Manufacturing logistics and procurement – April 2023

01 May 2023

Developments in logistics
The MHI Annual Industry Report provides updates on the innovative technologies that have the most potential to transform supply chains into more transparent, sustainable, and responsible operations. According to the report, 74% of supply chain leaders are increasing their supply chain technology and innovation investments with 90% saying they are planning to spend over $1 million, an increase of 24% over last year. You can download the report after filling in your details.
A survey (467 kB) by Deloitte shows that despite significant external disruptors, including inflation, geopolitical instability, and labour and skills shortages, CEOs are increasingly trending more positive about their company’s growth over the next 12 months.
Essentra Components has published a report in which nine out of ten engineers surveyed (87%) reported that their companies have at least returned to pre-corona pandemic production levels (compared with 70% of the UK sample). This recovery is most evident in the Netherlands, where more than half (55%) say production levels are higher than ever. You can download the report (in Dutch) after filling in your details.

Packaging robotics
The International Federation of Robotics has published a report about robotics R&D programs which covers the latest funding developments. The overview shows that the most advanced robotics countries in terms of annual installations of industrial robots; China, Japan, USA, South Korea, Germany, and the EU drive very different R&D strategies. You can download the report after filling in your details.
Researchers at Fraunhofer IEM have developed a robot gripper, designed for use in the food industry. The gripper system can be set up with two, three or four fingers and adapted for a range of tasks and purposes, meaning that it could also be used for the automated handling of fragile products such as glassware.
Delft University of Technology has published a paper (2.73 MB) entitled ’Robotic packaging optimization with reinforcement learning and real-world data’.

Sustainable manufacturing
A Nottingham Trent University study (1.22 MB) entitled ‘Collaborative closed-loop supply chain framework for sustainable manufacturing: Evidence from the Indian packaging industry’, is published in the journal Technological Forecasting and Social Change’.
A KU Leuven study (3.34 MB) entitled ‘Evaluating the influence of wrapping turns for a new packaging method called sustainable specific suspension packaging’, is published in the journal SN Applied Sciences.

Digital transformation and AI
The UK government has released a white paper (1.17 MB) entitled ‘AI regulation: a pro-innovation approach’. The government intends to regulate use under five principles: safety, transparency, fairness, accountability, and contestability.
According to a report by Panasonic Connect, European companies expect digital transformation projects to increase productivity by an average of 38%. In doing so, they expect a total Return on Investment in just under 5 years. You can download the report after filling in your details.

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