Walmart Announces New High-Tech Grocery Distribution Center in California

Walmart Shafter

By Elizabeth Walker, Walmart Corporate Affairs

In the coming weeks, Walmart will be breaking ground on a new project, and the result will be, well, groundbreaking.

Shafter, Calif., will be the home of Walmart’s first high-tech distribution center for fresh and frozen groceries. What does that mean exactly?

A traditional distribution center, or DC, is the hub where products like eggs and strawberries are received. From there, associates load goods onto trucks and deliver them to your local Walmart store or Sam’s Club. DCs are a key part of Walmart’s supply chain. As Walmart transforms to better serve customers, the question is, what does the distribution center of the future look like?

Simply put, it looks more efficient, with forward-looking technology and engaging tech-focused jobs. Set to open fall 2020, this innovative DC in Shafter will use WITRON technology to process grocery perishables – produce, eggs, dairy, flowers and frozen goods. Here’s what else you need to know:

The new high-tech distribution center will move 40 percent more product than a traditional DC – and result in fewer crushed strawberries

“The high-tech DC in Shafter will allow us to move product to stores and clubs faster so that we can better serve customers,” says Tim Cooper, senior vice president of supply chain for Walmart.

How? Rather than manually stacking boxes and building pallets, the new DC will allow associates to use the new technology to do the (literal) heavy lifting. Cool story, but what if those machines put a watermelon on top of a case of tender, beautifully ripened strawberries?

Shayne Wahlmeier, one of the engineers on the project, described the plan to keep this from happening.

“Every product is measured and documented so that we know how to handle it,” he explained. “A computer algorithm shows all the cases ordered for a given store and determines how to palletize them to maximize the space on a pallet or trailer. It also takes into account density – what’s crushable, what’s not.”

Sort of like the game of Tetris, but with apples and ice cream.

This DC will result in savings that can then be passed on to customers

Because the technology is helping associates build a more flexible, dense pallet, more products will be able to fit onto a truck. This will reduce transportation costs, and those savings can be passed on to customers.

And remember those strawberries that aren’t getting crushed? Fewer damages mean a reduction in food waste. Customers can be more confident that a product is in stores when they come to fill up their carts.

The DC in Shafter will create hundreds of new jobs

And these are jobs people can get excited about. Many of the new positions will be technology-focused or STEM jobs.

“The order-filling position is an arduous one,” Tim explained. He went on to say that while the supply chain is the backbone of Walmart’s business, the jobs of the future might be less physically demanding.

From Online Grocery Pickup, powered by Alphabot, to an automated floor scrubber, Walmart is investing in technology to empower associates to do their jobs better and more efficiently. The high-tech Shafter distribution center is just one example of Walmart making big bets when it comes to the future of retail.

Damotech makes the 2018 Growth 500 list!

Canadian Business and Maclean’s has ranked Damotech No. 378 on the 30th annual Growth 500, the definitive ranking of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies.

Produced by Canada’s premier business and current affairs media brands, the Growth 500 ranks Canadian businesses on five-year revenue growth. Growth 500 winners are profiled in a special print issue of Canadian Business published with Maclean’s magazine and online at CanadianBusiness.com and Growth500.ca.

Damotech made the 2018 Growth 500 list with five-year revenue growth of 152%. The company ranked 41st in theMontreal region.

Founded in 1989, Damotech is the largest provider of rack repair solutions in North America. Dedicated to uncompromising quality in the name of safety, Damotech helps warehouse owners keep their working environment safe by inspecting, repairing and preventing damage to their pallet racking systems. The company manufactures custom repair products to address damage after it occurs. Damotech also performs rack conformity inspections and load capacity calculations through its engineering services arm, and offers the only truly dedicated rack inspection and management software in the industry.

“The companies on the 2018 Growth 500 are truly remarkable. Demonstrating foresight, innovation and smart management, their stories serve as a primer for how to build a successful entrepreneurial business today,” says Deborah Aarts, Growth 500 program manager. “As we celebrate 30 years of the Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies program, it’s encouraging to see that entrepreneurship is healthier than ever in this country.”

