Materials Handling Middle East 2019 expo to showcase robotics and automation technologies for the logistics industry

The Forklift Operator of the Year competition will return, featuring UAE’s most skilled forklift drivers

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The Materials Handling Middle East 2019 expo, to be held on 3-5 September in Dubai , will showcase robotics and automation technologies designed to improve operational and cost efficiency, increase production capacity, accelerate customer service and boost competitiveness within a rapidly-evolving logistics sector

The 10th edition of the biennial event will feature 120 exhibitors from 20 countries. Running alongside the expo will be a series of educational sessions and seminars along with presentations around key strategies, policies and trends in supply chain management and logistics. The Forklift Operator of the Year competition will return, featuring UAE’s most skilled forklift drivers who will be judged on their ability to safely and efficiently manoeuvre electric forklift machinery in tight and narrow spaces.

Swisslog Middle East, a global leader in robotic, data-driven and flexible automated solutions, will introduce highly-efficient robotised storage and order processing solutions for small parts and pallets that integrates into existing buildings.

“Several businesses in the UAE and globally have benefitted immensely from logistics automation and, particularly in the Middle East, we are seeing increasing demand for automated logistics solutions in industries ranging from e-commerce and retail, to F&B and pharma,” said Alain Kaddoum, General Manager, Swisslog Middle East.

“While automated picking and packing has been around for a while, the next wave of change is being brought about by robotics. A warehouse that deploys robots reduces costs significantly while boosting efficiency. AutoStore, for example, uses robots and bins to quickly process small parts orders and provides better use of available space than any other automated system in the market. Each robot is extremely energy efficient, using just 0.1 kW of energy per hour – six robots use the same energy as a toaster,” added Kaddoum.

Swisslog will also use Materials Handling Middle East as a platform to introduce CarryPick, a flexible and modular AGV-based storage and order picking system designed for multi-channel intralogistics that can fulfil 20 orders simultaneously.

On top of robotics, Kaddoum forecasts that digital transformation will majorly disrupt industry streams such as inventory management, cargo loading, order picking, and real-time monitoring of stocks.

“Technology is and will continue to be a truly disruptive force in how the modern supply chain is shaped, defined, and explored. From basic improvements like streamlining operations and increasing process efficiency to fully automating delivery trucks, technology is enabling much smarter and simpler supply chain management. In the future, companies will leverage new and innovative technologies to create a self-orchestrated supply chain and previously unimaginable efficiencies,” he said.

With the World Bank’s 2018 Logistics Performance Index ranking  the UAE 13th out of 160 countries, outstripping Canada, France, Finland, Denmark and Australia, the 2019 edition of Materials Handling Middle East is must-attend event for regional heavyweights and international players eager to increase their foothold in a super-competitive global marketplace.

To tap into the soaring demand for automation in the Middle East, Ancra Systems, a Netherlands-based specialist in automatic truck loading and unloading systems, is making its Materials Handling Middle East debut with an Automated Truck / Container Loading and Unloading Solution (ATLS) designed for a wide range of industries.

Automation is now a key driver for the full spectrum of industries, including ecommerce. The UAE’s e-commerce sector alone is currently worth US$17.8 billion, representing 45.6 per cent of the total value of the Middle East’s e-commerce market, according to a Fitch Solutions report.

“We have customers all over the world, but we want to extend our market in the Middle East and Saudi Arabia. All industries represent potential customers for us and Materials Handling Middle East is a conduit to target the beverage industry, FMCG, cold storage, automotive and chemicals,” said Ancra Systems, spokesperson, Fenghua Folmer.

Materials Handling Middle East organiser Messe Frankfurt Middle East says the frenetic pace of change across the sector means the 2019 edition is shaping up to be the most highly-anticipated instalment in the event’s history.

“Digital transformation in warehousing intralogistics and the supply chain is in overdrive and we’ve sought to create the best platform for the early adopters and major disruptors to display services and solutions that will undoubtedly improve productivity, efficiency and more across warehousing, intralogistics and supply chain,” said Simon Mellor, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East.

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