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Rhenus unveils new international logistics facility

The Rhenus Group has expanded its logistics services in the Asia-Pacific region, with a newly-built warehouse in Gurugram, India. The state-of-the-art 32,500 square meter facility is the latest addition to Rhenus’ global logistics operations.

The Gurugram logistics centre features 30,000 pallet spaces, 19 loading gates and 24-hour security protection. Sustainability has been prioritised throughout, with solar PV panels installed on the roof and water recycling technology integrated within the facility’s design.

The new Gurugram location serves customers from the consumer, industrial goods, automotive, mechanical engineering and chemical sectors, among others. The warehouse has good transport links to the Jaipur Highway, the Kundli-Nabesar-Palwal Expressway and the Delhi-Mumbai Corridor to Delhi and other parts of northern India.

“Our flagship warehouse is raising the bar even higher in terms of quality, sustainability and safety. It is our goal, as a service provider, to be the first choice for integrated logistics solutions and scalable storage across India. Well-trained staff, standardised systems and modern processes are our advantage,” says Vivek Arya, Managing Director of Rhenus Logistics India.

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The new flagship warehouse is the 69th Rhenus branch in India. The total storage capacity Rhenus operates across the country has thus increased to more than 175,000 square meters across 30 logistics centres.

“India is one of our key markets for our growth plans for the  APAC region. Our high quality standards and decades of experience enable us to provide professional support to customers along the entire logistics chain,” says Jan Harnisch, Global COO Rhenus Air & Ocean.

About Rhenus

The Rhenus Group is a leading logistics service provider with global business operations and an annual turnover of EUR 5.5 billion. Rhenus has business sites at 750 locations worldwide and employs 33,000 people. The Rhenus Group provides solutions for a wide variety of different sectors along the complete supply chain; they include multimodal transport operations, warehousing, customs clearance as well as innovative value added services.

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A wake-up call to manufacturers: how coronavirus is driving digital transformation and continuity planning

The current pandemic is forcing the manufacturing sector to re-evaluate traditional production processes. The combination of supply chain disruption, shortage of materials, dependence on globalised production, and a national workforce with restricted movements, is not only affecting the industry, but the wider economy. While many have struggled to adapt within the current environment, there are those taking this opportunity to transform.

Manufacturers are collectively being forced to devise and implement new and agile approaches to product monitoring and quality control. One of their biggest logistical challenges involves ensuring their production lines are running, despite the lack of available staff due to social distancing rules. This is where digital innovations in smart manufacturing can offer many benefits.  

logo InfinityQSJason Chester, Director of Global Channel programs at InfinityQS, explains further: “Before the lockdown started, business continuity in the event of a global pandemic was not a priority, as the risk or likelihood was not deemed high enough and the ROI was not clearly evident. Therefore, very few organisations were investing in the necessary tools and technologies to effectively respond to such a crisis situation on the scale that we are witnessing today.

“COVID-19 has forced the industry to think smarter and ultimately build more resilience into their production environments. The rise of digitalisation and steady move towards cloud-based SaaS solutions have thrown manufacturers a welcome lifeline to help them stay afloat and maintain continuity against a very challenging environment. Those who have not yet started to develop a smart production environment are finding it difficult to cope and are looking for new ways to adapt,” he explained.

Jason comments: “Organisations are trying to achieve a level of robustness and flexibility that will help them respond to any future internal or external disruptions and those who are proactively investing in smart production lines have a distinct advantage over those who are not. We understand it isn’t possible to plan for everything, but you can start prioritising the key areas of your operations to ensure you can remain as agile, responsive, and efficient as possible.”

He continued: “Today’s digital cloud-based technology services and solutions offer an unprecedented level of flexibility, with factory managers able to remotely monitor and manage their production lines from any location with an internet connection. This allows resources to be deployed effectively, as staff do not have to be on the actual production floor. Instead they can use remote access cloud interface dashboards from the comfort of their homes to monitor production and pinpoint areas of improvement or quality issues.”

“Now anyone has the capabilities to easily spin-up highly capable manufacturing and quality intelligence solutions in a secure cloud architecture. This quickly enables an agile environment to be created which helps to ensure yield optimisation, product quality, and production efficiency, which are all vital for those within the manufacturing community to succeed at this time. Additionally, the real-time remote features of these solutions mean staff can also be trained in using these systems and upskilled from anywhere in the world.”

Jason concluded: “Factory workers are essential to the nation’s health and prosperity. Regardless of the products you are making or the size of your company, you need to reduce the impact of potential disruptions by investing in the tools and talent to build a ‘factory for the future.’ This will enable you to keep things moving, even if the unexpected happens.”

About InfinityQS International, Inc.

