet of Things ecosystem.

“For years, manufacturers and producers have looked for ways to solve operational problems that were believed to be unsolvable – such as unplanned downtime, underperforming assets and inefficient supply chains,” said Andrew Hird, vice president and general manager of Honeywell Process Solutions’ Digital Transformation business.

“With the capabilities of the IIoT, we can find new ways to solve those problems. A key part is the creation of an industrial ecosystem that leverages the depth of knowledge and experience of a range of equipment and service providers such as Aereon.”  Continue reading Honeywell partners Aereon for oil and gas IIoT

Startup company Sea Machines developing self-driving technology for which can be added to traditional boats

sea-machines-self-driving-boat-tech

Boston-based startup Sea Machines is developing autonomous technologies that will enable traditional boats to become self-driving vessels. 

The company says its development heralds a smarter, safer and more efficient era of marine operations brought forward through self-aware and self-driving boats and ships.

With autonomy readily making its way into many traditional land-based and airborne sectors, the massive marine domain is even better suited for autonomous systems with fewer barriers to entry, a high risk operating environment, and an accommodating regulatory space.

More than 20 million vessels are plying the world’s waters including 15 million recreational boats and 100,000 cargo ships; Sea Machines foresees autonomy disrupting this largely manual sector and rapidly developing into a $60 billion space.  Continue reading Startup company Sea Machines developing self-driving technology for which can be added to traditional boats

inVia claims its product is the only autonomous goods-to-box logistics robot

invia robots

The logistics sector is proving to be one of the fastest-growing markets for robotics and automation technology providers.

According to Research and Markets, the global logistics robots market is expected to grow at more than 30 per cent a year up to 2020.

And while there are plenty of established companies providing logistics robots, this is probably a good time to start a new one.

inVia is one of the startups which is hoping to capture some of this growing market, and is offering something it says is unique in its solution.  Continue reading inVia claims its product is the only autonomous goods-to-box logistics robot

The future of small and cooperative robotics, according to Mathias Wiklund of Comau

Mathias Wiklund, chief operating officer, Comau
Mathias Wiklund, chief operating officer, Comau

An interview with Mathias Wiklund, chief operating officer, Comau Robotics. ‘Bringing intelligent robotics to the market means combining ease of use with advanced performance.’

When did you join Comau?

I joined Comau in 2011 as the managing director for Comau Germany, and became the COO of the Robotics Business Unit in 2013. I’m also a member of the Comau Executive Committee.

Having spent most of my career living and working around the world, including Germany, Italy, Sweden, Thailand and the USA, I now enjoy splitting my time between Germany and Italy.  Continue reading The future of small and cooperative robotics, according to Mathias Wiklund of Comau

DecisionPoint Systems automates warehouse operations of Modell’s sporting goods

modell's sporting goods
Image courtesy DeMartino Construction Company

Billion-dollar sporting goods retailer upgrades systems at distribution center with new automation technology 

DecisionPoint Systems, a provider and integrator of enterprise mobility, wireless applications and IoT solutions, has been selected by Modell’s Sporting Goods to lead its distribution technology refresh initiative.

Modell’s will be implementing the latest Zebra Technologies’ mobile handheld, mobile printer devices, and wireless infrastructure in their distribution center, and selected DecisionPoint to oversee both deployment and maintenance services of this critical initiative. Continue reading DecisionPoint Systems automates warehouse operations of Modell’s sporting goods