By James Blackman
US smart buildings and performance materials conglomerate Honeywell is to open an advanced research and development (R&D) testing facility in the Czech Republic for its Honeywell Intelligrated warehouse automation business. The new facility, to establish central and eastern Europe as a warehouse automation hub for the firm, will open in the middle of 2022, it said. It goes alongside its brand new smart manufacturing site in Poland, where the systems deployed at the Czech facility will be assembled.
Honeywell Intelligrated offers warehouse automation solutions for retail, wholesale, e-commerce, food and beverage, consumer packaged goods, pharmaceutical and medical supply, third-party logistics and postal and parcel industries. Its parent claims it serves 60 of the top 100 retailers and 50 of the top 100 online retailers in the world, according to its parent. It has production and service locations in the US, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, and China.
The new R&D extension at Honeywell’s existing R&D campus in Brno, in the Czech Republic, will meet “growing demand for technologies that enable faster, more accurate supply chains” it said. The facility will enable Honeywell hardware and software engineers to design and test new warehouse systems, including conveyors, palletizers and robotics, storage and retrieval systems, warehouse software, and voice- and light-directed picking technologies.
European warehouse and logistics firms will be able to use the facility to test and train on Honeywell’s technologies. It is the firm’s first European test and development site. A customer training facility will open at the site in the second half of 2022 – with “dozens” of new technical hires over the next 18 months. An advanced manufacturing site, for assembly of many of the systems developed at Brno, also opened earlier this year, in Chorzów, in Poland.
President of Honeywell Intelligrated, Ben Cardwell, said: “For businesses and consumers alike, expectations regarding e-commerce and logistics have changed rapidly, spurred on by the impact of COVID-19. This means a growing reliance on cutting-edge technologies that can automate and accelerate distribution centers, warehouses and other parts of the supply chain. The emerging technologies we are developing in Brno will help meet that demand head on.”