The Amazon Picking Challenge
In its constant pursuit for excellence, Amazon wishes to advance the Kiva robot system that it acquired in 2012. Currently, the robots’ task is to travel and search for items at the company´s many warehouses. However, one problem still exists for these robots: picking up items in an unstructured environment. The Amazon Picking Challenge asked participants to build a robot that can pick up 12 items and place them into a cart on the table.
The contestants had to build their own hardware and were allowed to use software platforms from leading robotics vendors such as Clearpath, Rethink Robots and Fanuc. The team from the Technical University of Berlin ended up winning the competition with their vacuum powered robot, which managed to grab 10 out of the 12 items within approximately 20 minutes.
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Supply Chain Experts Seek to make full use of used electronic parts
In 2014, a total of approximately 1.3 billion smartphones were sold. This is an increase of 28% when compared to sales from 2013, according to the research firm IDC. For companies like Li Tong Group (LTG) based in Hong Kong, parts that vendors no longer produce can sell at a higher price than newer network components.
LTG, for example, sells the harvested parts of used network equipment to telecommunication operators based in Africa, which isseeing an influx in first time cell-phone buyers. Linda Li, the vice president at LTG, foresees 2 main complications in the supply chain of used electronics, the first being the increased use of plastic blended with carbon fibers. The second complication is that new products are getting smaller with time. Reverse supply-chain companies can however benefit from working with the original manufacturers in order to better understand how to dismantle the old equipment.
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The world´s largest automotive supply chain event will be hosted by Birmingham!
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) announced on June 2nd that they will launch the Automechanika UK trade show for the first time with their partner Messe Frankfurt GmbH; to take place from June 7th– 9th 2016. With 2,000 companies and a workforce of 78,000 working together to create £4.3 billion in value to the British automotive industry, there is still said to be more room for growth in the industry. Automechanika aims to bring together various UK suppliers, ranging from electronic system providers to repair and aftermarket firms.
Domestic suppliers have increased their sales to UK vehicle makers by 19% when compared to 2014 figures. Supplier growth is expected to increase to £4 Billion, indicating more opportunities for car industry suppliers. In all, 250 exhibiting companies will take part, with 5000 trade visitors expected to be in attendance, it promises to be a noteworthy event.
To read more, click here.
Have a nice weekend!