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Issue 52 | JANUARY 2013


AUTOMATING THE SUPPLY CHAIN technology investment and change in processes


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SPICE UP Your warehouse

Jebel ali port welcomed CMA CGM Marco polo

reliability through excellence

Is this step the right thing to do?

DP World celebrated its maiden visit to Jebel Ali

ALS Logistics Solutions


What is Automation? The holiday season has been a short respite from the hectic day-to-day work here at Gutenberg Publishing FZ-LLC. We have set our strategies for 2013 and we are ready to execute them. A stronger team, some new products, more powerful communication and a new LOG Middle East magazine is the result of the past months’ work. When you hold the current issue of LOG Middle East magazine in hand, be aware that it is the last one in this design. The February 2013 issue will be coming out with a complete new touch and feel. It will have a new structure and even more valuable content. You will see … This issue of LOG Middle East Magazine is dedicated to the automation of the supply chain. We have all learned what automation can bring and we all know that automation in a warehouse can ease the daily life of the managers quite a lot. It makes the operations much more transparent and the SKUs better traceable but, of course, automation also has its price. When talking to people about the automation in the supply chain, we found out that everyone sees automation as something different. That is why we did

not want to define it in detail. Automation is something that is done by machinery, robots or computers. With automation labour-intensive processes can be done with less labour - thus the workforce can be reduced. With certain automation it is possible to reduce the use of space – then a smaller footprint of the operations is the result. Certainly, electronics, sensor technology and software play a major role in automation. WMS and ERP are very important when it comes to automation, because the increased throughput utilised with automation can only be achieved by the extensive use of software solutions. Seeing automation in the warehouse from different angles, it becomes clear that the key point is the mechanisation in the warehouse, surrounded by powerful software solutions. Thinking about automation we immediately picture stacker cranes, conveyor technology, mini load systems, automatic packing and labeling and everything visible. That all that runs with the use of extensive software solutions on powerful computers seems to be clear. So with all these different approaches we created our current issue of LOG Middle East Magazine.

Reinhard Wind Owner & Managing Director, Gutenberg Publishing FZ-LLC

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Fast beats slow Effective warehouse design means short routes for goods and staff. Using containers in conjunction with intelligent conveyor systems speed up and optimise logistics operations. We show you how to become fast, flexible and efficient. Contact us, we will gladly advise you.

P: +971 4804 8100 路 E: 路







SPICE UP YOUR warehouse More and more companies in the Middle East plan to integrate automated solutions into their new facilities or think about retrofitting their already existing warehouses. There must be a reason for that.

ALS Logistic Solutions is a multi-national company with offices in Dubai, Germany, Singapore and Malaysia, specialising in Material Handling and Storage Systems’ Automation.



role of feedback systems in fleet telematics

Warehouse automation The evolution of technology pushes all those involved in the warehousing industry to start considering new means & ways, not only for today’s but most importantly, for tomorrow’s warehouse operations and its environment.

Greg Nichols reports on how telematics feedback systems can play a significant role in managing driver behaviour and reducing fuel expenditure for fleets.





World‘s largest manmade port welcomed the world‘s largest container ship DP World’s flagship Jebel Ali Port, celebrates the maiden visit of the world’s largest container ship, CMA CGM Marco Polo.

LOG. Window

DRIVE TECHNOLOGY ECONOMISes packaging material Choice of automation enables packaging machinery users to reduce energy costs and avoid shrink-wrap film waste.





Spice up your Warehouse 6

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More and more companies in the Middle East plan to integrate automated solutions into their new facilities or consider retrofitting their already existing warehouses. There must be a reason for that. Well-known industry expert Mr. Uwe Kircheis looks behind the scenes and critically analyses if this step is the right thing to do. I was approached a couple of weeks ago by LOG Middle East Magazine and asked for an expert opinion on automating the supply chain. Well, as we all know there are lots of opinions and theories about how the logistics and supply chain market will develop within the next few years. Not to worry, this article will not bore you with charts, definitions and numbers. The aim of the following pages is to discuss if automation really is the “Aston Martin of solutions” in warehouse management and logistical processes and, if yes, how a smooth transition can be guaranteed. For those readers who are not familiar with the fundamental logistics warehouse processes, here is a short excerpt: The conventional manual logistic solution always consists of a goods receiving where single SKUs on pallets are received, and then -in a second step- are stored in the warehouse. In a third step the order picking takes place. Different SKUs are collected and picked in a specified quantity for numerous customer orders. Before the final packaging and shipping process will be initiated, the order is audited in the dispatch area. The usual and expected case is – if a business is doing well – that a customer base will be built over January 2013 I



time. Orders increase, the amount of stock rises, maybe even key accounts are supplied. In this stage it becomes difficult to keep the level of accuracy. That is when additional capacities are discussed. Every company will reach a point at when internal optimisation through other solutions, e.g. the construction of new warehouses, a better storage of products, training of employees, improvement of transport routes, additional man power etc. is not possible as everything imaginable has been done. This is the stage when semiautomation comes into play.

Popular questions that are posed in such development stages are: How can I improve my business with the integration of automated systems? Or maybe design for a potential extension? Is it also possible to construct already existing facilities making them more efficient with certain automation solutions? In my opinion companies should focus on certain areas in which they can standardise via technology. The most effective solutions


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of improving the status quo with the help of simple automation systems are:

1. STANDARDISATION The standardisation of long transport distance or different floor levels 2. EXISTING PICKING The support of the existing picking process with standardisation 3. MORE CAPACITY The creation of more storage capacity on an unchanged area with small articles in great quantities In the first case, a conveyor system could help bridge longer distances with automated systems. Modular conveyor technology can be implemented into already existing conventional manual logistic solutions -and expanded to complete automated systems any time in the future in order to link long distances and different levels. The advantages are obvious: Automated conveyor systems eliminate frequent moving processes

through manual access or forklift handling and the associated loss of time. Furthermore they increase the throughput performance and guarantee high efficiency. The latest developments also place focus on ergonomic factors which ensure more comfortable interaction with personnel, and thus increases productivity levels. The amelioration of picking processes can also be done through standardisation, e.g. pick-by-light facilities. Pick-by-light means that the picker is provided with the information which and how many articles he should pick through a display directly on the pick location (and not trough a packing list as in conventional picking processes). Why go for this solution? Studies have proven that the order picking quality is increased in comparison to picking by order lists and order picking errors are almost excluded. In addition, this solution is easy to handle, paper-free and features reliable user guidance. For the storage of small parts in great quantities standardised solutions are available in the market. An example could be the SSI SCHAEFER LogiMat速 - an automatic vertical lift storage. This solution is comparable to an oversized drawer cabinet with two stacks of trays. Between those stacks operates a lift, which pulls out individual trays as required and


Mr. Uwe Kircheis, SSI Schaefer delivers them to the service window. The advantages are obvious: The Logimat is an autonomous system which saves up to 90% of storage space in comparison to conventional static storage solutions, minimises order picking errors through computer-controlled processes, increases the order picking speed, decreases travel times by more than 70% and reduces costs for energy and storage. These three examples show that efficiency can be increased by simple automation technologies and that companies do not need to start with a high bay warehouse or Miniload cranes when they decide to automate their supply chain. Yes, you could of course automate the whole warehouse, but this step is not reasonable in most cases.

The above mentioned semi-automated solutions avoid high investment costs and possess a relatively low risk compared to fully automated solutions.

automation solutions after a couple of years. Examples for that are global players in the food and beverage or retail/ fashion industry.

Fully-automated systems can be implemented at a later date, when the operating staff is familiar with simple automation solutions and when the increasing of stockyard and throughput reach an impossible point for manual handling. In this case a consultancy and detailed planning phase including data analysis and simulation studies are recommend.

Yes, automating the supply chain will be the right move, especially when you are at the peak of your business and already implemented other possible improvements.

Projects in the Middle East region show that customers who followed this path not only reached satisfying results, they partly also went for more sophisticated

A solution like conveyor systems, pickby-light or an automatic vertical lift storage system will definitely improve your business and therefore will help to reach strategic aims more reliably.