“For Damotech, which operates in a traditional industry, being part of the Growth 500 list for 2018 is quite an accomplishment,” says Eric Naaman, Damotech’s CEO. “Substantive investments were made in the last 8 years to fuel that growth. We invested heavily in a new LEED accredited manufacturing facility in Boisbriand, making the production process as automated and efficient as possible. We also substantially grew our dealer network in Canada and the US further accelerating our progression in those markets. But in the end, our exceptional growth wouldn’t have been possible without the amazing dedication and talent of the Damotech team and our endless focus on becoming a customer centric company.

Find out more at www.damotech.com.

 

JLT Mobile Computers Significantly Expands its US Service Capabilities to Simplify Customers’ Repair and Maintenance Management

Växjö, Sweden, October 2nd, 2018–JLT Mobile Computers, a leading developer and manufacturer of reliable computers for demanding environments – and renowned for its high-level of support and flexibility in addressing customer challenges – is expanding its customer service and support capabilities in the US market. With the strengthened service offering, JLT is set up to better support its growing US customer base today and in future.

The new JLT service site near Atlanta, Georgia, offers repair and maintenance services for third-party products, including barcode scanners and label printers as well as rugged computers and tablets from most manufacturers, including Honeywell, Zebra, LXE and Intermec. Customers benefit from a single point of contact through JLT and can manage their entire fleet of Auto-ID equipment in the new JLT RepairEngine™ online maintenance management tool, resulting in decreased overall maintenance costs and more effective operations.

JLT RepairEngine significantly simplifies repair handling and device maintenance for JLT’s customers and partners.The easy-to-use web tool gives users the ability to not only start and track repairs 24/7, but also manage all of their rugged IT products and related hardware. Customers will get detailed analytics that provide key insights into the health and status of their hardware deployment and that enable them to spot and rectify trends promptly. Other benefits and features include: easier and time-saving RMA handling; smart-search functionality, using serial number, model etc.; tracking of ongoing repairs with status and location; and reports and dashboards of device status and repair history.

Since establishing its US subsidiary at the end of 2014, JLT’s US business has significantly outpaced the industry. The new scalable service offering will enable JLT to fuel and support further expansion in the Americas.

The new service center and the investment in such a comprehensive service infrastructure – including the deployment of the JLT RepairEngine – illustrate and sustain a core ethos of JLT: its desire to increase business value and maximize ROI for its customers by leveraging its broad range of experience and expertise in integrated technology solutions.

Contact JLT Mobile Computers today for more information about the expanded service offering (available for the North American market) or visit www.jltmobile.com to learn more about JLT, its products and solutions.

 

Robotics company SLAMcore raises $5M to bring spatial AI algorithms to market

  • Financing led by Amadeus Capital Partners
  • SLAM technology market value to reach $8bn by 2027*

28 September – London, UK – SLAMcore, a UK company developing spatial artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms for robots and drones, today announced that it has raised $5m in funding led by global technology investor Amadeus Capital Partners. Existing investors Mirai Creation Fund and Toyota AI Ventures joined the round alongside newcomers MMC Ventures and Octopus Ventures.

“The robotics revolution may seem just around the corner but there is still a big gap between the videos we see on the internet and real-world robots,” said CEO, Owen Nicholson. “SLAMcore is helping robot and drone creators to bridge the gap between demos and commercially-viable systems.”

To be truly useful, robots and drones require spatial intelligence, including the ability to accurately calculate their position, understand unfamiliar surroundings, and navigate with consistent reliability. The fundamental algorithms that achieve this spatial awareness are often referred to as Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping (SLAM). SLAMcore offers spatial AI solutions designed to easily integrate into existing platforms, allowing robotics companies to concentrate on delivering value to the end customer.

“It is a really exciting time for robotics,” said SLAMcore co-founder Dr Stefan Leutenegger. “We are seeing a convergence of geometric computer vision algorithms, availability of high-performance computational hardware, and Deep Learning. We are embracing this new world and will move quickly towards offering solutions for robots requiring an advanced level of understanding of their environment.”

Amelia Armour, Principal, Amadeus Capital Partners, said, “BIS Research estimates the global SLAM technology market to be worth over $8 billion by 2027. This funding round will enable SLAMcore to take its spatial AI solution to that growing market and we expect demand for its affordable and flexible system to be high. Having backed SLAMcore at the start, we’re excited to be investing again at this critical stage for the company.”

