Friday, 28 July 2017 04:43

Healthier homes: Homestar v.4 launch

The New Zealand Green Building Council - NZGBC Homestar version 4 tool launched in Auckland on
Published in Out of Industry

More than 90% of Britons want supermarkets to introduce an aisle free of plastic packaging in stores.
Plastic free aisle

Environmental campaign group A Plastic Planet commissioned a Populus survey of 2,000 UK adults.

Respondents were asked if they support or oppose the introduction of a supermarket aisle that features only products that are free of plastic packaging,

with 91% saying they supported it.

Additionally, 81% of those surveyed said that they were concerned ‘about the amount of plastic packaging that is thrown away in the UK’.

Support for a supermarket aisle featuring only goods not wrapped in plastic packaging was highest in the North East, where 96% of survey respondents backed the move.

The survey revealed that women are slightly more likely to support the introduction of Plastic Free Aisles than men (92% compared to 91%), while people aged 65 or over are more likely to advocate the measure than any other age group (94% compared to 89% of 25-34 year-olds).

Results from opinion polls and surveys can sometimes appear convenient, but the British Polling Council has said that results can often be attributed the time a poll was conducted, the “order effect” of how questions are asked, and the “mode effect” where respondents (consciously or sub-consciously) give different answers depending on whether they are asked questions in person by an interviewer, or impersonally in self-completion surveys sent by post or email/Internet.

Sian Sutherland, A Plastic Planet co-founder, said it was clear the public wanted an alternative to goods laden with plastic packaging.

“Too much of our plastic waste ends up in oceans and landfill. Consumer demand for products that generate less plastic waste is higher than ever. A plastic free aisle would help supermarkets meet the needs of shoppers who are fed up of buying products covered with layer after layer of throwaway plastic.

“For years we’ve able to buy gluten-free, dairy-free, and fat-free, so why no plastic free?”

Professor Hilary Kennedy of Bangor University’s School of Ocean Sciences added: “There is a growing body of evidence that plastic waste poses a global challenge, directly affecting marine life and ecosystems.

“A plastic free aisle in supermarkets would help encourage a reduction in the amount of plastic waste being dumped in our environment.”

|  A packaging News release  ||  July 26,  2017   |||

 

 

Published in PACKAGING
BOSTOCK New Zealand offers attractive employment opportunities. Our company gets more technical
Published in Out of Industry

Understanding key trends in the economy is crucial for the Reserve Bank, even though the trends can only be estimated and never directly observed and measured.

Assistant Governor and Head of Economics Dr John McDermott said today that three trends were particularly important: the neutral interest rate; potential output growth; and the equilibrium real exchange rate.

“These trends are the anchors around which we aim to stabilise the economy, and thereby inflation over the medium term,” Dr McDermott said in a speech. “While these trends are unobservable and the Reserve Bank has no control over them, they’re important to pin down so that monetary policy can be set appropriately.”

These unobservable factors are often denoted in economic models with a star (or asterisk). So, metaphorically, one might say it is necessary to estimate the position of the economy’s stars in order to navigate monetary policy appropriately.

“Core inflation is another important unobservable concept, because by filtering out temporary factors it provides a better guide to future medium-term inflation,” he said.

Dr McDermott’s speech provided an update on how the Reserve Bank thinks about the trends in the New Zealand economy and the changes in the trends over time. Currently, the neutral interest rate is estimated to be around 3½ percent; potential output growth is 2.9 percent; and core inflation is 1.4 percent.

The neutral interest rate has been slowly falling for some time. In part, this reflects developments in potential output growth – the sustainable growth rate of the economy. Despite a boost from strong net immigration in recent years, growth in potential output has remained much lower than in the past two expansions due to nearly no contribution from productivity growth.

More information:
Looking at the Stars speech

Published in FINANCIAL

 One of New Zealand’s longest-running pioneering business success stories, Gallagher Power Fence Systems Limited, has announced plans to expand operations in Kenya at Tatu City.

Gallagher will build 24 warehouses on four-acres at Tatu Industrial Park, the leading industrial area with Special Economic Zone status in East Africa. The warehouses will be used for storage of security products and for lease. Construction will commence in September 2017 and create approximately 100 jobs as part of the multimillion dollar investment.

Whilst visiting Tatu City, Sir William Gallagher, Chairperson and CEO of the company, said that the move was a strategic step in Gallagher’s growth and expansion plans in the region.

“Over the last 18 years, we have experienced immense support from various partners and customers in Kenya. We are proud to be playing a role in creating employment opportunities, and we aim to reach a wider clientele through the facilities that we will be setting up here at Tatu City,” he said.

Gallagher is also in the process of building an electric security fence on the boundary of Tatu City. The fence will will be equipped with CCTV cameras, floodlights and access control at entry and exit points, all monitored in a dedicated control room by Tatu City’s security team.