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Warehouse Automation The evolution of technology pushes all those involved in the warehousing industry to start considering new means & ways not only for today’s, but most importantly, for tomorrow’s warehouse operation and its environment.


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In the past 30 years or so, the role of the warehouse operation has drastically changed and has already moved away from its very basic core functions such as receiving, storing, tracking and supplying of finished Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) to customers or Raw and Packing Materials to factories for their eventual manufacture/conversion to finished goods. In today’s warehousing environment, more emphasis is being placed on matters related to speedy but accurate receipt and delivery of SKUs. Optimum warehouse space utilisation, correct use and proper application of all Material Handling Equipment (MHE), the application of Lean Process and the 5S Technique all the way to ensuring their customers’ satisfaction, retention and most importantly safeguarding their loyalty are among the main criteria. Owing to the complexity and sophistication of today’s warehouse operation, its role provides a twofold benefit, aiming to achieve an optimum position between minimising the total cost of operation, whilst delivering the expected service level for the business. Taking into consideration this fast changing environment, the employees involved in the warehouse business must be well equipped with all relevant knowledge as their role has been upgraded to a higher level. In this issue of LOG Middle East Magazine we asked Mr. Petros N. Zenieris, a Singapore-based business consultant and trainer, owner of “The Business Criterion” his opinion about the advancement in warehouse technologies and we would like to share his knowledge with our readers; January 2013 I



The four categories are as follows: 1. Voice Technology 2. Pick-to-Light 3. Automated Storage & Retrieval Systems (AS & RS) 4. Pick-n-Go Order Selection VOICE TECHNOLOGY Voice technology is a new alternative for warehouse workers, which enables them to communicate verbally with the system via radio frequency, similar to RFID technology, but in a way much more advanced. Voice technology uses speech recognition and speech synthesis to allow warehouse workers to communicate with the Warehouse Management System (WMS). Warehouse workers use a wireless, wearable computer with a headset and a microphone to receive instructions by voice and to verbally confirm their actions and results back to the system. This wearable computer or voice terminal communicates with the Warehouse Management Software via a radio frequency (RF) local area network (LAN).

Each warehouse worker requires a belt-worn, wireless terminal, which consists of a headset with a microphone and receives instructions by voice and verbally confirms actions back to the system. A classic example of this would be that in a voice technology operating warehouse environment an order picking application for 10 cases of X SKU is transmitted to an operator. The operator then receives his instruction via his headset and collects the 10 cases of X SKU. Now in order to complete this task he reports through his portable microphone a pre-arranged phrase such as “Yes” or “Done”. The computer in the warehouse office captures the phrase and records the text “Yes” to the programme. The database in turn reduces the quantity of X SKU by 10 cartons from the stock. 12

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Order picking productivity usually improves functionality by 10% to 20% since workers’ hands and eyes free operation speeds up the picking of SKUs by reducing all unnecessary movements such as walks back to the assignment desk. This way the warehouse productivity is also improved by paperless picking as the work of printing and distributing picking lists or labels is mostly eliminated.

TIP - Difference between Speech recognition & Voice recognition: ->Speech recognition is the method of capturing the voice to identify and to return what someone has spoken. ->Voice recognition is a method of capturing the voice to identify the person that is speaking.

PICK-TO-LIGHT This system could be used for collecting or placing products as an alternative to manually picking or packing various SKUs within the warehouse area. The main purpose of this technology is to electronically assist warehouse personnel to locate the pick or pack location of the

specific SKU(s) by the flashing indicator light hence enabling packers to work in a more efficient and effective way in their respective areas.

The device is usually located at the bottom or on top of the bin, shelf or rack warehouse area to attract the attention of the picker or packer. This way the order is scanned and the quantity required is shown on the “display module”. A light illuminates to inform the operator to collect the specific SKU(s) from the respective location. This prompts the operator to collect the exact quantity and then press the “send” button at the bottom of the location to confirm the transaction. Stock is updated - “real-time”. One of the benefits of “Pick-to-Light Technology” is that it provides additional speed and accuracy in the order processing not to mention reducing the time required to search for the location or the correct SKU hence, speeding the picking or packing rate significantly. On the other hand, such technology is more relevant to small size SKUs placed in bins, or on shelves and not so applicable for big size SKUs placed on pallets or bulk stacking.



A few examples would be the auto manufacturing industry and various paints and chemicals.

“AS & RS” is a computer-controlled robot type system for sorting, storing and retrieving various SKUs, usually pallet loads either vertically or horizontally as it moves along fixed isles within the warehouse area.

Increase in productivity levels in terms of picking, replenishing and sorting SKUs without human operator’s intervention is one of the many benefits of AS & RS technology implementation. The fact that this system is constructed in modules makes it extremely flexible; the settings could be easily adjusted to meet warehouse expansion plans therefore reducing labour costs and increasing inventory accuracy levels.

This represents a much faster, reliable and most importantly accurate operation as the system does not require human operators to function unlike other MHE forklifts etc. Although this application requires a generous warehouse area for the business to get the maximum benefit from the technology, it should be noted that the demand for the above mentioned automated systems in today’s warehousing environment is on the rise. AS & RS can significantly improve the warehouse productivity in many industries and not only in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG).

PICK-N-GO ORDER SELECTION Similar to Pick-to-Light selection, PickN-Go Order Selection is based on an automated fork lift process which can be provided from a variety of fork lift suppliers and enables the order picker to handle the fulfilment of the order with ease and respond with speed and accuracy.

This system allows the warehouse picker and the automated fork lift to work together so whenever a picker picks a case or unit there is always a fork lift readily available and waiting for him/her. This way the picker’s productivity increases substantially. Let us consider that the Warehouse Management System (WMS) sends the customer order to the picker along with an automated fork lift. The picker receives the customer’s order via a pick by voice headset, at the same time the automated forklift loaded with a pallet is dispatched at the right place (following the picker) with its forks at the right height. The picker can now pick the assigned quantity of each SKU and place them on the top of the pallet, as the picker receives a new customer order the forklift automatically escorts the picker to the next location hence, enabling the picker to pick instead of driving the forklift. When the pallet on the forklift gets loaded, the system dispatches a new pallet to the picker and the loaded pallet is automatically driven to the dispatch area.

One of the reasons why Pick-N-Go Order Selection technology is in demand nowadays is that apart from the system being compatible with most forklift brands, it is an entirely hands’ free process, which increases the picker’s flexibility in the warehouse. It also minimises the worker’s time spent in searching for the correct SKU or moving back and forth to the warehouse office to collect or deliver orders. The picker continues working in his designated warehouse area never leaving his picking area. By eliminating unproductive steps in the warehouse business environment it helps boost the productivity rate.

Volkswagen automated storage in Wolfsburg, Germany

The key point however is that in this fast moving and ever demanding environment, in order to be ahead of the game it is necessary to be not only familiar with the current warehouse developments, but also to be able to constantly and continually upgrade one’s knowledge with current and advanced trends to deliver the expected service level and contribute to the optimisation of the company’s performance effectively. January 2013 I



WORLD’S LARGEST MAN-MADE PORT WELCOMED WORLD’S LARGEST CONTAINER SHIP DP World’s flagship Jebel Ali Port, the largest man-made port in the world, celebrated the maiden visit of the world’s largest containership, CMA CGM Marco Polo, owned by the CMA CGM Group. This milestone reinforced Dubai’s and the port’s role as a regional gateway for the new generation of mega liner vessels. The 16,020 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent container units) capacity vessel was welcomed by DP World officials and a commemorative plaque marking the occasion was presented by Mohammed Al Muallem, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, DP World, UAE Region, to Captain Igor Sikic, representing the French shipping line owner CMA CGM.


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Mohammed Al Muallem, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, DP World, UAE Region, said: “We are delighted to welcome the Marco Polo to Jebel Ali.

“It shows the expertise of the Group’s teams, who are able to handle not only the very technical piloting of the ship but also its commercial operations.”

The vessel’s arrival heralds a new era of mega container liners. We stand ready to serve these giants and the even larger vessels currently under construction.

