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DHL invests in four new collaborative robots

LBR Staff Writer Published 08 May 2017

DHL Supply Chain has invested in four Sawyer robots, which will be used across the company's 19 co-packing and production logistics centers across the UK and Ireland.

The robots were purchased as part of the company's UKI robotics deployment program.

Sawyer robots have been developed to support production and warehouse staff by automating repetitive tasks.

The four robots will enable DHL to leverage automation flexibly, and these robots will be moved between different sites as per the seasonal demand.

DHL has purchased the robots in response to changing requirements from its customer base, as well as to provide additional capacity by filling gaps in the labour market.

The robots, which will automatically stop if they touch something unexpected, were selected following successful trials packing pet food, confectionery, aerosols and canned drinks.

Apart from the latest investment, the company is also planning to invest an additional £1m in the next one year in the robotics and automation technology.

DHL Supply Chain co-packing and production logistics director Simon Woodward said: “The introduction of collaborative robotics into logistics is something we’ve been exploring at DHL for a while. After numerous trials, we are excited to now be offering our Sawyer robots as a solution to our co-packing customers.”

“Our customers who work in consumer industries are seeing huge fluctuations in demand as consumer preferences change.”

DHL is said to process around 50 million cases per annum from 19 co-pack centres in the UKI market.


Image: Sawyer robots can support production and warehouse staff by automating repetitive tasks. Photo: courtesy of DHL International GmbH.