DHL Trials Two Robots in Warehouses

DHL Trials Two Robots in Warehouses

Deutsche Post DHL has started trialling two robots called ‘Baxter’ and ‘Sawyer’ in its warehouses.

The collaborative machines will perform value-added and co-packing tasks, such as pre-retail services, packaging, kitting and assembly.

The robots have been developed by robotics company ‘Rethink Robotics’ and they are said to be adaptable, smart solutions that are designed to enhance productivity and support staff in the warehouse environment.

At the moment, DHL is testing ways of integrating several Baxter and Sawyer robots into severl of its operations across the world, while the carrier is also conducting research into the possibilities of 3D printing to create specialised grippers for the robots that would make them able to carry out additional tasks in the warehouse.

DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation senior vice president, Matthias Heutger, said that throughout time the distribution environment has been hard to automate through the use of traditional industrial robots which do not have a good response to variability.

He added that DHL’s latest report into robotics found that 80% of today’s logistics facilities remain manual because of the complex level of operations.

However, he insisted that as technology improves, the logistics industry will continue to benefit from the introduction of collaborative robots which will improve company efficiency.

Meanwhile, DHL’s Supply Chain vice president, Adrian Kumar, commented that these two robots, Baxter and Sawyer, are among the most advanced collaborative robots available today and that the company intends to use them in various inventory and packaging tasks that will enable them to use their employees for more high value work.

He added that the deployment of these machines in conjunction with the work of humans will make sure that DHL’s production lines can adjust to changes and will run in a more efficient manner throughout the year.

DHL also said that these robots could ‘change the game’ in what the company can and cannot automate.

Featured T&L Warehouse
T&L 263
T&L 262
T&L 261