“The introduction of this new 16,000 TEU vessel on the Europe to Middle East route reinforces CMA CGM willingness to bring the best into this market. CMA CGM would like to thank Dubai and DP World who made it possible for the world’s largest container vessel, the CMA CGM MARCO POLO to call in Jebel Ali.“

“Already today Jebel Ali Port is handling an average per week of three ultra-large container ships (ULCS) with a capacity of 14,000 TEU and above, and we anticipate that number will increase steadily in coming years.” Nicolas Sartini, CMA CGM Group Senior Vice President Asia-Europe Lines, said: “It is a great pride for the CMA CGM Group to have launched this new vessel, which is the largest in the world.

Marco Polo, the first in a series of three to be named after great explorers, measures 396 metres in length and 54 metres in width, and boasts a draft of 16 metres. Sailing under the UK flag, the ocean carrier is on its way back to China.


Media Information 2012/2013 LOG.WINDOW The LOG.WINDOW section focuses on people and achievements. It communicates all important news for the supply chain industry. The reader gets to know about new acquisitions, people in a change and all necessities to be known. The news are brought in a brief and easy to read style. COMPANY PROFILES Most companies have a far wider product and service portfolio than the public knows. That is why we present companies in a way that the reader easily grasps the story behind the company, organization or authority. PROCESSES & SOLUTIONS We look in depth into processes, case studies and solutions to give a wider spectrum of knowledge to our readership. We feature realistic scenarios that are ready to be applied for others. Partly this is covered in case studies, in educational expertises or in industrial analysis. TECHNOLOGY What would the supply chain be without technology? The technology section describes the “must have� technologies and gadgets that make the supply chain processes more efficient and faster. Easy to read extracted from technical providers. | PRINT | | WEB | | DIGITAL | | FACE TO FACE |

Request the new Media Information! BE POSITIONED VIA > Print Magazine > Inlets & Supplements > Web Portal > HTML mailings > Industrial Events > and much more

EVENTS & MORE We cover some of the most important and interesting events from the supply chain industries around the region and abroad. We grasp the essence and the values and give our brief overview. We cover all that with pictures and we point out the highlights of the events. LOG.CAFE The LOG.CAFE gives Influential and powerful personalities the possibility to contribute their valuable insights to top issues from the supply chain industries. Your Logistics & Supply Chain Experts

CONTACT US TODAY! T: +971 (4) 4334 360 E:


Automation is in demand Increasing labour costs and industries’ competitiveness and desire to maximise their profit margin, taking into account their commitment to deliver outstanding services to their respective customers are among the many factors responsible for the rapid evolution in production and warehousing systems.


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This is one of the main reasons we, at LOG Middle East Magazine chose to start the New Year with the theme “Automation” and to answer our readers’ questions we had an interview with Ms. Katharina Albert, Managing Director of Kat Logics and Mr. Martin Palmer, Business Director of SICK Automation, two industry experts with different backgrounds but similar opinion when it comes to Automation. What is automation and what are its uses? Katharina Albert: Automation is the standardisation of processes and the use of control systems and information technology to replace manual operations through machines and other electronic devices. Automation is a method to reduce human intervention in order to speed-up processes and optimise productivity in the production of goods and delivery of services. Automation is used in the manufacturing and logistics industry, e.g. for production & assembly lines in the food and packaging industry, for automated conveyor & sorting systems or automated warehousing in the logistics sector. Martin Palmer: Automation is the replacement, or enhancement, of manual activities by using machines or control systems. The process of automation is necessary where one or even all, of the following is a critical factor: 1. quality control, such as detection and isolation of bad quality packaging along a biscuit manufacturing line 2. consistency /accuracy of results, such January 2013 I



Mr. Martin Palmer, SICK Automation

as volumetric measurement of parcels in a postal application 3. productivity, such as throughput of units per hour 4. speed of process, such as high speed counting of bottles along a conveyor line 5. safety issues, such as optical laser anticollision systems in ports, airports and on mobile vehicles 6. beyond human control, such as in toxic environments

Which businesses or rather which sectors need automation? Katharina Albert: Production facilities with a high throughput of homogenous products can make good use of automated transport and production lines with fast machines. Examples are bottling plants, food processing & packaging facilities or


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Ms. Katharina Albert, KAT Logistics

other factories that mainly produce and assemble plastic or metal components. Automated storage and retrieval systems as for high bay or small parts storage systems are used for fast-moving consumer goods, spare parts distribution, in airport cargo terminals and for handling delicate items (e.g. luxury goods, perfume, electronics, pharmaceuticals or police evidence).

Martin Palmer: Automation can be found in almost any industrial sector involved in logistics, manufacturing, processing, packaging, measuring, sensing, detecting, profiling, positioning, networking, feedback loops and really any application where there is a moving part or some form of information dissemination. Broadly grouped, as sensor-specialists, we cluster automation applications into Logistics Automation (LA), Factory Automation (FA), and Process Automation (PA) sectors.

What are the advantages for the customers? Katharina Albert: Companies benefit from automation by increasing their productivity, ensuring a hygienic environment and stable product quality as well as reducing costs by achieving economies of scale. The risk of damage is reduced drastically as goods are usually transported in same-shaped boxes or containers for automatic handling. Production parameters, travel paths, speed and pick-up/drop-off locations are predefined in the system avoiding damages often incurred by improper handling or the use of forklifts. Automated systems have a better production space utilisation and higher storage density than manually operated facilities. Furthermore shrinkage and theft can be prevented as areas with automated equipment are not accessible to staff for safety reasons. The use of control logic requires a sophisticated IT system,


and storage facilities, cheap energy and most apparently a low adoption rate of lean principles and IT technology in the manufacturing and logistics sector. In the boom years businesses were growing too fast and earned high margins, so there was no time or reason to look at more efficient ways to operate except for running into capacity constraints (e.g. Dubai airport). With decreasing margins and higher customer demands we will see a shift in the industry to step-up efforts in order to deliver faster and to provide a better quality of products and services to distinguish themselves from their local and global competitors.

which also ensures high accuracy along with many useful features of warehouse management systems such as cycle counting, storage location optimisation, alerts for expiring goods, picking by country of origin, sophisticated inventory reports etc.

Martin Palmer: These will vary depending on which of the above listed 6 critical factors are relevant to the customer. For instance, where throughput or capacity constraints are the issue, then automation can greatly increase productivity, resulting in higher output and lower units costs. Where safety is the key concern, then automation using robots, sensors and machines will greatly reduce or eliminate the risks to humans or other physical assets.

for cleaning and refilling through the entire facility, the Zam Zam water filling & storage system in Saudi Arabia, as well as large dairy and juice production facilities by Al Rawabi and Almarai to name a few. Compared to the US and Europe the overall automation level is still low, this is mainly due to affordable manpower, widely available space for new production

Martin Palmer: Automation in the Middle East has in the past been less prevalent than in the more industrialised economies of Europe and America for instance, but this is really starting to change quite rapidly as the demand for increased quality, safety and throughput increases across our region. Such trends are evidenced by the massive investment into cutting-edge automation technologies as key parts of airport, port, and transport infrastructural projects across the MENA region.

In general, Automation can bring an increase in both the reliability of results as well as the quality of the output realised.

How would you define the current Automation “landscape� in the Middle East? Katharina Albert: There are already some great systems installed throughout the region, for example the Dubai Duty Free warehouse, the airport cargo facilities in Dubai (FG5), the Emirates Baggage Transfer System by rail-guided destination coded vehicles, the Emirates Flight Catering Monorail System to transport aircraft carts January 2013 I



Is Full Automation the ultimate solution? Katharina Albert: There is no ultimate solution for such a versatile industry. Full automation is justified for certain types of goods, but would also mean a loss of flexibility. Hence the level of automation to adopt is more a strategic decision depending on the individual business case rather than the available technology. Predictably in this region many facilities will remain operating manually and optimize only on the process level, through changes in the shop floor layout and racking system, by deploying modern equipment and IT systems to cope with the changing business environment. Then of course we will hear of more and more high-tech projects throughout the Middle East catering to specific industry needs. Automation and its integration will become more affordable as the technology and experts are available in regional offices. The highest growth rates we will see for semi-automated solutions, that mitigate investment and implementation risks, offer a smooth transition from the current way 20

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of operating and allow for more flexibility in handling diverse goods coming from markets in Asia and Africa as well as Europe and the US. Hence manufacturers and logistics providers can benefit from all the advantages the region has to offer: cheap energy, space and labour combined with the reliability and accuracy of automation and IT technology.

