Komatsu cuts red ribbon on massive facility

Komatsu

Komatsu's new Wacol distribution facility.

Komatsu has opened an innovation hub and distribution centre in Wacol, Queensland, showcasing the latest technology during its construction and upon completion in an interactive exhibition.

The hub and facility cover 17,500 square metres and cost the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) $48 million.

As the largest building Komatsu has ever constructed in Australia, the site is expected to service up to 3000 Komatsu customers and employ 50 people.

Komatsu chief executive officer Sean Taylor explained how the distribution centre would benefit Komatsu and its customers.

“By using the latest in warehousing technologies, we have been able to drastically increase the efficiency of this operation, with pick rates of fast-moving parts increasing by 300 per cent – which will contribute to faster delivery times,” Taylor said.

“In addition, order consolidation innovations have driven a 22 per cent reduction in individual packages, which contributes to a lower carbon footprint – an important driver in our commitment to lower emissions.

“At the same time, we have achieved a six-star energy rating for the building through the use of solar power and an energy-efficient design, while 89 per cent of our waste from the site is diverted away from landfill.”

Next door, the innovation hub displays a range of interactive exhibits that demonstrates the latest technologies in mining, quarrying and construction.

Komatsu general manager of business transformation Todd Connolly said the exhibits gave great insight into Komatsu’s success through the years.

“It’s been designed to inspire the next generation of Komatsu employees and management, along with our customers and other stakeholders, to continue our innovation journey along with us,” he said.

“Visitors to our Innovation Hub can go from displays of classic items of Komatsu equipment, to a vision of the future with a prototype all-electric remote-control excavator.”

The construction of the facility made use of Komatsu’s own technology, enabling semi-autonomy and added safety.

“SmartConstruction links machine operation directly to site design. The semi-autonomous capabilities of Komatsu dozers and excavators ensured highly accurate compliance with the design, driving productivity and safety,” Taylor said.

“Furthermore, Komatsu’s drone technology worked in concert with our contractor’s iMC machines to volumetrically scan the site to determine progress, in turn feeding data into Komatsu’s Edge technology, which has the ability to process millions of data points in real time.

“Our project management team, along with our contractors, designers and surveyors were all able to take advantage of Smart Construction’s ability to combine 3D design data with aerial mapping and intelligent machine data, so they could visualise the project at every stage of construction.”

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