“Our initial product will calculate an accurate and reliable position, without the need for GPS or any other external infrastructure, but that is just the start,” said Owen Nicholson. “With this funding, we will also develop detailed mapping solutions capable of creating geometrically-accurate reconstructions of a robot’s surroundings in real-time, and understanding the objects within, utilising the latest development in Machine Learning.”

SLAMcore spun out from the Department of Computing at Imperial College London in early 2016 and closed its first funding round in March 2017. Headquartered in London (UK), the company has grown quickly to a team of 15 with a wide range of expertise in designing and deploying spatial algorithms for robots. For more information, please visit www.slamcore.com.

*Global SLAM Technology Market Anticipated to Reach $8.23 Billion by 2027, Reports BIS Research

Pick-by-Vision: Fiege Equips Another Location with Picavi Smart Glasses

The contract logistics pioneer Fiege is setting new standards in the field of pick-by-vision: The company, which already uses the Picavi solution, has now ordered 40 more pairs of smart glasses for its site in Worms. In addition, the Fiege branch in Großbeeren will now also be equipped with the smart glasses. Fiege has purchased more than a dozen from Picavi for its logistics center near Berlin. Picavi sees these projects as milestones in the company’s development.

Picavi’s Chief Sales Officer Carsten Funke puts a spotlight on the latest developments: “The new order for the warehouse in Großbeeren and the tripling of the number of glasses for the branch in Worms represent a huge step for our company,” he says. “There’s nothing better than when a satisfied customer backs up or expands the pick-by-vision solution to other locations. It is a clear signal that our product is working well in everyday life because it optimizes logistics processes.”

Fiege began to pick products such as power or garden tools with smart glasses for local customers in Worms almost a year and a half ago. Twenty pairs of Picavi smart glasses were recently in use there. “The efficiency gains achieved with the pick-by-vision solution have convinced us. For this reason, we are now equipping even more warehouse workers with smart glasses,” Michael Suden, Managing Director of Fiege Industry Logistics in Worms commented on the purchase of 40 more glasses.

The hands-free approach for order picking is also used in the Fiege branch in Großbeeren. “By using smart glasses, we want to reduce picking times and error rates through the visual guidance of warehouse staff,” says Martin Schacht, Branch Manager at Fiege in Großbeeren. “After the good experiences our colleagues in Worms had, we consider these goals to be realistic. We are pleased that smart glasses are becoming the second location in the Fiege world.”

“Because of the turnkey solution that we can offer, the integration phases are short-lived and so our customers can replace their old systems quickly. The training period needed for the workers is also very short due to the clear and always comprehensible display,” emphasizes Johanna Bellenberg, Director of Marketing and Communications at Picavi, who now has more than 50 successful pick-by-vision projects to her credit.

About Picavi GmbH

Picavi GmbH is an award-winning and well-recognised full-service provider with a 100 percent dedication of its intralogistics and wearable expertise to Pick-by-Vision solutions. By wearing smart glasses, a strict visual guidance through the complete picking process enables workers to maximize their productivity and minimize errors while working hands-free. Picavi is already being used by numerous logistics experts from a variety of sectors.

The German company is deeply rooted in the IT industry and in intralogistics. Picavi is an official Glass Partner, a Vuzix VIP Partner and connected to many other wearable providers, so the system works independently from the smart glass hardware. Clients worldwide can rely on a network of technology and sales partners such as DSA Systems in Northern America and WRH Global Australia for the Oceania region.

CEO Dirk Franke has over two decades of experience in the development and sale of software systems for paperless order picking. Alexander Voss, professor of applied informatics in Aachen, supports strategic product development and software quality assurance at Picavi as a consulting shareholder. A wide network of service, integration, technology and sales partners provides additional expertise.

Thanks to its practicality, the pick-by-vision solution was also awarded the IT Innovation Prize in the industry & logistics category by the Initiative Mittelstand association in 2016. In the same year, the IT and logistics specialist was one of three companies to be awarded the “Hidden Champion” prize in the “Vision” category by German news broadcaster n-tv.