Martin Palmer: There is not necessarily any ultimate solution. This really depends on the application under consideration. There are typically Degrees of Automation that can be best applied to an existing application. Often, a semi-automated concept can be an acceptable model. In the end, the decision is a culmination of weighing up the 6 critical factors, and arriving at the most cost-effective, yet quality/safety-sensitive solution.

What factors should be taken into consideration for a successfully implemented automation?

Katharina Albert: Important are the following steps (and their correct order): 1. Strategic decision Why do you want to automate and does the owner and management agree on this? Will this put you in a better position compared to your direct competitors? Will it help you to attract new clients? Over a period of 10 years will it improve your operating cost structure (investment costs, HR overhead, economies of scale)? Do you have the right talent in-house or need to hire external consultants? Does it solve your problem? 2. The project team The project team at first should consist of a member of the senior management, the IT department, the head of operations, a member of the sales team and the purchasing department. They are also responsible for communicating plans and the project progress with their respective business units. Before asking for external help, try to note down your needs and


requirements and give them a priority (what is a must-have or a nice-to-have feature), what would be the investment budget and how much savings/business improvements do you wish to achieve. If you do not have the expertise in-house, it would now be the time to seek external advice to discuss your objectives, get an idea of the industries best practices and get help to develop a sound plan. Lean principles should be applied to ensure high quality and safety and avoid wastage of resources (e.g. Kaizen, Muda, 6 Sigma, 5S etc.). Be careful on the compensation scheme for external advisers, a payment as percentage of the contract volume may give the wrong incentives. Your interest is to achieve better efficiency by saving costs and not spending a fortune on new equipment, which may remain under utilised. 3. Proof of concept BEFORE issuing the tender documents it is strongly advised to get a second opinion on the plans. Firstly verify the numbers and assumptions throughout your own departments as well as an independent third party or auditor. This will reduce the need for clarifications with the invited bidders or a potential need to re-issue the tender, thus will save you time and money in the long run. The costs for eliminating errors at this stage are the lowest and will significantly increase with every stage of the project. Map the material flow with Sankey diagrams, flow charts or value chain analysis. Determine bottlenecks in complex systems by the use of a virtual representation model of your facility and equipment. Simulation proves a vital tool to map all the systems parameters and shows which factors impact the overall performance. Based on these preliminary findings your tender documents will be more specific and let the suppliers know what you are looking for and where the challenges lie. It is not advisable to solely rely on suppliers to provide a proof of concept, as it will be difficult to validate the calculations and assumptions used.

just because one supplier has a brilliant re-assuring sales manager. It is their job to promise you everything, but can they knowledgeably answer critical questions? Besides the solution you ask for, invite suppliers to offer an alternative solution which may offer benefits you haven’t thought of yet. Be sure to double-check and compare to your earlier results and alignment with your original requirements list.

4. Bidding phase Invite a minimum of 3 reputable and well-chosen suppliers, avoid involving too many as this unnecessarily causes overhead and prolongs the decision-making process. Don’t make up your mind too early,

5. Project Management Automation projects usually take some time before the equipment is manufactured and delivered to site. Use this phase extensively to prepare the facility, ensure the IT system implementation is on track

Check carefully whether there are any hidden charges when it comes to IT, maintenance and spare parts. If the package is right and you are confident your chosen supplier can deliver a good product on time and has a detailed plan of implementation and integration, then it is okay to negotiate the final price.

and the control logic is being developed and tested concurrently. It is possible to re-use the earlier simulation model, now feed-in all specified equipment parameters, optimise routing algorithms and fine-tune the control logic to work reliably from the beginning. The 3D animation can also be used to train your staff on new procedures before the actual installation is completed. 6. Implementation phase Though the main responsibility now lies with the equipment supplier, ensure to continue regular meetings with the project team to keep the communication going not only with the management, but also to inform all staff and customers of the changes ahead.

Martin Palmer: There is no doubt that the Automation market will continue to grow in the region at a pace easily exceeding general industrial growth in the Middle East. The 6 critical factors to automation will drive this growth, as well as the demand for optimised, reproducible and safe processes. January 2013 I



Etihad Airways wins on-board service innovation award Etihad Airways has won the 2012 Mercury Award for “On Board Service” for its innovative inflight culinary programs, First Class Chefs and the Mezoon Grille. The prestigious awards, recognising accomplishments in travel catering, were presented during the International Travel Catering Association (ITCA) gala dinner end of 2012 at the Shangri La Hotel Qaryat Al Beri in Abu Dhabi. The award ceremony coincided with ITCA Abu Dhabi, which took place from November 26 to 28 at Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company. ITCA Abu Dhabi is the travel industry’s preeminent food and beverage event in the region. Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways Chief Commercial Officer, said: “We are delighted to receive the much sought-after Mercury

Award for On Board Service innovation, as this is an area that is core to our guest experience and brand. “Our approach – putting culinary professionals in airline jobs, as opposed to airline professionals in culinary jobs – truly sets us apart. “We do not benchmark our product and services against our airline competitors, but

rather against the top restaurants and hotels around the world. This is what inspires us to introduce innovative concepts such as our First Class Chefs and our Food and Beverage Managers in Business Class, bringing a restaurant-quality experience to our premium passengers while delivering more choice and personalised attention in the Economy cabin.”

DHL Global Connectedness Index reveals UAE as the most connected country in Arab World DHL has released the second edition of the DHL Global Connectedness Index (GCI), a comprehensive analysis of the state of globalisation around the world, which has revealed the UAE to be the most connected country in the Arab World and the only one in the region to make the top 25. The report, drawing on over one million data points from 2005 to 2011, concludes that the world today is less globally connected than it was in 2007. It documents how global connectedness, measured by international flows of trade, capital, information and people, grew robustly from the report’s baseline year of 2005 to 2007, and then dropped sharply at the onset of the financial crisis. Despite modest gains since 2009, global connectedness has yet to recapture its precrisis peak. 22

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“The GCI 2012 indicates that today’s volatile and uncertain business environment bears the lasting impact of the financial crisis,” remarked Frank Appel, CEO Deutsche Post DHL.

“Especially in this period of slow growth, it’s important to remember the tremendous gains that globalisation has brought to the world’s citizens and to recognise it as an engine of economic progress,” he added.


Agility Appoints Francesc Casamitjana as Americas’ CEO

Giordano International sets up UAE logistics hub

Agility announced the appointment of Francesc Casamitjana as Regional CEO of its Global Integrated Logistics (GIL) business in the Americas. Casamitjana has been with Agility for more than 25 years. He moves into his new role from Area South Europe, where he has been CEO since 2007. Prior to this, he was CEO, Spain. Casamitjana has had a distinguished career with the company, joining initially in a sales role. “Francesc has a consistent track record of delivering solid business results, even through challenging economic times,” said Essa Al-Saleh, President & CEO, Agility GIL. “He champions our values and his leadership has helped build strong, collaborative working relationships across the company. We look forward to him taking Agility to new heights in the Americas.” In his new role,

Casamitjana will focus on continuing Agility’s growth in the Americas, which includes strong operations in the United States,

International apparel retailer, Giordano International, has announced the establishment of Giordano Middle East Free Zone Establishment, at Dubai’s Jebel Ali Free Zone

DP World wins terminal project at Mumbai port Dubai-based DP World has won an order from India’s Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust to build and operate a single berth facility alongside its existing terminal operation at Nhava Sheva in Mumbai The new facility is expected to be operational in 2015. The project, which will cost approximately US$200mn, involves the building of a 330 metre long container terminal and a 17 hectare yard. The facility will have an annual handling capacity of 800,000 TEUs (twenty foot equivalent container units), DP World said in a statement. The new quay has been awarded for a 17year concession period and will be equipped with four rail mounted quay cranes and 12 rubber tyred gantry cranes.

“India is one of our most important markets and we are committed to supporting its growth over the long term,” Mohammad Sharaf, chief executive officer, DP World, said in a statement. Sharaf added that Asia Pacific and the Indian Subcontinent region was the main driver of the port operator’s 12.1 per cent increase in volume in the first six months of 2012. DP World currently operates five Indian terminals.