For over 30 years, InfinityQS has been the leading global provider of Manufacturing Quality Intelligence software and services. Powered by a robust Statistical Process Control (SPC) analytics engine, the company’s solutions—Enact® and ProFicient™—deliver unparalleled visibility and strategic insight across the enterprise, from the shop floor to the boardroom. This extensive deep-dive capability enables manufacturers to improve product quality; decrease cost and risk; improve compliance; and make strategic, data-driven business decisions. Headquartered near Washington, D.C. and with offices in Seattle, London, and Beijing, InfinityQS has thousands of customers around the world, including Ball Corporation, Boston Scientific, Graham Packaging, and Medtronic. For more information, visit

www.infinityqs.com.

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Early Stage Funding for Startups Falls by 41% globally in Q1, Risking Job Recovery.

Early-stage startups have been hit the hardest in the first quarter of 2020, with early-stage funding rounds dropping by a massive 41% globally as compared to Q1 of 2019, according to a study by HexGn, startup research and consulting firm. Echoing the sentiment, the number of deals for early-stage funding has dropped to 2000 in the last quarter, from 3600 in Q1 of 2019.

At the global level, the impact of COVID-19 will be seen from this quarter onwards. Things don’t look bright for 2020, in Q1 itself, the number of startup deals globally has fallen by over 56%, signalling a deep slide ahead. Prelim data points that the number of transactions globally in the first quarter has fallen from 6500 levels to 4100, indicating gloomy sentiment, says HexGn study. Global startup funding has dropped by 15 percent to $60 billion in the first quarter of 2020 as compared to the first quarter of last year.

2020 04 29 074133These numbers are early guidance, and there could be slight changes as more companies make announcements on funds received. We are anticipating delays in sharing of such information amid the coronavirus outbreak that has disrupted businesses worldwide.
 
At the global level, the impact of COVID-19 will be seen from this quarter onwards. Things don’t look bright for 2020, in Q1 itself, the number of startup deals globally has fallen by over 56%, signalling a deep slide ahead. Prelim data points that the number of transactions globally in the first quarter has fallen from 6500 levels to 4100, indicating gloomy sentiment, says HexGn study.

On the global front, the bad news continues to pour in for China, where funding in Q1 dropped by a massive 45 per cent from the previous year. The drop is even steeper when compared to the first quarter of 2018, dipping by 63 per cent.  Asia has seen a massive dip, from $21 billion to $14 billion, mainly due to a drop in China’s numbers. European Startup investments have dipped from $10.8 billion to $9 billion in the said quarter. Even the global powerhouse, North America, saw its tech startup funding dip by 10 per cent last quarter, from $38 billion in Q1 of 2019.
 
All is not lost, there is some good news too for early stage entrepreneurs, Oceania, South America and Africa have seen a spurt in investments in the first quarter. Though the numbers remain small; it signals that investors are looking at other geographies for value investments. Africa has moved from $102 million in 2019 to $240 million, South America from $237 million to $434 million, Oceanic from $311 million to $511 million in the first quarter of this year as compared to the first quarter of 2019. Early stage entrepreneurs from mature markets could work across these newer markets and get access to startup funding.
 
With increased layoffs and a record number of unemployed in most countries, many jobless could take recourse to entrepreneurship and aid in economic recovery; however, the lack of investor appetite for idea-stage startups will derail the process. At this stage governments, large corporates and VC funds must support by providing, access to funds, grants and online acceleration programs to increase investor readiness of these startups. Now is not the time to sit on a high pedestal and reject funding decks, its about taking everybody together to restore dignity in people’s life by restoring work.

About HexGn
 
HexGn, through its global research, industry events, and online programs, equips individuals and businesses to tap into new opportunities and future proof themselves.

www.hexgn.com

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Engineers Learn from Home, Strengthen Skills for Current and Post-COVID-19 Pandemic Workplace

ASME brings flexible, affordable and applicable virtual training solutions to engineers everywhere

Lifelong learning for engineers doesn’t stop, even under quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a recent survey of approximately 3,000 engineers conducted by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), eight in 10 engineers anticipate a change in operations due to COVID-19 and reduction of business overall. This escalation of change in an already evolving industry landscape has prompted ASME to offer even more flexible, affordable, and applicable virtual training solutions to help engineers strengthen their skills for the current and post-pandemic workplace.

2020 04 29 073744“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on lives and livelihoods. The engineering work landscape has been rapidly evolving, and the pandemic has accelerated and changed the landscape in ways we are only beginning to understand,” says ASME Executive Director/CEO Tom Costabile. “Engineers are applying technologies including artificial intelligence, robotics and 3D printing to help respond to the public health crisis, and also to adapt processes in many industrial sectors and transform supply chains for the future.”

