DS Smith confirms robot investment at UK paper mill

DS Smith has announced an investment in ten Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) to perform a number of tasks at its Kemsley Paper Mill in Kent.

The all-electric Rocla vehicles, supplied by Mitsubishi Logisnext Europe Oy, operate 24/7 at the the fully automated warehouse, performing functions including collecting reels from the production conveyor, storing them and picking them for orders.

The robots can transport paper reels around the warehouse at speeds of up to 8mph. DS Smith said they operate with zero local emissions and when their battery level drops to 30%, they complete their current task before going to the Automated Battery Exchange Station where they choose the optimum charged battery as they get ready for another 10-hour shift.

Ben Jennings, mill manager at Kemsley Paper Mill, said, “The recent boom in e-commerce has increased the demand for our papers and packaging. Every day, around 2,200-2,400 tonnes of paper leaves the Kemsley mill and so it’s critical that our talented team has the latest innovations to benefit our people, customers and the environment.”