MHI and Mitsubishi Logisnext Receive First Order from Kirin Group for an Automated Picking Solution

By Toey

TOKYO, Dec 8, 2023 – (JCN Newswire via SeaPRwire.com) – Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) and Mitsubishi Logisnext Co., Ltd., a part of MHI Group, have received an order from Kirin Group companies Kirin Beverage Co., Ltd. and Kirin Group Logistics Co., Ltd. for an automated picking system(1) that utilizes the “ΣSynX” (Sigma Synx) solution concept(2) currently being developed by MHI to provide automation and intelligence to enhance the efficiency of picking work in beverage warehouses. The system will be implemented at the Ebina Logistics Center in Ebina, Kanagawa Prefecture, managed by Kirin Group Logistics (East Japan Regional Office, Shonan Branch Office). Full-scale operation is scheduled to begin in December 2024.

The automated picking system is the first automated system in Japan to utilize automated guided forklifts (AGFs), automated guided vehicles (AGVs), and palletizers(3) for the picking process. The system to be delivered to Kirin Group utilizes the ΣSynX solution concept to introduce automation and intelligence for the picking work that up to now has been performed manually by workers, who have also been responsible for considering how to improve efficiency in their picking operations. The system utilizes a proprietary optimization engine and integrated control system to efficiently coordinate multiple AGFs, AGVs, and palletizers in order to reduce the number of picking and transfer operations, optimize the picking process, and improve throughput (processing capacity).

In November 2022, MHI Group and Kirin Group began a joint demonstration project with the aim of introducing MHI Group’s automated picking solutions for beverage warehouses, which require heavy load handling operations by logistics operators(4). An operational process for an automated picking system was established at LogiQ X Lab, a demonstration facility located within Yokohama Hardtech Hub (YHH), MHI’s co-creation space in Honmoku, Yokohama. The project verified the effectiveness of the system for logistics centers, resulting in this order. Going forward, MHI and Mitsubishi Logisnext will continue to verify technologies aimed at the further evolution of automated picking solutions, and work to provide solutions for the challenges facing the logistics industry resulting from the sweeping regulatory changes related to working style reforms to be implemented in 2024.

Logistics operations at beverage warehouses rely mainly on manned forklifts and manual tasks carried out by workers, and companies face challenges for improving the working environment, such as measures to address the shortage of logistics operators, picking of heavy loads, and night work. In addition to the automated picking solutions to be introduced for this project, MHI Group is also developing a variety of solutions for the logistics industry, including the new AGF-X unmanned forklift equipped with ΣSynX to support automated warehousing and retrieval solutions, as well as receiving and shipping for trucks. Through the development of these solutions and their introduction at logistics centers, MHI Group will contribute to solutions for the various challenges facing the beverage industry.

(1) For more information on the automated picking solution developed by MHI Group, please refer to the following press release.https://www.mhi.com/news/22083102.html
(2) ΣSynX is MHI’s standard platform for synchronizing and coordinating various types of machinery systems. It brings together a range of digital technologies to make machinery systems intelligent and allow for optimized operation.
(3) A palletizer is a device that performs automated placement and stacking of products, such as beverage cases, on pallets.
(4) For more information on the start of the joint demonstration of an automated picking solution with Kirin Group, please refer to the following press release.https://www.mhi.com/news/22112101.html

About MHI Group

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Group is one of the world’s leading industrial groups, spanning energy, smart infrastructure, industrial machinery, aerospace and defense. MHI Group combines cutting-edge technology with deep experience to deliver innovative, integrated solutions that help to realize a carbon neutral world, improve the quality of life and ensure a safer world. For more information, please visit www.mhi.com or follow our insights and stories on spectra.mhi.com.

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