Blog for updates and happenings in logistics in the Asia-Pacific region

June 18, 2015

3D Printing Brings Competitiveness to Regional Manufacturing

Filed under: News,Newsletter,Supply Chain Management,Technology — admin @ 11:23 am

3d printingUsing a cluster model developed at the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation, Cliff Waldman, MAPI Foundation economic studies director, says 3D printing has caused an increase in regional manufacturing competitiveness.

It creates smaller and more agile industries, he said, which itself allows for specialization and the inclusion of 3D printing in product development. 3D printing is the most powerful way to shape both products and processes, Waldman said. The number of commercial printing machines in use worldwide has grown from 355 in 2008 to 23,000 in 2013.

The ability to produce materials proximate to the point of input has shortened supply chains in a number of sectors. 3D printing could also make product design a more prominent part of supply chains and clusters.

[Read more… Curated from Supply Chain Brain]

There is a lot of discussion about this on the internet that addresses this from a present and future perspective, including the impact that it will have on our children – the “makers” of the future.

This includes discussions about food manufacturing using 3D printing – pizza anyone?


June 16, 2015

How RFID Can Ensure Product Quality and Reduce Recalls

Filed under: News,Newsletter,Supply Chain Management,Technology — admin @ 11:34 am

dataYou can’t tackle the problem of product recalls without data.

We’ve learned of the impact that a single contaminated ingredient can have on a global food supply chain. One small mistake at the outset can resonate throughout hundreds of products, posing a serious threat to public health.

Yet each year brings fresh reports of illnesses and deaths caused by products containing ingredients that either were misidentified or weren’t supposed to be there in the first place. Damage to items in transit can have also a serious impact. So how can companies put a stop to this seemingly intractable problem?

From a logistics standpoint, visibility is key. That means having access to critical data at the right time. With the recent spate of supply-chain disruptions, including natural disasters in Japan and Thailand, and congestion at West Coast ports, companies are beginning to realize the value of knowing exactly where their products are at any given moment.

[Read more… Curated from Supply Chain Brain]


June 10, 2015

Japanese Shipbuilder Tests Drones for Safety Inspections, Productivity Boosts

Filed under: News,Newsletter,Supply Chain Management,Technology — admin @ 11:43 am

DronesTsuneishi Holdings Corporation is exploring the commercial applications of drones at its Hiroshima shipbuilding facility in an effort to increase both safety and productivity in daily operations.

The drone, weighing in at about 3 kilograms (6.6 pounds) is able to capture high-quality photos and video and transmit the data live back to a central information processing area. From there, the Tsuneishi team hopes to use the collected information to oversee operational progress, facility inspections and potentially manage disaster situations from a distance.

In a written statement yesterday the company spoke about the technology’s potential to aid in business operations by saying, “We have high hopes that this latest technology will help us increase efficiency at our factories and facilities, and also allow us to gather information quickly in times of disaster.”

[Read more… Curated from The Maritime Executive]


May 22, 2015

GE Team Builds Mini-Jet Engine with 3D Printing

Filed under: News,Newsletter,Supply Chain Management,Technology — admin @ 11:18 am

3D PrintingGE engineers have been getting firsthand insights about additive manufacturing as applied to jet engines. News of their success in 3D-printing a mini-jet engine has gathered some attention.

The team reportedly made a simple 3D-printed engine that roared at 33,000 rotations per minute. The team who built it are at GE Aviation’s Additive Development Center outside Cincinnati. The focus there is on techniques in additive manufacturing for making 3D structures by melting metal powder layer upon layer.

In the bigger picture, Morris, GE Aviation’s General Manager for Additive Technologies, earlier this month said additive manufacturing “will fundamentally change the way we think about how we design our parts, how we manufacture components and ultimately how our products look and function.” He said that “all of us who work with additive technology at GE feel extremely fortunate to be part of an organization that has embraced this technology as fully as GE Aviation has.”
Later this year, GE will begin using additive manufacturing to create complex components of its newest fuel nozzles. This will be done at a new 300,000 square-foot facility in Auburn, AL. “Fuel nozzles are an intricate and highly sophisticated engine component that are key to delivering industry-leading fuel efficiency and lower emissions for next-generation jet engines,” said the company. The nozzles will be on the LEAP jet engine.

[Read more… Curated from Supply Chain Brain & PHYS.ORG]


May 12, 2015

FAA Needs to Stop Droning on About UAVs

Filed under: News,Newsletter,Supply Chain Management,Technology — admin @ 11:15 am

o-AMAZON-DRONES-facebookSo the Federal Aviation Administration has given, Inc. permission to begin testing delivery drones in the U.S. But there are still a number of logistical hurdles to be overcome, before the technology becomes feasible for everyday commercial use.

In March, FAA issued an “experimental ruling” which allows Amazon to conduct outdoor testing of delivery drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), for the company’s planned Prime Air service. Prior to that decision, Amazon couldn’t even make a demonstration video in the U.S. It got so frustrated with FAA’s stance on the issue that it threatened to move basic research and development of drone technology outside the country.

FAA has been grappling with the drone issue for the last several years, prodded by growing interest in the craft for such purposes as surveying, photography, security, disaster response and, of course, delivery of packages. In February of this year, the agency issued its long-awaited guidelines on the operation of drones, or what it calls “small unmanned aircraft systems (UASs).” The move brought a measure of clarity to the issue, which has been clouded by the distinction between drones for commercial use and those operated by hobbyists.

