DHL snaps up four collaborative robots

DHL Supply Chain has bought four collaborative Sawyer robots as part of the firm’s robotics programme.

The robots will be used across DHL’s 19 co-packing and production logistics centres in accordance with seasonal demands.

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

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

The four Sawyer robots were purchased following trials packing pet food, confectionery, aerosols and canned drinks. DHL said it plans to invest over £1 million in the next 12 months to enhance its commitment to robotics and automation.

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 labour gaps.”