JR East Startup, JR East Logistics Co., Ltd., which delivers products to stores in Ekinaka, and Cuebus, which develops the next-generation robotic warehouse “CUEBUS”, have improved space efficiency and various warehouse functions. operations are carried out at Tokyo Station.
From March 5 to 11, a “CUEBUS” robotic warehouse will be installed in the Ekinaka warehouse at Tokyo Station. 11.25m handling 17 kinds of memories2We built an automated warehouse in Japan and conducted a demonstration experiment. In this experiment, we verified the specifications needed to improve capacity, appropriate transport speed, and automation of operations from arrival to picking to shipping.
From March 16 to 27, “CUE BUS” will be installed in a section of Tokyo Station’s luggage storage. We check the specifications required to improve baggage capacity, suitable conveying speed, etc., and automation of operations from drop-off to outbound organization.
This time, I had the opportunity to cover the situation of this latest experience, and asked them to show me the status of the demonstration experience with baggage storage at “Shinkansen South Transfer Gate” at the Tokyo station. Although it is a demonstration experience, it is a place where the luggage of station users is actually stored. According to Toru Okamoto, Manager of JR East Logistics Tokyo Ekiroji Center, here in the morning we temporarily leave luggage that is too large to fit in a coin locker, etc. After that, many users come to pick them up and return by Shinkansen. or conventional line.
The users are also diverse, from the elderly to the group of young people. There was a wide variety of luggage that was indeed checked in, including suitcases and large backpacks, as well as souvenir bags, paper bags and umbrellas, probably from the rain the night before. As for this demo experience, it is expected to be easy to pull off as it is inside the station, it will be easy to respond to user changes and usage rate of space will increase.
Easier delivery work, which used to be a human wave tactic
In this demo experience, a single rack is used for a set of customers, and the indicator at the bottom of the tile shows where to place it. When the green lamp is on, place it on the upper shelf and when the blue lamp is on, place it on the lower shelf. Currently, there is no payment function, so it is necessary for people to accept the baggage themselves. When you accept at the counter, the “CUEBUS” side of the backyard will automatically bring an empty tray to the front according to the instruction, so it’s a mechanism to put it there.
Junko Ekoshi, general manager of the quality service reform department of JR East Logistics, and Yuzuru Saito, head of the general affairs department of the planning division, say that “at the time of delivery” is particularly useful from the point of view. view of the field. In the past, it was necessary to search for the corresponding 4-digit numbered baggage from the customer’s baggage number tag by human wave tactics every time the goods were shipped. However, the system remembers the location of the luggage put in CUEBUS, and if you press the tablet, the luggage with this number will automatically come to the front, so you can pick it up immediately. Basically, just type in the luggage number on the tablet and the luggage will come to you, so even if you’re not a native Japanese speaker, there’s no problem with the job.
Mr. Saito, who is in charge of the demonstration experiment, said: “It works at 100 V, does not require anchors and does not require construction. It can be installed in any form. It can be installed in places such as under the stairs. It is not limited. You can easily take it to a place where you can use it. This solves the detailed logistics problems. It’s very simple, and even people of all ages and men and women who hire today can work.
The evaluation is that it is “flexible” and “flexible”
Shinobu Noguchi, President and CEO of JR East Logistics Co., Ltd., said, “There is a lot of space in the station, but there are many places where the shape is complicated and not suitable. to logistics. It is difficult to set up a normal warehouse. How to effectively use such space was a big problem. The Cuebus mechanism can be easily placed in various places. It can also be used for luggage storage and in the backyard. It can also be used. Our needs. ”
Stations often undergo construction work, and equipment must be operated each time. Therefore, it is difficult to install something like an existing automated warehouse. However, if it can be easily done in an hour and a half, it can be easily installed depending on the fluctuation of supply and demand. “I realized it was a very flexible solution,” he said.
He is also positive about the possibility of a large-scale operation in the future, saying “I want to continue”. “We will determine in the future which type of box is better to use. We would like to analyze the results of the demo experiment. It is also necessary to consider the combination with unmanned operation. This may be of manned operation when busy, and unmanned at night. Right? I think it can be used freely.”
Tomohiro Sawada, a JR East Startup associate who led the story of this experiment, said, “I was fascinated by the mechanism itself.” And he thought, “Although it is a clothing specification, it is the size that a carrying case can fit in. It is easy to put on and take off, and it can be extended flexibly. – It looks like it can be used for temporary installation of event venues.” That was it.
The use of an automated warehouse that can be easily installed depends on the idea.
The mechanism of “CUEBUS”, which is characterized by “flexible recombination”, is scale-free. If it’s an “in and out” system, it can be used for anything according to the idea, and it doesn’t just matter the scale but also the size. The current top measures 60 x 60 cm, but it can be reduced or enlarged. There seems to be a lot of talk that if it’s small it can be used to pay for medicine.
Mr. Cuebus Okubo said that the initial target was a distribution warehouse, while “the first is a warehouse”, “it is operated in a form close to the product applied to the business, so you can do everything if you can reach here.” Said. “We didn’t expect this kind of use at first, but we’ve been able to work on it so far, and we’ve seen some issues, so we decided to make it and complete it in one product. Masu “(Mr. Okubo).
In the demo experiment for souvenirs, it was said that a specific company mainly handled cardboard boxes containing heavy objects. As a result, we were able to meet the expiration date. “Until now, when I tried to put in a new one, I had to replace it. With Cuebus, I can take it out without worrying about that. The person taking it out can take it out without thinking. There is no there is no error. In addition, it will be gradually optimized” (Mr. Okubo).
There is a logistical crisis behind the development of CUEBUS. Mr. Okubo said, “We no longer waited for the labor shortage at the distribution site. We need to distribute the workforce appropriately. If there is such an automatic machine, we will consider new services through various collaborations and the use of big data accumulated there. However, even then the machines should replace rather than increase the amount of work. Instead of the operation that workers have to use their head, we have to create a mechanism to avoid mistakes. ”