15 August, 2017

Materials handling suppliers turn to virtual reality 3D animation as educational tool for latest warehouse technologies

Headline players at Dubai’s Materials Handling Middle East exhibition look to entice trade buyers with innovative solutions

Dubai, UAE:  Intralogistics managers at next month’s Materials Handling Middle East exhibition in Dubai will learn how they can optimise the flow of goods in an automated warehouse using virtual reality 3D technology.

Armed with HTC Vive Goggles, supply chain heads will experience how different technologies in fully automated warehouses such as robotics and Industry 4.0 can work together.

The Virtual Reality 3D warehouse animation will be showcased by Swisslog, one of the world’s leading suppliers of robot-based and data-driven intralogistics solutions. 

Daniel Hauser, Managing Director for Central Europe and the Middle East at Swisslog Warehouse & Distribution Solutions, said that while visitors can explore an automated warehouse in a fun way, they can also experience first-hand its unique benefits.

“Virtual Reality 3D warehouse animation will become a real service for customers in the future, and there are different ideas within Swisslog on how it can be deployed in the intralogistics world,” said Hauser. 

“It can be used in sales to show buyers what their future systems would look like up and running on site, and it can be used to simulate systems to determine the optimal material flow or to observe performance during projected peak times. 

“Another vision is to provide access and track live operations of any facility in the world, as well as play back historical data for error analyses.”

The Virtual Reality 3D warehouse animation is one of several Swisslog innovations at Materials Handling Middle East 2017, the region’s dedicated trade fair for intralogistics, supply chain management, freight and cargo.

The biennial three-day event takes place from 11-13 September 2017 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, and will feature more than 130 exhibitors from 21 countries representing 250 brands. 

Swisslog will also introduce its new AutoPiQ solution, a robot based automated picking solution for small items, ideal for e-commerce, pharmaceutical or spare parts logistics.

Meanwhile, Materials Handling Middle East 2017 will feature other leading warehousing automation specialists such as Kardex, GreyOrange, SSI Schaefer, and Daifuku, the world’s largest materials handling systems supplier.

Andrey Kras, Account Manager at Daifuku’s International Business Department, said the company also plans to use virtual reality at its booth so customers can visualise automated systems of their choice. 

“The hotness of the automation topic in previous years was measured by the level of surprise and discoveries made by Middle East managers as to how automated equipment can benefit their businesses,” said Kras.  “Now is the time to make business decisions and start buying new automated systems.

“Daifuku’s name is still unknown to many in the industry in this region, so raising brand awareness is one of our main goals at Materials Handling Middle East 2017. We plan to continue using our booth as an education platform with multiple teaching aids to get ideas of automation across.”

The 9th edition of Materials Handling Middle East arrives as analysts Frost & Sullivan estimate the Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) materials handling equipment market to grow four per cent annually up to 2020, when revenues will reach between US$4.8 to five billion.

Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East, the organiser of Materials Handling Middle East, said: “The influx of leading players to Materials Handling Middle East underlines the enormous potential of the region as a leading market for materials handling, warehousing and supply chain solutions. The event will continue to be the place that hosts key business deals and where fruitful partnerships are forged.”

Materials Handling Middle East 2017 will feature the 2nd edition of the Supply Chain and Logistics Forum, an interactive summit bringing together regional industry professionals along with their international counterparts, government bodies, and policy makers to discuss key challenges and growth opportunities for logistics in the Middle East.

The event will also return with the highly popular Forklift Operator of the Year, a unique competition where the UAE’s most skilled forklift jockeys go head to head to be crowned the country’s most skilled, safest, and efficient forklift operator. 

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