Kuka Robotics Australia has joined Open IIoT, an initiative founded with the mission of delivering valuable, efficient and easy-to-understand information on Industry 4.0, IIoT and other related topics to end-users and the broader manufacturing industry.

Since its founding over a century ago, Kuka has brought its industrial robotics solutions to over 40 countries, and has established itself as a mainstay in commerce, electronics, energy, consumer goods, metal, plastics, entertainment and healthcare.

In joining Open IIoT, Kuka joins some of Australia’s most prominent automation brands in the Group, including SMC Corporation ANZ, Beckhoff Automation, Nord Drivesystems, Balluff, Zi-Argus. 

“For over 120 years, Kuka has stood for ideas and innovation, and joining IIoT gives us the opportunity to join fellow prominent brands in promoting the latest technical advances in smart automation,” explains Cameron Fisher, general manager at Kuka. 

“By joining Open IIoT, we hope to be part of the movement to ramp up Industry 4.0 capabilities and acceptance in Australia. There is a definite sense of urgency in this mission, as our country is more in need of automated solutions than ever before.” 

The latest Economist and The Wall Street Journal statistics regarding growth dynamics in industrial robotics reflect the sense of urgency that Fisher raises.

WSJ estimates that 373,000 industrial robots were put to use in 2019, in addition to 173,000 professional service robots, equipped with advanced software, sensors and Wi-Fi.

By the end of 2021, the statistics estimate that the installed base of factory robots worldwide will exceed 3.2 million robots, and the current global market for industrial robotics is currently valued at $45 billion. 

“We believe Covid has changed the way people, and as a result, smart automation is a key to making this efficient,” says Fisher. 

“From real-time monitoring of factory floors, to an increase in social distancing in the workplace, robotics automation can solve many of the issues companies are facing in the new world.” 

Fisher says the Kuka team is keen to work with a panel of similarly qualified Industry 4.0 experts in Open IIoT, and is looking forward to what 2021 and beyond has in store.

“The calibre of the members have definitely helped to cement its footprint as the IIoT group of choice in Australia, and we look forward to incorporating more robotics into the Group’s agenda,” Fisher concludes.

Food & Drink Business

WineDepot will acquire digital B2B alcohol beverage business Kaddy, merging the two into Australia’s largest alcohol-focused cloud-based logistics and marketplace platform. The combined operation will have more than 1900 buyers across the on- and off-premises segments, along with roughly 1000 suppliers of alcoholic beverages accounting for more than 10,000 products.

Woolworths Group has appointed Annette Karantoni as the new chief supply chain officer and managing director of Primary Connect. She will also join the executive team in early 2022.

Sodexo will purchase 100 tonnes of surplus food every year for the next three years from social enterprise Yume. The company has purchased more than 190 tonnes of food from Yume since 2018.