Steel King Announces SK2000® Closed-Tube Roll Form Rack Systems

Fully welded tubular uprights give rack system superior impact and torsional resistance

Steel King Industries, Inc., a leading manufacturer of material handling products and systems for improving operational efficiency, announces the availability of SK2000 closed-tube roll form rack systems. The SK2000 features a fully welded tubular upright, giving the racks superior impact resistance over open-back style uprights and is ideal for a wide range of warehouse applications and markets including food and beverage, retail, agriculture, and automotive. Because the SK2000 is roll-form steel, it is cost-effective for small storage applications, and has the strength and durability to provide the framework for a multi-level pick module/distribution center.

The strength of the SK2000’s closed tube beams and upright rack frames make each rack system safer and more functional. Independent engineering tests have confirmed that, when compared to open back column, SK2000® pallet racking has 250% greater frontal impact strength, 68% greater side impact resistance, and 44 times greater torsional strength (resistance to twisting).

SK2000 columns have a unique 90 degree bend and no corner holes. The SK2000 is a boltless rack system with teardrop connections and auto-engaging safety locks, meaning that it can be assembled without tools. Easy, boltless assembly of the system enables more flexibility for any future adjustments. “Depending on future needs, with boltless assembly you can add the pick module, move it, or build another as needed,” explains Kyle Arndt, a Werner Electric Supply project manager.

Columns are available in multiple sizes and thicknesses according to application needs. The system’s braces and step beams are made from the same high strength closed tubing as the columns and are available in many profiles and lengths. Bracing is secured with full fillet weld, which in many cases is four times more weld than competing rack systems. The SK2000’s three-rivet connection offer 26% greater strength than a two-rivet connection. In addition, the SK2000 is made with 100% U.S. steel.

Steel King also offers additional safety and durability accessories for the SK2000 rack systems, such as factory-installed Column Core inserts that can stand up to even the most demanding applications with frequent forklift loading and unloading, and therefore the greatest risk of collision.

For more information about Steel King and the SK2000 closed-tube roll form rack system, visit: https://www.steelking.com/products/pallet-rack-boltless-closed-tube/.

Vecna Robotics Robotic Lifter 3600kg Engineered for Precise Autonomous Pallet Transport

autonomous pallet transporter,Vecna Robotics

Vecna Robotics, a leader in scalable, next generation order-fulfillment solutions, offers the RL3600 self-navigating lifter. Ideal for horizontal transport of any palletized payload, the RL3600 is engineered for precise, autonomous pallet transport, including fully-automated pick-up and drop-off. Consisting of an OEM pallet truck integrated with Vecna’s platform-agnostic autonomy package, the RL3600 retains all the functionality of the original material handling equipment but is now capable of self-navigating in dynamic environments.

The RL3600 includes options for multiple fork lengths and pallet types. Whether transporting from receiving to storage, end-of-line to shipping, or building and delivering mixed pallets, the RL3600 provides safe, reliable, and precise automated pallet handling.

The RL3600 can be reverted to manual operation like a conventional lift with the flick of a switch. In self-driving mode, the RL3600 can be assigned to pick and place pallets from any location, including staging areas or specific aisles and bays.

To learn more, go to: http://bit.ly/2xohyj8

Vecna Robotics also provides a leasing option including both materials handling equipment and revolutionary disruptive IIoT monitoring. The leasing program ensures a rapid ROI and an affordable way, beyond already competitive pricing, to automate manufacturing, warehouses, and distribution centers. Get pre-approved for leasing at: http://bit.ly/2smfgMA

Damotech Now Ready to Ship Rack Repair Solutions in 10 Days or Less

Damotech, a North American leader in rack repair and damage prevention solutions, announced today at MODEX 2018, the industry’s shortest production time for custom-built repair products. As a result of significant investments in its production facility, Damotech is now able to ship made-to-order units in 10 days or less. Damotech’s top repair products, the Damo Pro and Damo Flex, repair and protect pallet rack from forklift damage that is prevalent in warehouses all over North America.

Damotech has made considerable efforts and investments to speed up the production process in recent years, including the construction of a brand-new LEED certified facility with state of the art technology & automation.

