DHL invests in four robots for its UKI robotics deployment program

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DHL Supply Chain has purchased four Sawyer robots as the first step of its UK and Ireland (UKI) robotics deployment program.

Sawyer robots are some of the most advanced collaborative robots on the market and can support production and warehouse staff by automating repetitive tasks.

The four robots will allow DHL to leverage automation flexibly, moving the robots between different sites in support of seasonal demands. The robots will be used across its 19 contract packing and Production Logistics centers nationwide.

Simon Woodward, director of co-packing and production logistics at DHL Supply Chain, 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’ needs.

“Our customers who work in consumer industries are seeing huge fluctuations in demand as consumer preferences change. The rise of e-commerce has led to a surge in the number of deliveries within the network and the flexible nature of Sawyer allows us to quickly respond to changing needs, delivering solutions to meet demands and fill labor gaps.”

DHL have evaluated Sawyer robots to ensure they have the highest health and safety credentials to work in collaboration with the workforce. The robots automatically stop if they touch something unexpected, which means that humans can physically be much closer to the robots without risk of harm.

DHL will be upskilling its existing co-packing teams to support its growth and apply this new technology, hiring specialist job roles such as robotics technician and project engineer.

The four Sawyer robots have been bought following successful trials packing pet food, confectionery, aerosols and canned drinks. Following this initial investment, DHL plans a strategic investment of over £1m (US$1.3m) in the next 12 months to enhance its commitment to robotics and automation.

May 5, 2017

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Kirstie joined the team in early 2017 and brings writing, communications and client experience with her. Now an assistant editor, she produces content for our magazines and websites. Away from the office, you will find her blogging on her lifestyle website or searching the internet for photos of sausage dogs.

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