Robots are DHL’s automatic choice

08 / 05 / 2017

DHL Supply Chain has kicked of its robotics deployment programme in the UK and Ireland with the purchase of four Sawyer machines. They will be used in the express logistics operator’s co-packing and production logistics centres in the region, moving between different sites to support seasonal demand or to fill gaps in the labour market.

DHL says that Sawyer robots are some of the most advanced available and can make life easier for production and warehouse staff by automating repetitive tasks.

The purchase follows successful trials packing pet food, confectionery, aerosols and canned drinks and will be part of a planned £1m investment over the next 12 months.

DHL Supply Chain director of co-packing and production logistics, Simon Woodward, said: “Our customers in consumer industries are seeing huge fluctuations in demand as consumer preferences change. The rise of ecommerce 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 labour gaps.”

DHL processes over 50 million cases per annum from 19 co-pack centres in the UK and Ireland. It is now exploring how automation and robotics can be introduced at other points in the supply chain as well as at its co-packing and production logistics operations.