Panasonic Unveils an Expanded Portfolio of Next Generation Integrated Supply Chain Solutions

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Bracknell, UK. 9th May 2023 – Panasonic Connect Europe unveiled an expanded portfolio of next-generation integrated Intralogistics and Process Management solutions for yards, warehouses, asset tracking and last-mile deliveries at LogiMAT 2023, held recently in Stuttgart.

Using the newest technologies available – from increased connectivity with 5G to Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications – Panasonic offers customers more flexibility and helps to increase efficiencies with an easier-to-scale and reliable extended service network.

Over the past year, the company has further enhanced its consulting, service and support offering in the sector, as well as continuing to develop its technology solutions and capabilities as an R&D partner. The opening of a new service and repair centre in Hungary’s Budapest has bought the company closer to its customers in central and eastern Europe. In addition, the number of consulting offices has been expanded and there are now multi-lingual call centres to support customers in the EU, Switzerland and the UK. Work on customised supply chain solutions has also continued apace, combining sensor, IoT and 5G expertise with Panasonic products and AI software from market leading provider Blue Yonder (acquired by Panasonic in 2022) to deliver the next generation of turnkey solutions for customers.

At LogiMAT 2023, Panasonic showcased its significantly expanded portfolio of E2E logistics solutions such as:

IoT-enabled computer vision meets next generation cloud-based yard management

The latest generation of AI-based cameras to demonstrate how these intelligent edge devices can be used in a wide variety of automated processes, ranging from security to monitoring operations inside and outside of the warehouse, and automated work processes.

One area of application is Blue Yonder’s Yard Management, an intelligent SaaS solution, fully integrated with WMS and developed to monitor the movement of trailers in yard facilities to provide greater transparency whilst also enabling enhanced operational efficiencies through the automation of manual processes. The Yard Management solution extends and enhances yard capabilities while harnessing the power of AI and machine learning to unlock greater opportunities for greater efficiency and visibility in the yard.

The new service combines Panasonic edge technology with Blue Yonder’s AI-powered Warehouse Management and Transportation Management solutions. It allows for better utilization and management of yards including an open integration for third-party systems and partners and allows action-driven interactions with operations in the yard. The solution improves loading and unloading processes in a holistic flow from the moment a truck arrives at the gate. It covers automatic check in/out, yard mapping, trailer tracking and visibility as well as AI-supported optimized door utilization and yard traffic management. 

Panasonic can deliver a full turnkey solution from designing camera systems to setting-up the fully integrated systems within the customer’s IT infrastructure, including hardware and software provisioning, installation, project management and the after-sales service.

Reliable and rugged mobile IT solutions in 5G networks

For warehouse management solutions, including forklift control systems, order management and track & trace applications, Panasonic demonstrated its reliable and customised mobile IT solutions based on TOUGHBOOK tablets, notebooks and handheld devices. Even in demanding 24/7 shifts and harsh environments, users can rely on the rugged and modular design. The ergonomic TOUGHBOOK devices serve as reliable and multifunctional tools, for example for barcode scanning and for volume calculation with INTEL RealSense technology. Combined with accessories and services such as rapid app development and industry-specific software from partners, TOUGHBOOK IT solutions support digitalized processes along the supply chain. Customers currently optimizing their processes with TOUGHBOOK solutions include GEA, Katoen Natie, Post NL, Raben Group, numerous automotive companies and one of the world's largest soft drink manufacturers.

Blue Yonder and Panasonic also presented a joint solution, the Voice Picking App, with out-of-the-box integration with Blue Yonder Warehouse Management. Utilizing speech recognition and speech processing, customers get a new level of efficient hands-free picking.

Improving IoT prototyping with high-quality, industry-grade components

Panasonic Industry demonstrated how to design and build energy-saving IoT prototype solutions quickly and easily with its IoT Components Toolkit. This toolkit allows users to create devices delivering all kinds of data, e.g. temperature, pressure or air quality, live from the of activities and processes in the warehouse, the yards or the forklifts and trailers. The package includes Amorton solar cells, which can harvest energy even from indoor lighting, Li-Mn secondary cells, microswitches, BLE and Wi-Fi SoC modules as well as a selection of sensors – all part of the Panasonic Industry portfolio. The team demonstrated examples that can be re-built and customized, for example a sustainable beacon for indoor asset location and tracking, a cloud-based telemetry set-up for predictive maintenance, an air quality monitoring system, and a sustainable electronic shelf label solution.

Interactive Asset Tracking

For interactive asset management, Logiscend offers a 100% digital IoT solution that streamlines the supply chain process, ensuring efficient delivery of the correct parts to their intended destination, precisely when needed. This end-to-end solution is fully integrated, highly visible, and environmentally friendly, as it eliminates the need for paper-based processes. Utilizing cutting-edge technology, Logiscend leverages Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tags and locators in conjunction with Panasonic VIEW tags to establish a Real-Time Location System (RTLS). This enables real-time tracking and location monitoring of parts, basically a digital process twin, enhancing transparency, accuracy, and flexibility, all while reducing costs associated with material handling and management.

Last mile innovation

For last-mile deliveries, a new generation of Smartlocker from Panasonic is changing the market. This modular designed system offers a range of four different temperature lockers. There is the regular ambient locker for everyday items such as parcels; chilled and freezer lockers for food and medicinal items; and heated lockers to keep takeaway orders at the correct temperature.

For medical and pharma logistics, Panasonic offers the VIXELL solution. It’s an IoT-enabled, modular box system developed for temperature-sensitive transportation of medical studies or vaccines that can hold at temperatures of -75° C for up to 18 days, with the sensor equipment to allow for transparent tracking. The boxes are reusable and built to last, in more than 100,000 transportation trips, with the temperature kept stable at up -70°C. Panasonic promises up to 4 years of usage and re-usage, making the offering unique in the market.

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