Robotics & Automation News

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Nippon Express opens ‘cutting-edge, showroom-style’ logistics facility

Nippon Express has completed the construction of its what it describes as a “cutting-edge, showroom-style logistics facility”.

NEX-Auto Logistics Facility (NEX-ALFA) is located within a warehouse estate in Tokyo’s Koto Ward, andfeatures artificial intelligence and internet of things technologies.

Nippon Express says declining birthrates and a shrinking population have resulted in serious labor shortages in recent years for Japan’s logistics industry, which has been pursuing “work style reform” as advocated by the government.

The advanced automation technologies featured at NEX-ALFA include:

  • AutoStore: a robot storage system that maximizes storage efficiency
  • EVE: an automated transport robot designed to improve storage efficiency and reduce labor
  • RACK FORK AUTO: an unmanned automated forklift designed to reduce labor
  • AGV: a guideless automated transport device for roll combitainers
  • THOUZER: a target-guided autonomous robot designed to reduce the labor required for warehousing tasks
  • Projection Picking System: a digital picking system employing image processing technology
  • RFID Tunnel Gate: a device that utilizes RFID tags to make inspection work more efficient

Companies like Nippon Express have been finding it increasingly necessary to introduce automated and labor-saving equipment at logistics locations.

The installation of state-of-the-art logistics equipment at existing warehouses requires companies to select the advanced equipment, make layout changes, revamp the flow of operations and resolve such issues as securing investment capital.

The newly opened NEX-ALFA features a variety of logistics equipment employing advanced technology to segmentalize tasks and processes within the logistics center and achieve greater efficiency and labor-saving in logistics operations.

The NEX-ALFA facility will also serve as a showroom to allow visiting customers to see logistics equipment actually operating under a sharing model at a logistics center that handles a full range of tasks – from warehouse receiving to storage, picking, packing, and shipping – for apparel-related products.

Nippon Express says it will continue providing order-made logistics solutions to resolve customers’ logistics issues “as best suited to each customer’s facilities and products” by integrating the logistics equipment deemed optimal for each customer’s needs with its own capabilities.

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