Giordano Middle East FZE will provide strategic support, logistics, and management to Giordano’s franchise partners across the region. The move forms a key part of Giordano’s expansion outside Asia and the development of its international franchising. “We look at the UAE and fully appreciate the importance of our operations in the Middle East and its contribution to the group,” said Giordano International chairman, Dr. Peter Lau, while making a recent visit to the UAE where he toured the facility and visited Giordano stores.“Giordano International’s operation in the UAE has managed to expand our brand into 23 countries across the Middle East, India, Africa, Central Asia and Eastern Europe. “With its strategic location, coupled with the incredible infrastructure of Jebel Ali Free Zone and business friendly policy of the country, the UAE will now be our springboard to expand Giordano into other markets outside Asia.” Giordano International operates 2,800 stores in 40 countries, January 2013 I



The Jordan Company buys American Fast Freight The Resolute Fund II, an affiliate of private equity firm The Jordan Company, has acquired the US-based transport and logistics firm American Fast Freight (AFF).

Kenai-Soldotna Alaska, Honolulu Hawaii, Guam. The Jordan Company principal Brian Higgins said, “The AFF team has built a premium asset-light freight forwarding

business differentiated by its scale, expertise and long-standing customer relationships.” Both the firms did not disclose the financial terms of the transaction.

AFF, founded in 1988, provides services that include less-than-container load domestic ocean freight forwarding, bypass mail and airfreight forwarding, relocation services, logistics as well as distribution. AFF operates and ships throughout the continental US, Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. The company has warehouses in Seattle, Tacoma, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Oakland California, Anchorage, Fairbanks,

Kuehne + Nagel to manage AGCO’s parts distribution centre in South Africa Swiss logistics firm Kuehne + Nagel has secured a contract to manage AGCO’s aftermarket parts distribution centre (PDC) in Johannesburg, South Africa. Located near the O.R. Tambo International Airport, the PDC has a storage capacity for 40,000 parts which will be distributed within South Africa and to several neighbouring countries in Africa. The facility will allow AGCO to improve order response times to its African customers. Under the deal, Kuehne + Nagel will provide services that include receiving, inventory control, picking & packing, handling of dangerous goods as well as pre-packaging and returns handling of AGCO’s spare parts. The deal will also see the logistics provider offer seafreight and airfreight inbound services of parts originating from Turkey, France, Brazil and India as well 24

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as it will be responsible for the facility’s maintenance and security. Kuehne + Nagel Contract Logistics South Africa senior vice president Peter Adams said, “We are delighted that AGCO has

awarded its inbound supply chain and warehouse operations in South Africa to us. A dedicated team will ensure the successful implementation and operation of this project.”


ADT signs 30-year concession for first Khalifa Port container terminal Abu Dhabi Terminals (ADT) has secured the exclusive right to manage and operate the first Khalifa Port container terminal after it signed a 30year concession with Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC) The state-of-the-art facility, which began commercial operations in September 2012, was formally inaugurated. According to the agreement with ADPC, Khalifa Port’s owner and regulator, ADT will manage and operate the new container terminal. The port’s deep sea berths, hulking shipto-shore (STS) cranes and automated technology have already proven to be a big draw for major shipping lines, the company said in a statement. Sultan

Ahmed Al Jaber, chairman of ADPC, said, “The concession secures the effective management and operation of Khalifa Port Container Terminal 1 for the next 30 years and will help to enable significant industrial development and diversification.” The statement added that the port was part of the Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD). Together, the two projects are expected to contribute 15 per cent of the UAE capital’s non-oil gross domestic product by 2030.Martijn Van de Linde, chief executive officer of ADT, said, “By signing this agreement, we have cemented long-term cooperation with ADPC and secured our commitment to growing this burgeoning terminal into an international giant.”

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Qafco-6 makes Qatar world’s largest urea exporter Qatar has become the world’s biggest exporter of urea following the inauguration of the US$604mn Qafco-6 project A 15 per cent share of the world’s total traded urea is now produced at Qafco, making Qatar the world’s fourth largest producer of urea. Qatar’s total annual urea production capacity has reached 5.6mn mt, or 17,000 tonnes per day. The inauguration of Qafco-5 last year saw Qatar become the world’s largest fertiliser producer. Qafco-6 is located in the industrial city of Mesaieed and was formally inaugurated by the crown prince of Qatar, H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

Bombardier signs US$107 million Dubai airport deal Bombardier has signed a contract with UAE-based contractor Al Jaber LEGT Engineering and Contracting (ALEC) to design and build an INNOVIA APM 300 automated people mover (APM) system for Dubai International Airport

a third, enabling it to expand from handling 60mn passengers to 90mn per year by 2018. The contract has been valued at approximately US$107mn. Bombardier is a sub-contractor to ALEC and will lead the project to design and supply all the system-wide electrical and mechanical

Sarfraaz Ali, said, “The new transit system will support the Dubai International Airport in realizing its ambition of becoming the world’s leading airport, not only in terms of size, but in the high-quality services it provides to passengers.

The transit system will connect the existing Terminal 1 to the new Concourse 4 as part of an expansion programme, which will see capacity of the airport increase by

elements of the 1.5km elevated APM system in a 24-month delivery programme. Bombardier Transportation chief country representative for the GCC, Mohammed

“Our new generation INNOVIA APM 300 transit technology will provide comfortable and convenient transportation for airport passengers travelling between Terminal 1 and the new Concourse 4.”


I January 2013


UAE firm to develop power plants and mines in Turkey

Panalpina Appoints New Regional CEO for Asia Pacific Panalpina announced that Stefan Karlen, Managing Director Southeast Asia, has been appointed Regional CEO Asia Pacific with immediate effect. His predecessor Marco Gadola will be leaving the company to pursue a career opportunity outside of the logistics industry.

TAQA, Turkey’s Electricity Generation Company (EUAS) and the Turkish government have signed an agreement for the development of power plants and mines in Turkey The deal will allow UAE energy firm TAQA to develop US$12bn worth of power plants and explore coal mines in the Afsin-Elbistan region. TAQA and EUAS have signed a MoU that will lead to the formation of a project company in which TAQA and any future partners will hold a majority share. Under the Intergovernmental Agreement, this newly formed firm will acquire, upgrade and expand an existing 1,400MW plant, as well as develop a number of brand new facilities, including a planned 1,440MW facility. “This agreement further strengthens the

bond between Turkey and the UAE, adding an important commercial dimension to this strategic relationship,” said UAE Minister of Energy Mohamed bin Dhaen Al Hamli. TAQA CEO Carl Sheldon said of the deal, “As a full-scale energy company, TAQA offers Turkey a durable partner to develop this strategic project enhancing Turkey’s energy security. This agreement paves the way for TAQA to enter an emerging merchant market for power, demonstrating TAQA’s increasing maturity as a developer and operator of assets through the energy value chain.” A more detailed Host Governmental Agreement on the development is expected to be signed by all contributing parties in Q2 2013.

