Early on a rainy February morning, on the seaside launch pad of a remote Japanese island, Mitsubishi H-IIA rocket No. 30 is awaiting its rendezvous with destiny. Once successfully placed into orbit, a satellite began its mission in space while far below the rocket launch team celebrated yet another in a growing list of successful launches.
Operating a forklift is demanding work, but the safety, reliability and other enhancements of modern models make them far superior to the machines of even a generation ago. Like those of M-FET group (Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Forklift, Engine & Turbocharger Holdings), which offers a range of products that apply the best technologies and design ideas that the history of forklift development has to offer. This includes the reliable engine and powertrains of Mitsubishi forklifts, tried and true batteries and components from Nichiyu forklifts, and the heavy-duty capabilities of the large-size equipment that UniCarriers is renowned for. And most significantly, the cumulative knowhow of all of these companies, which are now working together on a global scale under the M-FET group umbrella.
These days, not all is quiet on the logistics front. Businesses at every stage of the supply chain are increasingly hard pressed to meet the relentless demands of customer expectations. In the race to get commodities and finished products to market as quickly as possible, manufacturers, transport companies and distributors alike are running against the clock. As fulfillment of orders placed via e-commerce becomes increasingly competitive, logistics services are teaming up to expedite shipments over the so-called “last one mile,” speeding up the transaction process from next-day deliveries to same-day deliveries. Or in some cases, the waiting time from order to receipt can be measured in hours.
A wide variety of equipment is used in industrial plants. This equipment is continuously monitored and checked, which requires a great deal of effort and a wide range of sensor strategies to guarantee proper functioning throughout the lifecycles of the various devices. But none of these sensor strategies take into account one of the most important properties of nearly every device or process: They emit sounds.
When Japan welcomes millions of foreign travelers for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, one thing the visitors will see apart from the world’s best athletes is the world’s best robots. It may sound like the realization of countless science-fiction fantasies, but humanoid robots are now quite commonplace in big cities like Tokyo. This is a dream that was long in the making.

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