DHL Tests New Robots to Support Warehouse Operations

DHL Tests New Robots to Support Warehouse Operations
Danny Gill

DHL is currently testing Baxter and Sawyer, two smart and collaborative robots, in its warehouses on co-packing and value-added tasks, such as assembly, kitting, packaging and pre-retail services. Baxter and Sawyer, by Rethink Robotics, are smart, adaptable solutions that support warehouse staff and help enhance productivity at DHL facilities.

“Historically, the distribution environment has been difficult to automate using traditional industrial robots, which do not respond well to variability,” said Matthias Heutger, SVP, Strategy, Marketing & Innovation, DHL Customer Solutions and Innovation. “In our recently published DHL Trend Report “Robotics in Logistics”, we found that 80 percent of logistics facilities today are still manual due to the complexity of the operations. As technology improves, the logistics industry is benefiting from the adoption of collaborative robots to improve efficiency.”

DHL is currently testing the integration of several Baxter and Sawyer robots into various operational sites across the globe. DHL also recently purchased its first Sawyer robot and researched on 3D printing possibilities to create specialized grippers for the robots, allowing for additional tasks to be completed in the warehouse.

“Baxter and Sawyer robots are some of the most advanced collaborative robots in the market, and we plan to use them in a variety of packaging and inventory tasks that will allow us to deploy our employees for higher value work,” said Adrian Kumar, Vice President, Solutions Design, DHL Supply Chain North America. “By having these robots work in tandem with humans, we can ensure that our production lines are adjusting to changes and running more efficiently year-round.”

“The logistics industry has been unable to leverage smart, collaborative robots until recently, and the high-performance Sawyer robot is changing the game in what we can and cannot automate,” said Markus Kückelhaus, Vice President Innovation and Trend Research, DHL Customer Solutions and Innovation. “We are excited about bringing flexibility and efficiency to our factory floor – enabling shorter cycle times, more uptime and helping our bottom line.”

Danny Gill

Danny is currently a Contributing Writer for Airfreight Logistics and Logistics Manager (LM) and is quite the foodie. He’s always on the hunt for new and exciting dishes to sample, and is never one to back down from a spicy challenge. His travels have taken him around the world, and he’s been able to experience many different cultures (and food).

More in Technology

food and beverage innovation center built by DKSH

DKSH Expands and Upgrades with New Innovation Center in Bangkok, Thailand

Logistics ManagerJanuary 30, 2018
A port

Maersk and IBM to Form Blockchain Joint Venture

Logistics ManagerJanuary 18, 2018

MOL Develops AR System as Precursor to Autonomous Vessels

Danny GillDecember 28, 2017

DSV Launches 3D Exploration Lab

Danny GillDecember 21, 2017

MOL Succeeds in ‘Visualization at Sea,’ Marking a Step Toward Remote Vessel Operation Technology

Logistics ManagerDecember 20, 2017

Thai Start-up ‘DRVR’ Partners with Tata Communications to Revolutionize Asia’s First Smart Fleet Network

Danny GillDecember 18, 2017
Siemens Wind Turbine

Siemens Gamesa to Supply 100 Turbines to Thailand

Logistics ManagerNovember 30, 2017

INTTRA Unveils a New Suite of Applications Boosting Operational Effectiveness

Danny GillNovember 16, 2017

Aramex Adds Electric Vehicles to its Fleet

Logistics ManagerNovember 10, 2017