Cambridge-Japan alliance creates smart warehouse
World-first technology has been created in a Cambridge-Japan collaboration designed to improve safety at global warehouse and distribution centres.
UK smart location technology business Ubisense has teamed up with Tokyo-quoted Daifuku Corporation, based in Osaka, to develop a smart warehouse area management system that has achieved ISO certification and is now commercially available.
Daifuku is one of world's top material handling manufacturers and a leading system integrator.
The new system has been developed to improve the safety of personnel in warehouse and distribution centres, in particular those using fork lift trucks (FLTs) and automated guided vehicles (AGVs) in high-speed vehicle systems.
The partners say that such a system has not been possible before due to the limitations of other technologies at capturing the movement of the FLTs and AGVs reliably enough to provide useful data.
The newly certified system is capable of measuring in real-time the position of a distribution centre operator relative to that of fork lift trucks and automated guided vehicles in order to control the operational speed of the vehicle and avoid accidents.
The tests were verified in an operational setting at the Ajinomoto Company facilities in Tatebayashi and were supported by the Japanese Ministry of Trade and Industry and standards body JIS/NEDO.
Ubisense CEO Richard Green said: “Achieving a world first with our strategic partner in Japan is a sure sign of the value of our partnership and should lead to the deployment of smart warehouse systems across Daifuku’s extensive customer base.”|• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Richard Green