DHL Supply Chain, a global leader in contract logistics and part of Deutsche Post DHL Group, has just launched a new ‘plug and play’ robotics platform, in collaboration with Microsoft and leading Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven digital fulfilment provider, Blue Yonder.
The robotics platform significantly reduces integration time and programming efforts to on-board new automation devices into warehouse facilities, while giving DHL customers more flexibility in selecting suitable robotics systems according to their individual business needs. The solution leverages Microsoft Azure IoT and cloud platform services.
“The global deployment of robots and robotic systems is integral to our strategy to support our employees and improve customer operations,” said Markus Voss, Global CIO and COO at DHL Supply Chain. “Automation and collaborative robotics help us make operational processes more flexible, ergonomic and more attractive to our employees by replacing monotonous, repetitive and particularly strenuous activities. The aim is not to replace employees over time but to assign the more attractive and interesting tasks to our human workforce.”
Voss added: “We have more than 2,000 operational sites across DHL Supply Chain, so we know how complex, time-consuming and costly it can be to integrate new robots into existing platforms and connect to our clients’ various warehouse management systems. This is exactly where the new platform is so effective. Our first implementation on the new platform with 6 River Systems at one of our Madrid sites is already showing a 60% reduction in integration times but with subsequent deployments we foresee further improvements of up to 90%.”