ASME Director of Learning and Development Arin Ceglia adds, “A significant number of engineers graduate with powerful textbook knowledge of fundamentals and theory, but lack the skills needed to apply that knowledge in their day-to-day work. Even experienced engineers might become siloed and not have the ability and awareness to keep pace with the rapidly evolving technical field.”

These two factors have combined to create a skills gap that worries industry leaders and educators. In manufacturing, for example, a 2018 (pre-pandemic) Deloitte study had estimated 2.4 million jobs would remain unfilled between 2018 and 2028, with an estimated economic impact of $2.5 trillion.

“Addressing this skills gap is critical, and it informs how those of us working in engineering learning and development approach everything from course design to education technology,” says Ceglia.

Many courses featured in ASME’s current training portfolio are based on the application of ASME codes and standards—from boilers and pressure vessels and gas turbines to piping and pipelines and design and materials. Others include opportunities for advancing engineering technology, including additive manufacturing, cell manufacturing and industrial automation. These courses fulfill a need to deliver this information faster, smarter, and in a more convenient way, and are now available with significantly discounted pricing.

ASME courses are built as part of a competency framework, or a learning architecture, so they also contribute to completing a stronger picture of a learner’s knowledge capabilities, indicating levels achieved in a set of core competencies, along with skills. Employers can track their employees’ progress in these competencies or skills, identifying areas of progress as well as where improvement (and targeted investment) is needed.

Visit https://resources.asme.org/learnfromhome for a list of current course offerings and more information.

About ASME

ASME helps the global engineering community develop solutions to real-world challenges. Founded in 1880 as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, ASME is a not-for-profit professional organization that enables collaboration, knowledge sharing and skill development across all engineering disciplines, while promoting the vital role of the engineer in society. ASME codes and standards, publications, conferences, continuing education and professional development programs provide a foundation for advancing technical knowledge and a safer world. For more information visit asme.org.

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Earth Day Network announces shift to global digital mobilizations for 50th anniversary of Earth Day

Amid the recent coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic, Earth Day Network, the global organizer of Earth Day, will mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day with the first Digital Earth Day, a global digital mobilization on April 22 to address the most urgent threats to people and the planet. 

“At Earth Day Network, the health and safety of volunteers and participants in Earth Day events is our top concern. Amid the recent outbreak, we encourage people to rise up but to do so safely and responsibly — in many cases, that means using our voices to drive action online rather than in person,” said Kathleen Rogers, President of Earth Day Network.

 2020 03 25 094741The pandemic will affect regions and countries differently, and some individuals and communities may decide to still hold in-person events. Earth Day Network urges everyone to assess their situation individually, take precautions and follow the recommendations and advice from the World Health Organization and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and from local authorities from your city and country. 

“Whether it be coronavirus or our global climate crisis, we cannot shut down,” said Rogers.“ Instead, we must shift our energies and efforts to new ways to mobilize the world to action.”

Earth Day’s updated digital-first strategy will leverage the global power of some of the world’s most innovative digital media platforms to mobilize millions in a collective call for transformative action for our planet. The coordination will deliver an Earth Day unlike any other in history as the movement marks its 50th anniversary. 

The global conversation will be unified and tracked by the shared hashtags #EarthDay2020 and #EARTHRISE. Earth Day Network will provide live coverage of the global digital mobilizations from its social media accounts (@earthdaynetwork). Plans are also underway to develop a major global event, coordinated across digital platforms to mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22. 

Other digital events will include virtual protests, social media campaigns, online teach-ins and more. A full scope of digital actions will be available at earthday.org

Whether online or in person, the goal of Earth Day remains unchanged: to unite hundreds of millions of people around the world to pressure world leaders to act on environmental degradation and climate change. 

“When 20 million Americans participated in the first Earth Day, they believed the warnings of scientists, as did the U.S. Congress,” said Denis Hayes, Board Chair Emeritus of Earth Day Network and the principal national organizer of the first Earth Day in 1970.  “In a decade of bipartisan support for science, Congress passed a set of forward-thinking laws that protected human health, species and the planet.” 

“Our current pandemic demonstrates that governments must embrace science early. As we see now, many governments were slow to respond or even indifferent about the science of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Rogers. “But the last few weeks have also demonstrated that our society, even at the international level, is capable of mass shifts across all sectors to meet a crisis head-on. We must apply the same scale and urgency of our response to climate change.”

“We hope you will stand with us as we fight for a safer, healthier and more just future for all,” added Rogers. “Together, we can build an Earth Day unlike any other — an Earth Day that defines us as a global community, united by our challenges yet unshrinking from the bold, urgent action needed to overcome them."

Earth Day Network is also postponing its live 50th anniversary of Earth Day event on the National Mall, originally scheduled for April 25, 2020, moving the live global event to October 24-25, 2020 to mark the half birthday of Earth Day.

For more information go to www.earthday.org