Automation Center Singapore Launched by OMRON

Aims to improve logistics industry’s long-term competitiveness and sustainability  through automation, robotics and digitization.

OMRON, a global leader in factory automation including Industry 4.0 solutions, has announced opening of its 1st Automation Center exclusively catering the Logistics Industry in Singapore, South-East Asia and Oceania.  This is OMRON’s 2nd Automation Center in Singapore, 6th in APAC and 38th worldwide.  

Named as OMRON AUTOMATION CENTER SINGAPORE for Logistics, it is one of the first  solution development centers to support the adoption of Robotics Middleware  Framework (RMF) in the logistics sector. It will enable and showcase interoperability  between complex and heterogenous multi-robot systems (MRS). This is an important  step towards enabling stronger and seamless human-machine collaboration, where mobile robots using natural or existing infrastructure within the warehouse perform autonomous movement of goods (handling, moving and storing warehouse assets) as  they work alongside the human workforce on the shop floor. 

Catalysed by the Singapore National Robotics Programme (NRP) to address  interoperability issues among heterogenous fleets of robots and infrastructure in  hospitals initially, RMF has moved beyond the healthcare industry to other sectors, such  as facility management, manufacturing and logistics, where different robots are needed  for various applications. The ROS-Industrial (ROS-I) Consortium Asia Pacific, managed  by A*STAR’s Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre (ARTC), has been  actively supporting the growth of RMF adoption in these sectors. 

Expressing his enthusiasm while inaugurating the center, Mr Junta Tsujinaga,  Company President, Industrial Automation Company of OMRON Corporation said,  “The move indicates a big leap for OMRON towards realising our vision of “Enriching  the Future for People, Industries and the Globe by innovative-Automation” through  expanding the presence & reach of OMRON AUTOMATION CENTERS in niche but  growing industries. Our long-term vision—Shaping the Future 2030 (SF 2030)—takes  into account the dynamic, diversified, and complex world of manufacturing led by  Industry 4.0 and digitisation. With the region’s diverse knowledge and maturity  levels in automation, we believe that our unique capabilities based on human machine harmony and collaborations with like-minded organisations will enable the  evolution of technologies to realise the transformation of the Logistics industry to  Logistics 4.0 and more warehouses being automated.” 

Mr. Lionel Lim, Vice President & Head- Technology Hardware & Equipment,  Singapore Economic Development Board, “The launch of OMRON’s new  AUTOMATION CENTER focusing on logistics is an addition to Singapore’s vibrant and  collaborative robotics ecosystem of technology providers, research institutes and  sophisticated end users. We look forward to strengthening our partnership with OMRON to develop innovative robotics solutions that can drive industry  transformation and growth to better serve end-users in Singapore and the region.” 

The center aims to work closely with partners in the robotics and automation eco-system  to catalyse the uptake of Logistics 4.0 in Asia Pacific’s by addressing some of its biggest  issues—such as labour scarcity, limited space, supply chain disruptions, and the pressing  urgency to leverage sustainable technologies to stay resilient while maximising  competitiveness. It will help to address the region’s growing needs for warehouse  automation, which is expected to rise with a compounded annual growth rate of over  14% over the next 5 years, with a higher increase in both developed and emerging  countries in Asia Pacific.(2) 

“Today’s event marks an important milestone in reinforcing OMRON’s commitment  to answer social issues and needs of its focus sectors with its innovative-Automation  solutions. The logistics industry across Singapore and many more countries of Asia  Pacific continues to experience unprecedented growth despite many challenges. I  believe that a dynamic and resilient supply chain is one of the most important  requisites for the region to stay globally competitive and future ready,” said Mr Don  Teng, Managing Director, OMRON Asia Pacific. “OMRON AUTOMATION CENTER  Singapore for Logistics will enable players in Asia Pacific to test, develop, and deploy  innovative automation solutions to revolutionise workflows and streamline  operations, that will act as a big driver to their future growth.” 

The center is a unique facility housing many solutions for intralogistics such as  demonstration of an end-to-end fulfilment center operation using collaborative robots  and custom mobile robot solutions using natural feature navigation to perform  autonomous movement of materials, 3D-vision-guided pick, and palletize solutions,  interoperability of mobile robots using RMF, logistics training cells as well as assortment  of technologies enabling sustainable operations.  

OMRON plans to actively work with technology companies, system integrators and start ups with technology offerings relevant to the logistics industry to pioneer warehouse  automation solutions catered to the specific needs of 3PL and 4PL fulfilment centers,  e-commerce providers and other warehouse management end-users.  

In conjunction with the launch, OMRON also initiated a partnership with the ROS-I  Consortium Asia Pacific to facilitate the incubation and development of capabilities and  applications that leverage the Robotics Middleware Framework (RMF) for the logistics  industry. The partnership also aims to develop common standards for robotics and  automation that can be applied globally leveraging OMRON’s custom mobile robot  solutions and use the center as a test-bedding facility to model the RMF in logistics. This  partnership is initiated through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)  between OMRON and the Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre (ARTC),  A*STAR, which manages the ROS-I Consortium Asia Pacific.

“ARTC’s partnership with OMRON, through our ROS-Industrial Consortium Asia  Pacific, signifies an industry readiness to adopt the Robotics Middleware Framework  currently employed in other industries such as healthcare and facility management.  We look forward to working closely with OMRON in leading the adoption of the  framework in the logistics industry, while encouraging implementation at scale for  the industry and other cross-sectorial applications,” said Dr Wong Chow Cher,  Assistant Chief Executive, ARTC, A*STAR. 

Additional Quotes

“NRP welcomes OMRON’s support for the adoption of RMF to transform the  logistics industry through shaping its Logistics 4.0 effort. It provides us yet  another opportunity to validate RMF’s ability to enhance robotics  interoperability in a multi-robot operating environment. We wish OMRON  success in its journey to shape the future of industrial automation &  robotics ecosystem through its exciting Shaping The Future 2030 (SF 2030)  vision.”  By: Prof Quek Tong Boon, Chief Executive of the National Robotics  Programme (NRP) 

“OMRON’s connected intralogistics solutions and real-time analytics  capabilities, including the 3D-vision guided robotics and custom mobile  robot solutions, will make our customers tap on the power of data to make  faster and smarter business decisions, thereby giving them a competitive  edge along with driving continuous improvements along the way.  Furthermore, the center will be transformative for the industry by helping  organisations achieve carbon neutrality with increased operational  efficiencies and enhanced productivity signifying a real transition to  Logistics 4.0.” By: Mr Swami V Ramamurthy, Robotics Business Division Head, OMRON Asia  Pacific