Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) and Mitsubishi Logisnext Co., Ltd., a global player within MHI Group, engaged in logistic machinery and solution business, will launch joint demonstration of an automated picking solution for beverage warehouses in collaboration with Kirin Beverage Co., Ltd. and Kirin Group Logistics Co., Ltd. from the end of this month.
The demonstration includes establishment and verification of MHI’s automated picking system’s operating processes at “LogiQ X Lab”. The demonstration facility is located within Yokohama Hardtech Hub (YHH), a co-creation space operated by MHI in Yokohama. The ultimate aim is to install automated picking solutions(Note1) developed by MHI Group in beverage warehouses, which typically rely heavily on manual labor, placing a burden on logistics operators. The joint demonstration will continue through the end of June 2023.
Until now, warehouse workers have borne the bulk of responsibility for pursuing increased efficiency in their picking operations. Going forward, with MHI Group’s automated picking solutions, automation and intelligence can be introduced into the picking process through application of the “SSynX” (Sigma Synx) solution concept(Note2) currently under development by MHI. Optimized engines and an integrated control system, all developed in-house, together enable efficient coordination of multiple automated guided forklifts (AGFs), automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and palletizers(Note3). This results in fewer picking and transfer operations, optimized picking processing, and higher throughput.
Within Kirin Group, automation is steadily being introduced on production floors, but logistics in the company’s warehouses continue to rely heavily on work performed by manual labor and use of manned forklift trucks. The need to improve the work environment, especially through measures for picking heavy loads, and shortages of logistics operators, pose significant challenges. In the demonstration now underway, AGFs, AGVs and palletizers are being coordinated under Kirin Beverage’s warehouse operation conditions, and optimized control under SSynX is being verified in a quest to solve the challenges inherent in warehouse distribution with optimal safety.
Going forward, through the coordination with Kirin Group in this demonstration program, MHI Group will continue to work to solve the diverse distribution challenges faced by the beverage industry.