Manufacturing logistics and procurement - November 2019

03 December 2019

Developments in logistics - digitisation, communication and testing
Evofenedex (in Dutch), together with Beurtvaartadres and TLN, has carried out national research on data and digitisation in logistics. The results show that NL companies are still hesitating about the use of platforms in logistics. You can download the report (in Dutch) after filling in your details.
According to a report (in Dutch, 1.9 MB) by ABN AMRO (in Dutch) the close relationship between industrial machinery manufacturers and their suppliers is under pressure.
PMMI has published the report ‘Aftermarket opportunities for OEMs’. The report states that aftermarket success for OEMs depends heavily on providing exemplary service and having parts available when customers need them. You can download the executive summary after filling in your e-mail address.
Smithers has collaborated on a new testing protocol that has been sent to ISTA for publication. The new protocol seeks to address a perceived gap in the standardised procedure for load stability testing.

AI, blockchain technology and Industry 4.0
According to ISO, artificial intelligence (AI) is a game-changing technology that is affecting all our lives and shaping our future. In the latest ISOfocus issue (7.26 MB) AI myths are debunked and opportunities are explored. The publication also explains why globally relevant standards are key. Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) wants to involve the business community at an early stage in the development of new applications of AI. To help each other, EAISI, the new TU/e AI institute, and FME, the association of entrepreneurs in the Dutch tech industry, are now joining forces. A group of five Dutch companies, including KLM, also aims to further boost the AI ecosystem in the Netherlands by accelerating and promoting the development of AI technology and nurturing AI talent.
VIL (in Dutch) has mapped out the possibilities and challenges of blockchain technology in the logistics chains in the 'Blockchain in Supply Chains' project and has developed its own blockchain application for track & trace and e-documents. A report (2.06 MB) by OECD and KPMG (in Dutch) takes a critical look at how blockchain technology is currently being developed and used to advance due diligence in supply chains.
Sirris has set up a pilot factory to support Belgian manufacturing companies in their journey towards Industry 4.0.

Machines, robots and digital twins
In October 2019, the EC issued edition 2.2 (update of the 2nd edition) of the Guide to application of the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC.
The five-year DIGITAL TWIN programme, led by the University of Groningen, has received a €4 million grant from NWO. It is now ready for take-off.
Engineers at the University of California San Diego built a suction cup inspired by the mechanism that allows clingfish to adhere to both smooth and rough surfaces, such as rocks in the area where the tide comes and goes. An article (abstract) about the research is published in Bioinspiration and Biomimetics. Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a new algorithm that speeds up the planning process for robotic grippers to manipulate objects using the surrounding environment. An article (abstract) about the research is published in The International Journal of Robotics Research. Other MIT researchers have developed a “growing robot”. The robot can be programmed to grow, or extend, in different directions, based on the sequence of chain units that are locked and fed out from the “growing tip,” or gearbox.

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