Siemens and Cathay Pacific Services enter into cooperation in Hong Kong
Siemens Postal, Parcel & Airport Logistics (SPPAL) and Cathay Pacific Services Limited have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for digitalisation of the cargo infrastructure at the Hong Kong airport.
Innovative maintenance methods, such as predictive maintenance, and other levers are to be applied to the freight handling system installed by Siemens in 2013 to achieve smooth and even more efficient operation of the Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal. This will help prevent expensive downtime of the conveying systems and thus enhance the system availability. Spare parts management will also benefit from this optimisation.
This project is to be implemented using Internet of Things (IoT) applications and advanced data analytics. The planned software solutions are based on MindSphere, Siemens’ open, cloud-based IoT operating platform.
“The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding highlights our long-standing and trusting cooperation with Cathay Pacific Services Limited,” said Michael Reichle, CEO of Siemens Postal, Parcel & Airport Logistics. “Our decades of experience in air cargo logistics, combined with our know-how in implementing digital solutions enable us to support the customer in further optimising its process workflows and expanding its competitive advantage.”
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Among other things, this agreement also covers the introduction of a standardised and secure method for real-time exchange of quality-assured data between various stakeholders at the airport. The contracting parties also aim to achieve energy optimisation of the cargo handling system in order to reduce operating costs and to make a meaningful contribution to environmental protection.
“I am very pleased to enter into this cooperation with Siemens for digitalisation of our materials handling system,” stated Jenny Lam, CEO at Cathay Pacific Services Limited. “Our main concern here is to continue to offer our customers excellent service. And we chose Siemens’ profound expertise and innovative software solutions in order to accomplish this.”
Cathay Pacific Services Limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cathay Pacific Airways, operating the ultramodern air cargo facility to serve the airlines at the Hong Kong International Airport.
SPPAL further expanded its digital portfolio recently by opening a new MindSphere Application Center (MAC) in Dubai, which will develop future-oriented analytics and IoT solution - among others for airports and airlines. The MAC in Dubai is part of the global network of 20 centres for digital customer applications from the Siemens Group. Around 900 software developers, data specialists and engineers are collaborating with customers on digital solutions in the MACs.
Fluent.ai x BSH: Voice Automating the Assembly Line
Fluent.ai has deployed its voice recognition solutions in one of BSH’s German factories. BSH leads the market in producing connected appliances—its brands include Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau, NEFF, and Thermador, and with this new partnership, the company intends to cut transition time in its assembly lines.
According to BSH, voice automation will yield 75-100% efficiency gains—but it’s the collaboration between the two companies that stands out. ‘After considering 11 companies for this partnership, we chose Fluent.ai because of their key competitive differentiators’, explained Ion Hauer, Venture Partner at BSH Startup Kitchen.
What Sets Fluent.ai Apart?
After seven years of research, the company developed a wide range of artificial intelligence (AI) software products to help original equipment manufacturers (OEM) expand their services. Three key aspects stood out to BSH, which operates across the world and in unique factory environments.
- Robust noise controls. The system can operate even in loud conditions.
- Low latency. The AI understands commands quickly and accurately.
- Multilingual support. BSH can expand the automation to any of its 50+ country operations.
How Voice Automation Works
Instead of pressing buttons, BSH factory workers will now be able to speak into a headset fitted with Fluent.ai’s voice recognition technology. After uttering a WakeWord, workers can use a command to start assembly line movement. As the technology is hands-free, workers benefit from less physical strain, which will both reduce employee fatigue and boost line production.
‘Implementing Fluent’s technology has already improved efficiencies within our factory, with initial implementation of the solution cutting down the transition time from four seconds to one and a half”, said Markus Maier, Project Lead at the BSH factory. ‘In the long run, the production time savings will be invaluable’.
Future Global Adoption
In the coming years, BSH and Fluent.ai will continue to push for artificial intelligence on factory lines, pursuing efficiency, ergonomics, and a healthy work environment. ‘We started with Fluent.ai on one factory assembly line, moved to three, and [are now] considering rolling the technology out worldwide’, said Maier.
Said Probal Lala, Fluent.ai’s CEO: ‘We are thrilled to be working with BSH, a company at the forefront of innovation. Seeing your solution out in the real world is incredibly rewarding, and we look forward to continuing and growing our collaboration’.