“The quick turnaround and high-level efficiency in our production is unequalled in the rack repair industry” announced Damotech’s President, Eric Naaman. “Our new facility was conceived and built from the ground up to optimize every step of the production process and, ultimately, better serve our customers. A 10 day or less production lead-time is a very significant milestone for our industry.”

“Being able to guarantee an industry leading 10-day lead-time is an amazing competitive advantage for our customers” mentioned Marc Rousseau, VP of Sales at Damotech. “Clients tend to operate in extremely competitive markets and being able to repair their rack system in a couple of weeks instead of months, means they can operate their facilities more efficiently and gain that competitive edge.”

More Information

  • Damotech strives to put an end to the endless cycle of upright replacement with its lines of rack repair and damage prevention products. Because Damotech repairs can generally be executed with minimal to no unloading, it is the most time-efficient and cost-effective solution to repair damaged racks.
  • Damotech’s leading repair product, the Damo Pro, can be manufactured in 10 days or less and comes with a lifetime warranty against impact.
  • Damotech’s rack repair products can be installed anywhere in North America through our network of accredited dealers. Please contact us for product and pricing information.
  • • Download the Damotech Product Brochure or read the Damo Shield case study.
  • All of our products are certified by engineers. They have been subjected to rigorous testing and meet CAN/CSA S16-01 & CAN/CSA A344.2-05 and MH16.1 (RMI) standards.
  • Damotech’s Damo Pro, Damo Pro DBRS, Damo Flex, Damo Flex DBRS, Damo Can, Damo King, Damo Shield and Damo Easy Lift, are all protected under the following patents.
For more information on Damotech and to view the impact test video, visit www.damotech.com.

Camp Out With Frazier! – at Frazier Booth #5055 – MODEX 2018

Long Valley, NJ – April 4th, 2018 – Hike on over to visit Frazier’s Camping Themed Booth #5055, the place to be at MODEX 2018! Come enjoy complimentary snacks, games and prizes! While you’re there don’t forget to check out Frazier’s showcase of storage innovations and order fulfillment solutions; the Ergo Deep Reach, semi-automated high density Pallet Mole® and SelecDeck® Carton Flow, to name a few. Ongoing booth demonstrations will highlight strategies to maximize space, improve productivity and increase order picking efficiency.

Frazier showcase systems include:

The Ergo Deep Reach – The Ergo Deep Reach is an alteration of the Ergo-Label Beam, part of Frazier’s line of ergonomic products . Developed in response to customer needs for an advantage when picking heavy cases, Ergo Deep Reach’s pallet locations sit at a low level while also enabling workers to walk through the racking – from one row to the other.

The Pallet Mole® – With the latest technology in high-density storage, the Pallet Mole maximizes floor space, storing up to 6-high and 50 pallet positions deep, while increasing productivity and maintaining SKU selectivity. Since its launch in 2011, Frazier has completed several successful projects, including Premium Waters of Elwood, KS, which was subject of a Frazier case study.

SelecDeck® Carton Flow – The ideal solution for rising SKU counts and slow moving items. By converting lower pallet rack levels to SelecDeck, users can increase floor pick locations by 25%. SelecDeck’s universal shelf bed accommodates cases of all shapes and sizes and provides quick and easy product mix changes.

Hi-Rise AS/RS Systems – The trend toward automated storage technology continues as manufacturers and distributors seek improved productivity with maximum space and order efficiencies. Frazier will feature some of their hi-rise AS/RS installations along with a video presentation showing the step-by-step construction process of a recent high-rise rack supported building project.

Structural Steel Pallet Rack – Selective pallet rack began FRAZIER’s reputation as the leading global manufacturer of structural steel storage systems. Both its High Quality and ability to be depended on have upheld that reputation for over 60 years. FRAZIER’s Sentinel® is designed, manufactured and installed with the same standards of quality that we use for a custom racking system. There are no unique tools or clips necceassary for assembly and all of the components are fully interchangeable.

