Dubai, UAE: H.E Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) opened Materials Handling Middle East 2017 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The only comprehensive industry-spanning trade platform for the wider Middle East, Materials Handling Middle East 2017 got off to a busy start, with 126 participating exhibitors from 20 countries, representing over 200 international brands, making their presence felt at the show.
The beefed-up international presence, with six of the Top 20 international materials handling brands participating, underlines the growing significance of the Middle East as a fast-growing focal point for materials handling, logistics and warehousing, thanks to its rapid pace of infrastructure development, economic growth and diversification.
“In today’s competitive business environment, it’s imperative for companies to update their offerings and keep pace with changing consumer needs by implementing fully integrated, effective, future-proof automation solutions, while also keeping their facilities modernised and boosting their productivity and profitability,” said Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East, organiser of Materials Handling Middle East.
“Materials Handling Middle East 2017 shines a spotlight on the latest technologies solving key challenges that warehouse and supply chain managers face today. These range from eco-friendly pallets, automated storage and picking solutions, and warehouse mapping using 3D virtual reality, to equipment such as warehouse trucks, telehandlers, tow tractors, cranes, and packaging.
“As a booming city in the Arabian Gulf, Dubai is a magnet for buyers from the logistics field. It’s one of the world’s busiest logistics hubs, serving more than two billion people throughout the Middle East, Indian Sub-continent, Africa and the CIS, opening up new and promising opportunities for exhibitors and visitors,” Pauwels added.
International heavyweights present and attracting the attention of regional buyer’s right from the start include Swisslog, SSI Schaefer, Daifuku, Dematic, Beumer Group and Kardex.
Speaking at the show, Alain Kaddoum, General Manager of Swisslog Warehouse & Distribution Solutions in the Middle East, who are offering a range of customised automation solutions, said: “Today a lot of businesses suffer from many challenges, especially in the manufacturing and distribution segments.
“Rising costs, changing consumer habits, increased operating expenses add greater pressure on businesses. In the past, companies needed logistics systems that quickly and efficiently moved large quantities of products through their distribution centres. Today things are different. Keeping pace with the trends towards ever smaller lot sizes and delivery quantities as well as ever faster availability and shorter product life cycles requires systems that are highly automated and flexible.
“When it comes to the warehouse technology, the Swisslog portfolio includes automated stacker cranes for pallets and light goods, conveyors, monorail systems, automated truck loading and automated picking modules, lifts, ASRS, AGV, shuttle systems, robotics and software to help businesses maximize their intralogistics potential. Basically everything from the Warehouse Management System to all the technical equipment and advanced innovative software required for automation,” added Kaddoum.
Drawing interest in their range of high-speed sortation systems was Beumer Group, who have set up more than 15 automated sortation systems across the region and have recently been selected to install the new express sortation system for Aramex Dubai. Frank Sorenson, Sales Director for Beumer Group said: “Our customers are looking for a flexible sorting solution with a high degree of automation which can be scaled according to their operational needs.
“Together with our partners, we work with a system-wide approach to warehousing and distribution to create a total solution which helps to increase efficiency in areas which are not usually directly linked to the sorter. This provides a highly flexible and responsive system to support immediate strategic plans and add the flexibility to respond to future needs.”
Materials Handling Middle East added a new Transport and Logistics section in 2017, where the latest Isuzu commercial vehicle product line is on display by the brand’s UAE sole distributor GENAVCO. On show is a brand new F - Series model with a 4-cylinder engine mounted on a 7.5 ton truck chassis, standing apart from the conventional 6-cylinder engines.
Anton Du Plessis, the General Manager of the Isuzu Sales Division at GENAVCO, said: “Our 7.5 ton chassis with 4 cylinder engine is an addition to our current model line up with advanced diesel common rail technology.
“The truck industry is constantly changing, with more demands being placed on the manufacturer. So too the emphasis on emission standards & technology while trying to maximise the benefits for the end user with reduced cost of operation and less down time. The challenge and the way forward is to optimise the cost of ownership while implementing alternative fuel options to maximise the benefits for the end user.”
Displaying a range of innovative solutions and services designed to streamline supply chain processes and enhance the overall operation is SPAN. Speaking about their offerings, Managing Director Walid Daniel said: “We offer a full range of product and service offerings, whether it’s the first step of logistics consultancy, the choice of storage systems, appropriate material handling equipment and warehouse accessories, the implementation of smart solutions that increase picking productivity and accuracy, or the final and critical step of safety and maintenance.
“This year, we’ve collaborated with our different partners to touch on these aspects of the supply chain process. We have a team from SNS, a leading logistics consultancy firm, with us to share their deep understanding of the supply chain operations.
“We’re also demonstrating our Voice Solution with our partners from Honeywell, and our S4 Pick to/by Light system; both aimed at optimising your operation and creating a smart warehouse. Furthermore, we’re exhibiting a new automated shuttle system introduced by Logsquare, and material handling equipment by Jungheinrich along with a range of plastic bins from Fami.
“Last but not least, with safety being of outmost importance in our industry, our SEMA approved inspector along with our specialised team of service engineers is available to discuss the maintenance programs for both racking systems and equipment,” added Daniel.
Materials Handling Middle East 2017 also features the return 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 also includes the 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.
More information is avaliable at: www.materialshandlingme.com.