[Read more… Curated from Supply Chain Brain]


April 24, 2015

Manufacturing World Continues to Welcome Robots With Open Arms

Filed under: News,Newsletter,Supply Chain Management,Technology — admin @ 11:08 am

RobotIn the manufacturing environment of today, robotics are now playing a significant role, taking on jobs beyond assembly and helping to drive efficiency, consistency, and productivity across the supply chain.

n the IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Manufacturing Supply Chain 2015 Predictions, IDC Manufacturing Insights predicts that by 2017, “80 percent of manufacturers will be re-evaluating the applicability of robotics and logistics automation technology within their warehousing networks”. To understand the possibilities and application of robotics in the supply chain, there are a few key areas that are helping to drive an increase in robotic installations, not least of which are technological advancements.

[Read more… Curated from Supply Chain Brain]


April 17, 2015

Seeing Benefits of Cloud Computing, Manufacturers Worldwide Adopt the Technology, Study Finds

Filed under: News,Newsletter,Supply Chain Management,Technology — admin @ 11:09 am

CloudThe transition to “cloud also” or “cloud first” is well under way for manufacturers around the globe, according to survey results from International Data Corporation. In fact, in the United States, 41 percent of manufacturing respondents indicated they are accessing IT resources via the public cloud, based on the IDC Global Technology and Industry Research Organization IT Survey, 2014.

The IDC study, Worldwide Cloud Adoption in the Manufacturing Industry, says the advantages of cloud computing for manufacturers are significant, as line of business leaders and their IT organizations increasingly rely on cloud to flexibly deliver IT resources at the cost and speed the business requires. Traditional IT spend is clearly on the decline, and manufacturers must update their cloud road maps to ensure their investments benefit the business. According to the IDC European Vertical Markets Survey, 2014, almost 50 percent of European manufacturing respondents noted they have adopted or will adopt ERP in the public cloud. And in Asia Pacific, 49 percent of manufacturing respondents are using cloud – public or private – or intend to use cloud, based on the 2014 IDC Manufacturing Insights Asia Pacific Business and IT Priorities Survey.

[Read more… Curated from Supply Chain Brain]


April 15, 2015

Industry 4.0: The Future of Productivity, Growth in Manufacturing

Filed under: News,Newsletter,Supply Chain Management,Technology — admin @ 11:09 am

techTechnological advances have driven dramatic increases in industrial productivity since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. The steam engine powered factories in the 19th Century, electrification led to mass production in the early part of the 20th Century, and industry became automated in the 1970s. In the decades that followed, however, industrial technological advancements were only incremental, especially compared with the breakthroughs that transformed IT, mobile communications, and e-commerce.

Now, though, we are in the midst of a fourth wave of technological advancement: the rise of new digital industrial technology known as Industry 4.0, a transformation that is powered by nine foundational technology advances. (See Exhibit 1.) In this transformation, sensors, machines, workpieces, and IT systems will be connected along the value chain beyond a single enterprise. These connected systems (also referred to as cyberphysical systems) can interact with one another using standard Internet-based protocols and analyze data to predict failure, configure themselves, and adapt to changes. Industry 4.0 will make it possible to gather and analyze data across machines, enabling faster, more flexible, and more efficient processes to produce higher-quality goods at reduced costs. This in turn will increase manufacturing productivity, shift economics, foster industrial growth, and modify the profile of the workforce—ultimately changing the competitiveness of companies and regions.

[Read more… Curated from the Boston Consulting Group]


April 1, 2015

Near Field Communication System Helps Luxury Sunglass Manufacturer with Returns Process

Filed under: News,Newsletter,Supply Chain Management,Technology — admin @ 11:12 am

Near Field CommunicationLuxottica Group, a global luxury sunglass and eyeglass company, reports that it has improved quality, as well as the efficiency of its receiving, quality-inspection and subsequent re-stocking of returned products, by between 30 and 50 percent, by deploying a Near Field Communication RFID system. The solution employs an NFC dangle tag attached to each frame, and software that enables workers to view data about the item, and to update its status via NFC-enabled tablets.

At its distribution and after-sales center in Italy, the company not only ships new products to retailers, but also receives and inspects frames returned by those customers as part of in-store collections-renewal programs, and then refurbishes them, if necessary. Only perfect-quality frames are restocked to be sold to other markets, the company reports. In this operation, Luxottica was targeting efficiency improvements via NFC technology use.

[Read more… Curated from RFID Journal]


February 25, 2015

Achilles: Global Businesses Wasting $30B on Supply Chain Bureaucracy

Filed under: Logistics,News,Newsletter,Technology — admin @ 11:09 am

InformationAcross the world, businesses are spending US$60 billion a year on managing information about their suppliers – half of which is wasted.

Global businesses are wasting more than US$30 billion a year on managing critical information about their suppliers – because they’re failing to work together on tackling the administrative burden.

In a market survey, only a third of large firms in the utilities, manufacturing, mining, construction, engineering and oil and gas sectors said they work collaboratively with other similar businesses to carry out due diligence on suppliers.

The Nordics – comprising Sweden, Denmark and Norway – fared best for collaboration out of all regions surveyed. Just over a third (37 per cent) of businesses said they work with other firms in the same industry to manage information about suppliers. Spain was last – with less than one in five (18 per cent) of firms sharing the administrative burden with their counterparts in industry.

[Read more… Curated from Logistics Insight Asia]