TOPPAN Digital and Chinoh.Ai form business alliance to develop advanced robotics solutions for logistics, targeting factory and warehouse automation; solution aims to offset Japan's declining workforce leading to labor shortages in the logistics sector

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TOKYO , February 1, 2024 (press release) –

Business alliance will drive development and rollout of logistics solutions using advanced robotics to power logistics DX based on factory and warehouse automation 

\TOPPAN Digital Inc. (TOPPAN Digital), a TOPPAN Group company and wholly owned subsidiary of TOPPAN Holdings Inc., and Chinoh.Ai Co., Ltd. (Chinoh.Ai), an integrator of advanced Chinese robotics, have today announced that they have entered into a business alliance agreement.

The collaboration will fuse the TOPPAN Group’s RFID, digital picking, logistics data management systems, and other solutions for digital transformation (DX) of logistics with Chinoh.Ai’s system development and coordination capabilities centered on China’s advanced robotics solutions to drive joint development and provision of logistics DX solutions enabled by factory and warehouse automation.

Background

Although the logistics sector has seen an expansion in the number of shipments and deliveries due to growth of the e-commerce market, the so-called “2024 problem,” prompted by tightening of overtime regulations for transportation by truck in Japan, and the country’s declining birthrate and aging population are compounding the issue of labor shortages. This is driving a drastic increase in demand for solutions that raise efficiency and reduce manpower needs through automation and mechanization across various processes in the logistics field.

Chinoh.Ai integrates and customizes China’s latest robotics solutions to provide logistics robotics to the Japanese manufacturing and logistics industries. The company delivers solutions optimized for the Japanese market through diverse combinations of state-of-the-art logistics robotics (RGVs/AGVs/AGFs1/robotic arms, etc.) from China, the world’s largest market for both logistics and industrial robots.

The TOPPAN Group is driving digitalization of the entire supply chain, from manufacturing and wholesale to retail and consumers. It provides a wide range of services from warehousing to delivery and is advancing a logistics DX business that leverages leading-edge logistics insights. This includes expanding and enhancing solutions such as RFID-based traceability systems, digital picking, and visualization of logistics data, as well as advancing research on sensing, AI, and robotics technologies. In the area of logistics robotics, the TOPPAN Group is conducting R&D on centralized management and movement optimization for multiple robots. In anticipation of rapid market expansion, the TOPPAN Group now aims to strengthen the robotics solutions of its logistics DX business by partnering with Chinoh.Ai, which has expertise in robotics integration, implementation, and maintenance.

The collaboration will fuse the technologies and know-how of the companies to develop and roll out solutions that achieve high-level advances in efficiency and manpower saving in the logistics field.

Details of the alliance

Leveraging complementary strengths to expand sales through cross-selling and upselling
Taking advantage of the services and customer networks of the TOPPAN Group and Chinoh.Ai to drive cross-selling and upselling, the companies aim to expand their businesses by catering to demand for factory and warehouse DX. With AIOI-SYSTEMS Co., Ltd., Japan’s leading provider of digital picking systems, joining the TOPPAN Group in June 2021, it has a range of technologies that combine people and systems to reduce manpower needs. Chinoh.Ai, meanwhile, has technologies for achieving labor saving through unmanned operation, such as RGVs, AGVs, AGFs, and robotic arms with image recognition. The combination will facilitate a logistics DX business that leverages the complementary strengths of the companies.

Joint development of advanced logistics system solutions
The companies will jointly develop new solutions to reduce labor and manpower needs for factories and warehouses by bringing together Chinoh.Ai’s advanced Chinese robotics and the TOPPAN Group’s logistics DX solutions. Specifically, by coordinating robotics-enabled warehouses using RGVs and AGVs—Chinoh.Ai’s area of expertise—with the TOPPAN Group’s RFID, digital picking, and other solutions, the companies will work to develop a robotics solution combining transportation in factories and warehouses with management of each process, aiming to make the new solution available to customers in the second half of 2024.

Future

TOPPAN Digital and Chinoh.Ai will create schemes for the joint provision of logistics DX solutions and advance joint development fusing the resources of each company to drive further digital transformation of factory and warehouse operations and spur innovation in the logistics industry.

1. RGV/AGV/AGF
?RGV?Rail Guided Vehicle
?AGV?Automated Guided Vehicle
?AGF?Automated Guided Forklift

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