DHL seeks innovative scientists and entrepreneurs DHL is looking for the most innovative scientist/entrepreneur in the field of logistics to honour them with the 2013 DHL Innovation Award and 10,000 Euro. “We will honor an external, creative mind who has made a great contribution to the logistics industry”, explains Petra Kiwitt, Executive Vice President, DHL Solutions & Innovations. “The cooperation with science and young entrepreneurs is vital for us and has brought great benefit in the past. With the help of this award, we aim to motivate scientists and young

entrepreneurs to go even further to find innovative and sustainable solutions for the logistics industry.” The award is open to students, graduates and research associates and requires a practice-orientated scientific contribution to a logistics-related problem. Besides the award for the most innovative scientist/entrepreneur, DHL also honors the most innovative employee and customer solution, and presents an award for innovation journalism. Contestants can hand in their applications until January 31, 2013 at

“We regret the departure of Marco Gadola because he is a well-experienced manager and contributed a lot to Panalpina’s performance,” says CEO Monika Ribar. “But we understand his decision and wish him great success in the future. At the same time we are happy to have Stefan Karlen as our new Regional CEO Asia Pacific. Stefan has a profound understanding of our business and our culture.” Stefan Karlen joined Panalpina in 1997 and held several management positions in Europe and Asia; in his last position he has been responsible for Panalpina’s Area Southeast Asia comprising Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. He took over his new function as Regional CEO Asia Pacific on Monday, January 7th, 2013. January 2013 I



Tristar to achieve US$300 million target Group CEO Eugene Mayne presents 5-year strategic business plan before executives at first-ever Tristar Leadership Summit Tristar Transport Group CEO Eugene Mayne announced before company executives that the year-end revenue target of US$300 million will be achieved. Over 30 senior managers coming from various countries and group functions gathered last December in Dubai for the first ever Tristar Leadership Summit where Mr. Mayne presented the 5-year strategic business plan. Mr. Mayne disclosed: “The Group is on track to meet its financial target for 2012. Top line revenue is expected to close at around US$300 million which is in line with this year’s plan. New businesses in 2012 included the commissioning of bunker barge operations in Mauritius and


I January 2013

commencement of turnkey fuel operations in Haiti.” At present, Tristar operates in 12 countries in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, the Pacific island of Guam and Central America. It employs around 1,800 people and has a fleet of more than 1,000 trucks in the GCC. “We are looking to commence operations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2013. This move will complete our mission to operate a GCC-wide road distribution network. “We are also hopeful to add at least one more country in 2013 to our network of turnkey fuel operations in Africa,” Mr. Mayne added.

Tristar started as a Dubai-based transport company and is now a fully integrated liquid logistics company serving the petroleum industry with interest in surface transport, ship owning and operating, specialised warehousing for lubricants and chemicals, turnkey fuel operations, fuel farms, and into-plane aviation fuel services. Tristar was established in 1998 to be a responsible business. It has not only operated to the highest health, safety and environmental standards but also cared for local communities. In 2011 Tristar was the recipient of the Arabia CSR award.



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Reliability Through Excellence: ALS Logistic Solutions ALS Logistic Solutions is a multi-national company with offices in Dubai, Germany, Singapore and Malaysia; specialising in material handling and storage systems’ automation.


I January 2013

ALS Logistic Solutions is a high qualityoriented provider of airport consulting and IT Solutions as well as supplier of air cargo handling systems, automated storage and retrieval systems (high-bay warehousing), warehouse management systems and automated car parks. Playing a key role in the Middle East airport solutions & logistics industries since 1999, with its expertise and quality, ALS Logistic Solutions is a provider of stateof-the-art solutions for a wide range of customers from airports to logistics and distribution centres and 3P logistics


absolute adherence to Quality; being an ISO 9001:2008 certified company. Steadily but surely growing, ALS continues to escalate its client database, as the logistics industry offers various rewarding opportunities. Equivalently, the consultancy business and machinery for logistics companies will always be in demand in all industrialised countries. Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar and more so Oman are evidently showing a keen interest in spending more on the Logistics industry & infrastructure, emphasizing on the energy saving & environmentally friendly solutions.

ALS offers Logistics Consulting with focus on the Development, Planning and Design of Fully Automated Cargo and Material Handling Solutions, taking into consideration the buildings and infrastructure design.

groups. The local intensive knowhow in the region and strong after-sales support team gives ALS an edge over the rest of the competitors and has helped in developing the company rapidly in Asian and African markets. Timely delivery and customer satisfaction is what has led ALS to evolve in to one of the top Material Handling contractors/service providers in the Gulf Region, with its renowned clients such as Emirates Airline, Dubai Duty Free, DNATA, Abu Dhabi International Airport, Qatar Airways, Sharjah International Airport, Kuwait Airways, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Baku International Airport, DANZAS, UPS, Panalpina etc‌ to name a few. ALS Logistic Solutions is hugely active in the GCC region and dedicated towards providing clients with cost effective solutions for warehousing needs, with

A close interface to the building contractors ensures the delivery of advanced solutions to their customers. Their team of specialists offers professional and customised solutions to the highest industry standards. Moreover, ALS is fully committed to its clients by expanding its maintenance and after-sales support team, offering advanced and improved solutions and close coordination with its customers. With its vast and reliable network of suppliers in Germany and all over Europe, ALS provides world-class engineering and IT solutions for its customers. There has been a promising and clear increase in demand for logistics equipment services over the last 12 months, primarily due to the recent boom of the goods and services sector in the region. The demand for logistics equipment services is expected to rise even further. A large number of projects have already become available on the market, and this rise is set to continue due to confidence growing in the GCC

economies with automation projects coming up in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman and of course the UAE.   After successfully completing the Fully Automated High-Bay Warehousing and Special Storage Terminal for Dubai Duty Free, in 2008, ALS was given the opportunity to upgrade and increase to more than double the storage capacity of the same warehouse in 2011. The Fully Automated High-Bay Storage and Retrieval Warehouse, with its enhanced storage capacities and operational efficiencies aims to increase the annual cargo throughput to and from the existing and near to be finished passenger terminals in Dubai International Airport. Using the latest technology of cutting-edge Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems such as: Shuttle System, Advanced Hightech Stacker Cranes, modernised conveyor systems and reduced energy consumption, ALS was able to hand over the second phase to Dubai Duty free, ahead of the proposed completion date beginning August 2012. Last year, ALS was awarded a range of contracts such as modernising the Cargo Handling Facility for Sharjah Aviation Services in Sharjah International Airport. The use of advanced equipment led to better, efficient and safer handling of cargo in the rapidly growing cargo hub. The Cargo Handling System was inaugurated in April 2012. With an excellent year 2012, ALS is looking forward to continuing to invest in automation awareness and successfully prove that automation is the way forward to major logistics businesses, especially in the Middle East, Africa and Asian markets. ALS expects to continue winning contracts, expanding its business and accentuating on energy saving and environmentallyfriendly solutions in 2013 and beyond.

January 2013 I



The role of feedback systems in fleet telematics Greg Nichols reports on how telematics feedback systems can play a significant role in managing driver behaviour and reducing fuel expenditure for fleets. 32

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time. While a multi-pronged approach that includes driver training is ideal, the report finds that driver feedback systems can play a significant role in managing driving behaviour and reducing fuel expenditure.

Cut fuel costs, improve safety Current driver feedback systems measure a number of variables to give drivers real-time assessments—via electronic displays or through audio warnings—of how efficiently they’re operating a vehicle. The most robust systems use complex indicators to calculate how efficiently drivers are accelerating and maintaining their speed and how long vehicles idle, areas of particular interest to fleet operators looking to cut fuel costs while improving safety performance. In recent years, the consumer market has led the way in popularizing real-time driver feedback. Real-time MPG gauges are now standard on many new vehicles, a response to growing concern over rising fuel costs. MPG gauges purport to give drivers control of their own fuel use and have brought beneficial attention to the link between aggressive driving and low gas mileage.

Gauging efficiency In order to be truly effective, however, driver feedback systems need to be more than mere warning gauges; they need to help inefficient drivers change the way they drive. This isn’t an easy task. It can be difficult for drivers to see how fractional improvements in acceleration, measured in minute blips on an MPG readout, add up to real savings.

A recent report from the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) highlights the link between driving behaviour and fuel efficiency. According to the report, aggressive drivers can expect to see fuel savings of up to 20% by implementing efficient driving techniques; drivers already operating their vehicles moderately efficiently can cut fuel expenditure by 5% to 10%. The problem, however, is making drivers aware of their behaviour during real-world driving situations over extended periods of

And, as the NREL report points out, in real-world conditions, MPG alone may not be a practical way to gauge efficiency. The best way to lower an MPG score, after all, is to drive at a snail’s pace, an unattractive proposition for most drivers. Vehicle integrated feedback systems are also notoriously easy for drivers to forget about or ignore, especially in the case of simple MPG gauges that blend into cluttered instrument panels. More advanced systems deal with these challenges in different ways. Smartphone applications, which are portable and easy to integrate for fleets already using smartphones for route optimization

and order tracking, may be a promising solution down the road. The now-defunct iPhone app Bliss Trek made strides by broadcasting driver efficiency scores over the driver’s Twitter account, thus encouraging competitiveness and holding drivers publicly accountable. This social network integration and broadcast capability is one of the key advantages smartphone applications have in encouraging drivers to change their behaviour. As the authors of the NREL report found, accountability is key in getting drivers to modify their driving habits in the long term.

