Business, Earthmoving News

Komatsu opens Wacol Distribution Centre

Komatsu's new Wacol facility features greater warehousing capacity, a smart distribution system and an innovation hub

The new facility will lead to faster delivery times for customers, Komatsu chief executive Sean Taylor (left) says

Komatsu has opened the doors of a new $48 million distribution centre in Wacol, Queensland, which features a state-of-the-art Innovation Hub.

The completed facility will service more than 3000 customers across the country’s northern states as well as New Zealand and New Caledonia.

At 17,500 sqm, the distribution centre is the single largest building Komatsu has ever constructed in Australia and offers the earthmoving manufacturer 70 per cent more warehouse capacity than its previous branch.

Beyond this, the size of the facility also offers a reduction in turnaround times and  a streamlined ordering process, given the greater availability of parts and components for Komatsu machines.

The Wacol Distribution Centre was commissioned last year during Komatsu’s centenary year, marking 100 years since the company was founded in Japan in 1921.

The new facility was opened on Wednesday, March 9, with Komatsu staff, including delegates from the company’s Japanese headquarters, Queensland State Treasurer Cameron Dick and members of the media.

The new Wacol Distribution Centre features 70 per cent more warehouse capacity than its previous branch

At the opening, Komatsu chief executive Sean Taylor says the centre will help the company better service the Queensland and Northern Territory markets within Australia.

“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 for customers,” Taylor says.

“Our Wacol Distribution Centre incorporates the latest in safety innovations, including wire guidance systems to control forklift movements, dock safety controls that ensure people are kept out of harm’s way and zero gravity cranes to minimise manual lifting.”

The facility has also been designed to lessen Komatsu’s carbon footprint through a variety of avenues. Through the distribution centre’s use of solar power and its overall energy-efficient design, it achieves a six-star energy rating.

Individual packages have been reduced by 22 per cent thanks to innovations in order consolidation, while 89 per cent of waste from the site will also be diverted away from landfill.

Perhaps the crown jewel of Komatsu’s new distribution centre is the Innovation Hub which the company says ‘will showcase the company’s focus on innovation and technology leadership across all aspects of its business.

The Innovation Hub features a variety of interactive exhibits across the mining, construction and quarrying sectors and is designed to inspire and safeguard the future of the industry.

“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,” says Komatsu GM – business transformation, Todd Connolly.

“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.

“There are also opportunities to try out a Komatsu excavator simulator or see how our SmartConstruction offerings are having a direct influence today on the management of our infrastructure and resources projects of tomorrow.”

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