Glide-In® Push Back – Combining the high density of Drive-In racking with greater selectivity, Glide-In® “Push Back” storage is FRAZIER’s patented system of enveloping wheeled carts that glide on sloping rails. Made from 100% Structural Steel the Glide-In® racking works by placing the first pallet on the top cart and pushing it back. This exposes the next cart for loading. When the second pallet is positioned and pushed back, the third cart is ready. This continues until all the pallet positions are filled. The last pallet sits on the rail itself. When unloading, the front pallet is removed. Gravity moves all the pallets forward to the front for easy access. As each pallet is removed, the remaining pallets move down into position until completely unloaded and all carts are again in position for reloading.

Glide N’ Pick Cart® – Experience simple order selection with just the touch of a lever using FRAZIER’s Glide N’ Pick Cart® Upon rolling out, rear items being stored on the Glide N’ Pick® are now easy and safe to reach. With the ability to hold up to 3,000 lbs of weight, a Glide N’ Pick Cart® can be installed directly on existing shelf beams increasing available pick faces, simplifying slotting, reducing worker injuries while also reducing damaged products.

Drive-In / Drive-Thru – Drive-In and Drive-Thru storage systems are FRAZIER’s free-standing, self-supporting racks that allow a vehicle drive-in access to products being stored. Drive-In provides a greater capacity in an existing cubic space, more than any other storage method. It eliminates the need for warehouse expansion and allows major cost savings utilizing existing lift equipment. With Drive-Thru, vehicles can access the rack from either side. Pallets can be stored from one side and retrieved from the other, enabling a First-In, First- Out (FIFO) inventory control system.

About Frazier Industrial Company
Frazier Industrial is a large producer of structural steel pallet rack systems in North America, with 10 manufacturing plants located throughout the United States, Mexico and Canada. Frazier’s rack systems are quickly recognized for durability and custom engineered design. From standard pallet rack to complex pick modules and AS/RS installations, Frazier’s expert team of engineers will help each customer design the best, most cost-effective material handling solution. All systems are manufactured using 100% hot-rolled structural steel, the most durable and abuse-resistant material available.

HANNIBAL TUBERACK SYSTEM SELECTED BY STANLEY BLACK & DECKER FOR NEW MILLION SQUARE-FOOT FONTANA, CA. FACILITY

Hannibal Industries, Inc., a world-leading manufacturer of steel pallet racks for the material handling industry, today announced its patented TubeRack system has been successfully installed in Stanley Black & Decker’s new one-million-square-foot facility in Fontana, Calif.
Stanley Black & Decker, a world-leading provider of tools and storage, commercial electronic security and engineered fastening systems,  is experiencing heavy growth and needed a racking system that was flexible and both seismically and load-bearing strong for its new warehouse and distribution center which is double the size of its former facility in Rialto, Calif.
“Because of the weight differences among its many hand and power tool products, we designed a racking system that can efficiently and safely accommodate all pallet loads – heavy or light – and can withstand any possible seismic movement,” said Brent Baltin, owner of Baltin Rack, one of Hannibal’s regional distributors.
“Our experience with the Hannibal’s patented TubeRack system has shown that it is the only racking solution that will work in the high seismic areas, such as those found in Southern California,” Baltin added.
The massive Stanley Black & Decker installation involves 1,900 pallet bays.  Each bay has six 60-inch high-load levels for a total pallet position count of 14 positions per bay.   The design load per level is 5,000 pounds with a 30,000-pound capacity per bay.
About Hannibal Industries, Inc.
Hannibal Industries, Inc., headquartered in the Los Angeles metro area, is a pallet rack and steel tube manufacturer with a diverse product line that enables the company to offer material handling products to the most massive operations in the world.  This employee-owned company is the largest U.S. manufacturer of steel pallet rack west of the Mississippi River.
The company’s industry-leading product offering includes TubeRack, Shelving, Structural Pallet Rack, Roll-Formed Selective Pallet Rack, Hybrid Systems, Cantilever Systems, Pushback Systems, Pallet Flow Systems, Case Flow Systems and Drive-In Systems. Engineering and design services offered by the company include system design, seismic engineering, permit administration, in-house installation and custom fabrication.  A true innovator, Hannibal Industries was awarded a patent in 2006 for a pallet rack system adjustable safety restraint, and a patent for its TubeRack in 2015.  For additional information, visit www.hannibalrack.com.