Integrating smartphones The biggest constraint to smartphonebased driver feedback systems is the lack of OEM integration. Unless manufacturers build in solutions that allow smartphones to interface with a vehicle’s operating information in real-time, the ability of these applications to measure true driving behaviour will be limited. At present, smart phones can only glean how efficiently a driver is driving secondarily, by using integrated GPS tracking and the phone’s built-in accelerometer. In the short term, dedicated aftermarket feedback devices provide the most attractive combination of real-time driver feedback, overall score reporting and client customisation. Dashboards integrate with a vehicle’s OBD port via wired or wireless connections. This interface gives aftermarket devices access to granular vehicle data like fuel flow rate and engine load, which allows for a much fuller picture of driver efficiency. The simplest readout gauges can indicate driver performance with a yes/ no message. Other devices give warnings during rapid acceleration or over-speed situations, either via an electronic readout or through audio prompts, and can offer advice about how to correct inefficient behaviour. These devices can be expensive, around $200 per unit, and often require additional setup and training. The savings, though, add up quickly when you consider a 10% reduction in fuel consumption fleet-wide. By curbing aggressive driving behaviour, these devices also help fleets lower costs associated with accidents and premature parts failure. With improved fleet safety in the long run, they also lower insurance premiums. January 2013 I



Drive Technology Economises Packaging Material Choice of automation enables packaging machinery users to reduce energy costs and avoid shrink-wrap film waste. According to latest statistics, recent developments in new production packaging machines- such as the ‘beckSerienpacker SXJ mobil’ with Lenze drive technology—have paved the way for extremely economical use of energy and packaging resources even at high packaging speeds. Germany-based manufactures like Beck Packautomaten optimise the processing of very thin films, develop tight enclosures, maximise consumption-reduced packaging, minimise the use of fast-wearing parts and reduce compressed-air costs with their fully automated film packaging machines and shrink-wrapping equipment. “We use ‘beck ecofficiency’ to boost our customer’s competitiveness and 34

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reduce the consumption of energy and raw materials,” says Julia Deharde, Beck marketing manager. This packaging machinery collaborated with its drive supplier, Lenze (U.S. headquarters in Uxbridge, Massachussets) on the SXJ mobil machine in order to eliminate compressed air which is one of the most expensive forms of energy in industrial manufacturing entirely. 
 In the SXJ mobil, the hoist drive of the seal bar is built with Lenze MCS dynamic synchronous servo motors that are directly mounted on Lenze helical gearboxes. The packaging machine works with two rolls of flat film instead of forming collars so products can be packed much more precisely on all sides—especially useful

when packaging products like printed materials or clothing in film because it keeps the stacks from sliding about. For closed-loop control, the Lenze 9400 servo drive controls the vertical welding bar and L-force Engineer software ensures that the unit operates horizontally in sync with the production speed. The device uses Lenze’s “flying saw” solution. The welding bar constantly resynchronises itself with the speed of the packaging material, so the edges are continually joined together within the machine during the flow of material.
“We achieve 120 cycles per minute,” adds Deharde, “plus we integrated the entire feed coordinating system into the machine without any add-on modules.”

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Threaded Insert Installation... Now Fully-Automated A technology advancement that could dramatically change the way aluminum components and structures are assembled in aerospace, defense, automotive, and other industries. 36

I January 2013

When it comes to high-volume fabrication of assemblies produced from metals such as aluminium and magnesium, fully automated threaded insert installation has set the bar several notches higher. In addition to the superior strength, sealing capability, and customization that Fredserts offer, the ability to fully automate


installation also reduces overall process time and cost significantly. Development of the fully-automated Fredsert installation process was achieved through the cooperation of several key industry players in the automation world namely; General Dynamics, ERI America, R&E Automation, Kuka Robotics, Atlas Copco, Robot Vision Technologies, Miller Precision Industries, and Welker Engineered Products. Fredsert threaded inserts have been designed by General Dynamics to deliver unparalleled strength, sealing capability, and design flexibility in the most challenging of applications. The fact that they can be easily removed and replaced without drilling or re-work makes them not only unique but also great for applications with limited access or instances where field service is required. Although they have been in use by General Dynamics for over a decade, it is only recently that they are being offered to the commercial market.

Design and Manufacturing Engineers in various Defense, Aerospace, Naval, and Heavy Equipment industries finally have an alternative they can benefit from that overcomes limitations associated with traditional threaded inserts. For low to medium volume applications, these threaded inserts are installed manually with a torque wrench, or semiautomated with an electric nut-runner. For production volumes however, Fredsert installation can also be fully automated using either a CNC machine or a robot to deliver the desired torque. This capability provides a significant advantage compared to traditional inserts, which are difficult or almost impossible to fully automate due to the mechanicalclamping aspect of their installation technique. The CNC installation method uses an adaptor very similar to a tension / compression tap holder to pull the Fredserts from a tray and install them into tapped holes at the specified torque value. The user machines a part as they do today however once the holes are tapped, the CNC program pulls the adaptor from the tool magazine and proceeds to install Fredserts. This capability not only enables users to combine machining but also

to insert installation in just one setup, a significant step toward ‘Lean Production’. This level of process control also ensures consistent and accurate installation every single time, since the location and installation are precisely controlled by the CNC program itself. The good news is that incorporating this process requires relatively little investment on behalf of the user/client, due to the fact that the most expensive component which is the CNC machine is already available to machine the part. Another technology upgrade that General Dynamics has developed in the meantime is a robotic installation cell, consisting of a robotic arm with an electric nut-runner that picks Fredserts from a tray and installs them into tapped holes respectively. Like the CNC installation process, robotic Fredsert installation provides the unique ability which is required to fully automate installation of a heavy duty threaded insert. Guided by an on-board vision system, robotic installation ensures proper placement regardless of variation in the work piece. This approach allows convenient installation into multiple surfaces, all in a single setup- ideal for applications involving large, complex parts.

January 2013 I



DHL Expands Sea-Air Multi-Modal Offering to Africa DHL Global Forwarding, the air and ocean freight specialist within Deutsche Post DHL, is further boosting Asia-Africa trade lane growth by expanding its multi-modal product combining ocean freight and air freight services to eight new destinations in Africa. Dubbed “DHL SEAIR”, the combined sea and air freight solution is now expanded to Abidjan (Ivory Coast), Brazzaville (Republic of the Congo), Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo), Dakar (Senegal), Luanda (Angola), Douala (Cameroon), Malabo (Equatorial Guinea), Pointe Noir (Republic of the Congo). Combining the use of ocean and air freight services through DHL SEAIR allows customers to manage their supply chains more cost-effectively. On average, the DHL SEAIR service is 30 to 50 percent faster than pure ocean freight, with cost savings of 40 to 60 percent compared to standard air freight.


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It is also a more environmentally friendly option as the sea leg enables fuel savings and significantly lower CO2 emissions. For instance, on an audited transcontinental shipment of the same weight from Penang, Malaysia to Bristol, United Kingdom, the DHL SEAIR service shaved 20 days off transit time compared to a sea freight only solution and CO2 emissions were 2.7 times less compared to using only air freight. Kelvin Leung, CEO, Asia Pacific, DHL Global Forwarding, said: “Trade between Asia and Africa rose more than 400 percent in the past decade from 2001 through 2010. The accelerating rate of Asian trade and investment in Africa holds great promise for Africa’s economic growth and development

and maintaining this momentum is key. As such, the need for speedy and cost-effective connectivity between the two regions has never been greater. With 41 points of origin in Asia now connecting to as many as 26 destinations in Africa via DHL’s SEAIR product, DHL offers more than 1,000 point pairs across the two continents as well as tailor-made solutions on request.” With the DHL SEAIR service, shipments originating from Asia travel via ocean freight to Singapore, Dubai, Incheon, Sydney or Los Angeles, and onward via air freight to 169 destinations across the world. For customers in Africa, shipments will be forwarded primarily through Dubai and then transferred into pre-booked air cargo space.

