One emerging trend in the market is the deployment of new technologies such as robots and the Internet of Things in supply chain management.
Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) and RV Automation, a partner company of HKSTP, have announced the opening of the RobEx Centre, the city’s first fully automated and unmanned warehouse service at the Hong Kong Science Park.
Featuring new technologies such as autonomous mobile robot, smart warehousing system and facial recognition, the RobEx Centre will offer express courier service and self-service storage to Hong Kong customers, while serving as a showcase of new warehousing technologies for the logistics and supply chain industry.
Before opening to the public, industry trials will be conducted in September to collect operational data.
The unmanned facility consists of a 179-square-meter warehouse area, a 24.2-square-meter front station, and a 4.84-square-meter back station area.
Compared with traditional warehouses, the RobEx Centre can operate 24/7 and will significantly reduce labor intensity of human workers.
Its smart warehousing system calculates and maximizes the use of space within the venue. Its big data analysis technology helps in scaling its warehousing services to take into account peak hours and the impact of weather on delivery times, and reduces human errors in storing and delivery of parcels.
Through the automatic warehouse solution, the storage racks with lockers will be picked up by the Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR) to and from the front station automatically when users need to pick up or place their goods in the lockers.
Users access the system either through a smartphone app or the control panel installed at the front station. Facial recognition will be used as an added security for the lockers.
“We hope to bring a whole new 24/7 user experience for consumers as well as bring multiple benefits for warehouse operators with potentially new revenue streams in warehousing services,” said Rio Chau, RV Automation’s chief executive.
He said the RobEx Centre will open a branch in Shek Kip Mei in mid-to-late October, and it is forecast to corner 5 to 10 percent of the local warehouse market next year.
The full article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Aug 28
Translation by Ben Ng
[Chinese version 中文版]
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