YCH in tie-up to expand drone use in warehouses

Logistics firm YCH Group already uses AeroLion Technologies' drones at its distribution centre in the Jurong Innovation District. The two firms will also collaborate to research and develop commercially ready technology.
Logistics firm YCH Group already uses AeroLion Technologies' drones at its distribution centre in the Jurong Innovation District. The two firms will also collaborate to research and develop commercially ready technology.PHOTO: YCH GROUP

Logistics firm, AeroLion to offer solution to companies in region

Home-grown logistics company YCH Group has joined hands with unmanned aerial vehicle firm AeroLion Technologies to expand the use of drones in warehouses in the region.

The firms unveiled their partnership at the three-day Industrial Transformation Asia-Pacific trade show yesterday, adding that they will collaborate further to research and develop commercially ready technology.

While YCH already uses AeroLion's drones at its distribution centre in the Jurong Innovation District, the firms are working together to extend this solution to other regional warehouses and other warehouse service providers.

Typically, a two-man team takes a full day to check the inventory of a single warehouse aisle, but such drones can complete the same task in 12 minutes, said YCH and AeroLion.

Speaking at a networking event on the final day of the trade show at the Singapore Expo, Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Koh Poh Koon said there is no "one-size-fits-all" strategy to help companies develop advanced manufacturing capabilities.

He flagged ongoing efforts to bring the industry together, such as industrial estate developer JTC Corporation's Industry 4.0 network, which started last year and links researchers, technology and training providers, trade associations as well as government agencies to support companies.

On Tuesday, The Straits Times reported that JTC is moving beyond its role as a landlord to play "matchmaker" by actively linking its customers to potential partners which can help them to adopt more advanced technology and ease their talent crunch.

  • 12

  • Number of minutes it would take drones to check the inventory of a single warehouse aisle; typically, a two-man team takes a full day to complete the same task.

To date, it has approached around 300 companies out of 14,000 or so across its estates, introducing them to its partners' network.

Other efforts include an initiative that aims to digitally connect the smart factories of participating organisations so companies across industries can pick up best practices, said Dr Koh.

This was launched yesterday by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research's Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology, and the Singapore Precision Engineering & Technology Association. Thirteen organisations - including multinationals and local firms - will be signing memorandums of understanding to join the initiative.

Dr Koh added that firms are encouraged to band together to provide a complete suite of solutions and capture a larger share of the value chain.

For example, last year, local small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) ASTech brought eight local firms and 12 multinational corporations together to form the Smart i4.0 Transformation Alliance, which went on to secure eight projects.

Enterprise Singapore, he added, has brought 21 companies together to form three more SME-led consortiums, after last year's alliance. Of the three, one caters to precision machining smart solutions, the second, to the precision engineering sector in South-east Asia, while the third will focus more on opportunities in the United States and Europe.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 25, 2019, with the headline 'YCH in tie-up to expand drone use in warehouses'. Print Edition | Subscribe