“We are delighted yet again to attract a global investor and service provider with strong local roots to the ever-growing list of Tatu City partners,” said Stephen Jennings, Founder and CEO of Rendeavour, the owner and developer of Tatu City. “Gallagher is a household name in dozens of countries around the world, and the company’s quality and standards are such that they have built a strong business in Kenya.”

About Gallagher Power Fence Systems Ltd (www.gallagher.com)
Gallagher are a global leader in the innovation, manufacture and marketing of animal management, security, fuel systems and contract manufacturing solutions.
For 75 years Gallagher has designed and delivered innovative solutions to a global customer base. GPF Kenya was established 18 years ago in Nairobi and established itself as a highly reputable supplier and installer of high quality cost effective security systems.

All installations are designed and installed to comply with National and International requirements. Gallagher inspects and certifies all installations as appropriate, ensuring that the systems comply with Gallagher’s stringent code of practice and quality standards.

About Tatu City (www.tatucity.com)
Tatu City is a 5,000-acre, mixed-use development with homes, schools, offices, a shopping district, medical clinics, nature areas, a sport & entertainment complex and manufacturing area for more than 150,000 residents and tens of thousands of day visitors. Schools and businesses are already open at Tatu City, and a range of houses are under construction to suit all incomes. A Special Economic Zone, Tatu City is a unique live, work and play environment that is free from traffic congestion and long-distance commuting.

| A Gallagher release Nairobi, July 11, 2017    |||

Published in TRADE

Logistics company DHL Supply Chain is staging an augmented reality trial with one of its Australian customers as it assesses the productivity benefits that AR can deliver to warehouse operations.

The project, using smart glasses to aid ‘picking’ during order fulfillment, builds on a series of pilots the company has run in a number of other countries, according to Andrew Weyer, DHL Supply Chain vice president, information technology, Australia & New Zealand.

The decision to invest in AR is based on DHL Supply Chain’s assessment of the emerging technologies that comprise ‘Industry 4.0’, Weyer said.

DHL Supply Chain develops its own internal ‘hype cycle’ that assesses the trends likely to have the biggest impact on its business and then works with its vendors and customers in co-creation efforts to develop proof of concepts, he said.

In 2014, DHL Trend Research released a paper — Augmented Reality in Logistics — that identified potential AR use cases in three key areas across the logistics industry:

• Warehousing operations, including pick by vision and warehouse planning.

• Transportation optimisation, including ‘completeness checks’ (ensuring a pick-up load is complete), complying with international import and export regulations (easily assessing trade documentation for example), dynamic rerouting (sending new directions to a driver to optimise travel), and freight loading.

• Last-mile delivery (areas such as parcel loading and drop-off, last-metre navigation, and using augmented reality to boost delivery security through customer recognition).

For the company’s first major foray into AR it partnered with a customer — printer vendor Ricoh — and software company Ubimax.

The 2015 project used Google Glass and Vuzix headsets and involved a Ricoh warehouse in the Netherlands.

“It was a joint decision between us and Ricoh to say, ‘Let’s identify a new digital trend that we can bring into the facility and try to prove some benefits’,” Weyer said

The three-week pilot involved 10 staff equipped with head-mounted displays. During the pilot, they collectively picked more than 20,000 items and fulfilled 9000 orders.

The benefits were substantial, with the augmented reality headsets delivering a greater than 25 per cent productivity boost.

X, the subsidiary of Google parent company Alphabet and the new custodian of Glass, earlier this month announced the relaunch of the headset with a focus on the enterprise; DHL is one of the Glass customers X has highlighted.

In the wake of the Netherlands pilot, in August last year DHL Supply Chain announced it would expand the AR program across different industries and stage further trials in the Netherlands, the US and the UK.

“This is one of the things we do in the group: We prove something in one area, then we industrialise it and we try to extend it to other areas and leverage it as a standard solution,” Weyer said.

The scenario where AR has been found to deliver the most significant boost is where an individual warehouse worker is fulfilling multiple orders and making ‘less than carton’ picks, Weyer said.

Difficulty with obtaining Google Glass units in APAC has meant that in this region DHL has partnered with US technology company Vuzix. (Vuzix’s M100 and M300 smart glasses run on Google’s Android mobile platform.)

DHL Supply Chain has already staged a proof of concept in Japan with a major retail customer, Weyer said.
“There were some challenges with the POC around the technology,” he said. One of them was the impact of latency between the server and the glasses units being used on the warehouse floor.

“Those problems have since been solved and we’re now looking at a circa 10 per cent productivity improvement from the glasses,” he said.

In Australia, DHL Supply Chain has kicked off a proof of concept with Canon.

“We’ve identified an area of their operations where they’re doing a multiple picking-type operation. We then looked at the [AR] solution and identified two areas we could optimise even further,” Weyer said.

