Manufacturing, logistics and procurement - February 2019

06 March 2019

Developments in robotics
From spoons to stuffed animals, humans learn early in life how to pick up objects that have a variety of shapes, textures and sizes. A new machine-learning algorithm developed by engineers at UC Berkeley can teach robots to grasp and carry items with similar dexterity. The algorithm helps “ambidextrous” robots equipped with different types of grippers — for example, a suction gripper and a parallel-jaw gripper — decide which gripper to use for any given object.
A novel system developed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology uses RFID tags to help robots home in on moving objects with unprecedented speed and accuracy. The system could enable greater collaboration and precision by robots working on packaging and assembly.
Scientists will work intensively together with the industry on ground-breaking innovations on the TU Delft Campus. That is the core of X!Delft, the new programme in which Delft University of Technology and large companies like Heineken strengthen their collaboration. X!Delft was launched on 6 February in RoboHouse, the new field lab for advanced robotics.
For Dutch manufacturers, the use of new technologies is not only useful, it is also necessary to remain competitive. Robotisation and digitisation increase the productivity of employees and help to prevent future staff shortages. This is stated by ING (in Dutch) in the publication Foodtech: robot arm helps the food industry (in Dutch, 3.40 MB).

Food and beverage industry – Digitisation and traceability
Digitisation has brought some improvements to food and beverage companies, but what happens when the big changes come? Which technologies bring the greatest benefits, where are the challenges? And what will the food system look like in 20 years? In its digitisation study, CSB examined these questions. You can download the study after filling in your details.
A new report (3.44 MB), developed by the World Economic Forum (WEF) focuses on the potential of emerging technologies to improve traceability in food value chains.

GS1 asks companies to stop reusing barcodes
Keeping product identification truly “unique” and persistent in both the physical and digital world is needed to support today’s omni-channel consumer experiences. Consistency across the physical and digital world is foundational to the future of commerce. Industry is evolving and has demanded a change in the status quo - that’s why GS1 is asking companies to stop reusing barcodes (GTINs) as of January 2019.

Polluted Packaging Logistics – Project results
The logistics of packaging polluted with chemicals is a time consuming and costly business. The flow is continuous and predictable, but the volumes are low and fragmented. Companies that wish to transport their polluted packages correctly, must comply with many rules, which sometimes are quite vague. A simplification of these rules is necessary. These are some of the results of the VIL (in Dutch) project 'Polluted Packaging Logistics'.

Netherlands once again the world's most connected country
DHL has released the DHL Global Connectedness Index 2018 (14.51 MB) - a detailed analysis of globalisation, measured by international flows of trade, capital, information and people. In this fifth edition the Netherlands is once again the world's most connected country.

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