June-July January 2013 2012 I



Two Most Significant Technologies Come Together: RFID and Cloud Computing What are the most significant recent technological impacts on the supply chain? Vast majority of replies pointed to RFID, with a respectable second being Cloud Computing. So let’s look at these two technological marvels. by

Michael Stockdale

Remote Frequency Identification (RFID) RFID could hardly be described as recent technology, dating back to the 1970’s, however there continue to be improvements in its effectiveness and cost, making it increasingly more attractive to industry. Simply defined, an “RFID tag” is an extremely small device that can be affixed to virtually any item, and can be read by a remote frequency transmitter/receiver, commonly referred to as a “reader”. RFID tags can either be active, semipassive or passive. An active tag has an on-board battery and periodically transmits its ID signal; whereas a semi-passive has a small battery on board but is activated when it receives a signal from an RFID reader. A passive tag is cheaper and smaller because it has no battery. Instead, the tag uses the radio energy transmitted by the reader as its energy source. The smallest tag can store 96 bits of data, identifying its country of origin, maker, and a unique identifier of the item it is attached to. RFID is currently used in many parts of our daily lives, and continues to be employed in new functions. Some current uses are;


I January 2013

• Tracking our pets; a small chip is implanted under the skin of your pet, usually around the neck, and your Vet can read this chip and gather the owners details and history of the pet. • Toll Collection; RFID chips are used at highway toll collection points, such as Salik in Dubai, and also on public transport bus, train, and ferry tokens. • Credit Cards and Contactless Payment; chips are being implanted in credit cards and also smartphones for “tap & go” payments at retailers who operate the relevant payment systems. • Passports; many countries now implant RFID chips in their passports. • Sports Memorabilia and Antiques are also being embedded with chips to track and prove their authenticity. • Casino Chips are even being implanted with chips to allow Casinos to track them and deactivate them as required. • Access Management is a very popular use of RFID with many pass cards using embedded chips and touch scanners to authorise and track access to facilities.

FEATURE • • • • •

• Even people are being tracked using embedded chips, although despite tests successfully being conducted since 2005, it is not a popular proposition.

In this new age of communication and information, where collaboration within and between organizations now generates substantial new efficiencies and competitive advantages,

Industry has particularly embraced the use of RFID, and as the cost of the improving technology falls, uptake is in increasing each year exponentially. Common uses in industry, and particularly in supply chain, are;

Cloud Computing is the enabler that we can expect most organizations will exploit into the future. So much so, that the term Cloud Computing is tipped to simply be referred to as Computing, and stand alone computers and networks will be the exception.

• Inventory Tracking; manufacturers embed chips in everything from a tube of toothpaste to entire automobiles in order to track the item through the entire supply chain. • Asset Tracking; capital equipment is also tracked, from office equipment to railway rolling stock to individual pallets.

and misuse the data. IT organisations are continuing to work towards securing data. CLOUD COMPUTING

• Airport Baggage Tracking is now using RFID in many airports, with accuracy improving and baggage losses reducing significantly.

Like RFID, Cloud Computing could hardly be described as new, but it seems to be the new buzz word.

• Archive Documents and Records use RFID now to achieve almost perfect accuracy.

For most of us, we’ve already used Cloud Computing, and continue to use it every day.

• Telemetry Measurement is also possible using multiple readers, and using intelligent tags that can measure such things as temperature or air pollution, vital information can be collected with ease.

If you have an e-mail account with Hotmail, Yahoo mail or Gmail, then you’re already using Cloud Computing. If you use Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, or Flickr then, again, you are surfing the Cloud.

The future of RFID is vast. Even in the short term future we can expect it to penetrate deeper into our day-today lives, without us even knowing it. It can’t all be so easy though. There are still some remaining barriers to overcome; • Cost; the cheapest passive tag is still at a cost of USD$0.05, which needs to come down more before it can be deployed on every grocery item. • Standardisation; there are still conflicts in the standards adopted by various countries and organisations in the format of the RFID tags and their respective reader frequencies. • Security/ Privacy; is the most significant obstacle to overcome. Whilst the data from the RFID is in the public domain, it is possible for unauthorised entities to harvest

Performance and Reliability. Dynamic and Scalable. Safe and Secure. Improved Business Capabilities. Cost Reduction.

Smartphone apps let you store and access data that normally wouldn’t fit on your handheld device, video game companies are allowing users to play stateof-the-art games, and Microsoft has recently launched Office 365, all using Cloud Computing. Cloud Computing simply means that the software application you are using, and its associated processing and data storage are resident on a remote server, or a “Cloud” of linked remote servers, rather than on your own device.

When RFID meets Cloud Computing Already, the technology and capability exists to manage the more mundane parts of our lives, such as grocery shopping; imagine the day, very soon, when all your grocery items will contain their own RFID tags, and your refrigerator will be able to read those tags and know what items you typically consume, what your favorites are, how fast you consume them, and when you are likely to run out. Your fridge will send a message to your smartphone via the Cloud to notify you to buy these items at the store on your way home. When you walk through the checkout at the store, the RF reader will already know what you have in your trolley and will automatically charge your bank account via the Cloud. You won’t even have to slow down as you pass by the checkout. That is of course, if you wanted to go to the store. Your fridge could also simply order your needs via the Cloud from the store and have them delivered and charged to you. In these fast paced and complex times, it’s nice to know that you can rely on your refrigerator to do your shopping for you.

For industry, it is a way to increase capacity or add capabilities rapidly and without investing in new infrastructure, training new personnel, or licensing new software. The benefits to business of adopting a Cloud approach to its IT needs are; January 2013 I



UPS launches new express air freight service United Parcel Service of America (UPS) has launched a new express air freight service for international heavyweight shipments.

FedEx Express orders four new Boeing 767 freighters FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx, has ordered four new Boeing 767 freighters to modernise its fleet. Boeing said that the freighters will increase efficiency by sharing spare parts, tooling and flight simulators with the Boeing 757s that are part of the FedEx air fleet. The freighters are expected to be delivered in 2015 and as part of the agreement, the logistics provider also pushed the delivery of two 777 freighters to 2016 from 2015.

FedEx Express executive vice president of air operations James Parker said that new Boeing 767 freighters will help expand the company’s fleet modernisation program as it replaces its old MD-10 freighter fleet. “These new 767s will provide significantly improved reliability and are substantially more fuel-efficient than the aircraft they will replace,” Parker said. In July 2012, FedEx Express had agreed to buy 19 additional B767-300F aircraft from Boeing to improve the efficiency and technology of its air fleet.

Honeywell launches next generation hybrid bioptic scanner Honeywell has introduced the Stratos 2700 bioptic scanner, equipped with hybrid architecture designed for retailers seeking to maximise their investment, increase customer throughput and reduce checkout loss. Building on the company’s innovative laser scanning portfolio, the versatile Stratos 2700 incorporates both laser and Honeywell’s imaging technology, allowing cashiers to quickly and easily scan virtually all barcodes, from the traditional 1D barcodes to 2D barcodes found on the screen of a mobile phone, with a single device. The unique nature of the hybrid platform allows retailers to maintain the quick


I January 2013

throughput performance while greatly expanding the scanning capabilities of standard bioptic scanners to read damaged, 2D and mobile codes. Honeywell also offers a cost-effective migration path for easy upgrades in the field to meet future point-ofsale needs through the installation of various software and modular hardware plug-ins, including imagers and scales.

The new door-to-door service, known as UPS Worldwide Express Freight, will enable customers to ship pallets over 150 lbs from the Asia Pacific region, Europe and the Americas to the US overnight. Two-day shipping is also available to Europe from Asia Pacific, the US, and the Americas, said the company. The new service is an extension of the UPS Worldwide Express package portfolio and features automated shipment preparation, online tracking as well as proactive notification technology. UPS president of marketing Ed Buckley said that the new service will help firms get to market faster, capture more business and increase their competitiveness. “Our customers depend on the speed, reliability and visibility that UPS provides with our package express services,” Buckley said. “Customers, particularly in the industrial manufacturing, automotive, high-tech, retail and healthcare segments, have asked us for the same features for their urgent freight shipments.”


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