Changes to the AR software have meant that the heads-up display is “more dynamic,” he said: “It automatically fits to the number of trolleys that you’re actually picking into.”

The other enhancement was that in addition to highlighting the container in which a worker should place the current item, a different colour is used to highlight the next tote box — meaning that in the case of any minor system latency, the employee is able to keep working.

The local project is entering user acceptance testing this week.

The Australian pilot will see vision picking directly compared against a manual picking operation, voice picking and RF picking to better assess the productivity improvements that AR can deliver.

The smart glass units will be directly connected to wireless networks in the warehouse operated by DHL Supply Chain.

In most of DHL Supply Chain’s facilities across Asia Pacific the company has already installed standard wireless access points to drive RF-based picking, Weyer explained.

RF picking involves equipping warehouse workers with wearable Wi-Fi-connected terminals that can direct them to the appropriate area of a facility and tell them the item and quantity needed to fulfil an order. The technology has proven particularly important in the pharmaceutical area, Weyer said.

“We’ve got quite a large life science and healthcare operation across a lot of the countries in APAC, especially in Australia,” Weyer explained. In Australia the company does about 80 per cent of the direct to pharmacy distribution of life science and health-care products, he added.

“That RF capability allows us to be more accurate. You’re dealing with patients’ lives: You need to make sure you’re picking the right batch, the right expiry date. You don’t want someone mistaking an R for a 1 or a zero for an O — because you’ve just mixed up a batch number. If I need to do a recall, I need to know where I can find that product; if I’m not using RF and I introduce human error.”

Weyer said that one benefit of the facility chosen for the AR pilot is that it’s managed by an operations maturity standard used globally by DHL Supply Chain. That means that a range of measures to assess warehouse productivity are already in place.

“That operations maturity standard introduces a whole lot of disciplines around the operation; kicking off with things like early morning performance dialogues — what do we need to achieve for the day, what are our KPIs, what are our SLAs, planning the resource allocations to different activities,” he said.

“We’ve got daily reporting on the current productivity and we’ve got daily dashboards that are running. As we put those different technologies in, we can actively understand the impact of them off the base that we’ve already got in place.”

| A DHL release  ||  July 25,  2017   |||

Published in LOGISTICS

 Horticulture New Zealand has teamed up with WorkSafe New Zealand to create a health and safety toolkit specifically designed for horticulture businesses.

"Managing health and safety in the workplace is a critical issue for horticulture businesses," Horticulture New Zealand chief executive Mike Chapman says. "Keeping up with what is required is something we can help growers with.

"Working with WorKSafe, we have been able to customise a toolkit, called Keep Safe, Keep Growing, which includes both a written booklet and an easy-to-work-through online guide to help growers identify and manage health and safety risks.

"The guideline is targeted at those who are responsible for the management of health and safety in a horticulture business. It covers the steps that growers should take to build a health and safety system.

"Features include a guide for visitors to a property, tools and training resources for workers and contractors, and the ability to create risk assessments for Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) audits that are part of many horticulture businesses."

Horticulture New Zealand represents 5,500 commercial fruit and vegetable growers who employ 60,000 people. A copy of the Keep Safe, Keep Growing guide will be posted to all growers over the coming days. Additional copies will be available from Horticulture New Zealand on request. The online guide can be found here.

Published in HORTICULTURE

Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, known for making cathedrals and concert halls out of paper, is designing 20,000 new homes for refugees in northwest Kenya. Ban, who won the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2014, will be working with the UN Habitat to build homes in the Kalobeyei refugee settlement in Kenya’s Turkana region.

After the 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, Ban designed a temporary replacement for the church made out of cardboard. 

Ban, a minimalist who uses materials ranging from cardboard and paper to beer crates, is known for his work on emergency housing. He’s built DIY refugee shelters in Rwanda after the 1994 genocide and in Nepal after its 2015 earthquake2015. His paper log houses have been used in Japan, Turkey, and India. In Kenya, Ban says his goal is to design housing simple enough for residents to replicate and maintain by themselves—Kenya’s refugee population, at about 400,000, is expected to continue growing.

“The key thing will be to design and construct shelter where no or little technical supervision is required, and use materials that are locally available and eco-friendly. It’s important that the houses can be easily maintained by inhabitants,” Ban said after visiting the Kalobeyei settlement last week.

Continue to full article here

Published in CONSTRUCTION

On Wednesday, the council’s Finance Committee is being asked to give urgent funding approval to purchase 17 new battery powered trains, or Independently Powered Electric Multiple Units (IPEMUs) as they’re referred to officially.

The council paper and the full business case notes that the urgency is because a deposit needs to be made by September this year to ensure delivery of these new trains in 2019 which is when the capacity constraints really start to bite. Given how plainly obvious this issue has been for some considerable time, it’s a bit absurd that it now needs to be made so quickly.

Continue to the full item here

Published in TRANSPORT
Page 1 of 6