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DHL Supply Chain to Use Collaborative Robots for Innovative Order Fulfillment Trial

By 24/7 Staff / www.supplychain247.com / April 6th, 2017

Leveraging Locus Robotics Advanced Navigation, DHL will pilot LocusBots that will automatically learn the most efficient travel routes through a warehouse, to dramatically improve worker efficiency and productivity 2x to 5x over traditional cart picking, the zone-based system allows for hands-free picking, while virtually eliminating errors.

DHL Supply Chain, an Americas' leader in contract logistics and part of Deutsche Post DHL Group, announced that it will begin a pilot test using a collaborative, autonomous robotics solution within the life sciences sector at a facility in Tennessee in the next two months.

The robots, called LocusBots from Locus Robotics, are being tested as a picker companion for piece picking order fulfillment in the warehouse.

LocusBots work collaboratively and safely alongside warehouse staff, helping to quickly locate and transport pick items, so pickers don't have to push carts or carry bins.

"We believe it's critical to identify and implement these types of advanced technology solutions in the warehouse so we can seamlessly improve our customers' supply chains," said Adrian Kumar, Vice President of Solutions Design, DHL Supply Chain North America

Adrian Kumar, Vice President, Solutions Design North America at DHL

“We believe it's critical to identify and implement these types of advanced technology solutions in the warehouse”Adrian Kumar, VP, Solutions Design North America at DHL

"DHL Supply Chain's initial implementation of this pilot program within the life sciences sector will inform the potential for broader deployment across different parts of our business. This is a natural evolution of our robotics program."

Pilot Test of Autonomous Robot Solution
The pilot rollout will utilize different picking strategies with the LocusBots in the warehouse.

It will also assess the robot's ability to communicate with the picker and the warehouse management system, how it navigates the warehouse, and its overall versatility.

The autonomous robot solution is expected to connect seamlessly within DHL Supply Chain's existing warehouse infrastructure.

"It's especially gratifying to see the extent to which our offering is proving its worth in a wide range of warehouse environments," said Rick Faulk, CEO of Locus Robotics.

"We've designed an easy-to-deploy, highly scalable solution that can improve the operating metrics for mid-size clients, as well as global powerhouses. We're excited to partner with DHL Supply Chain on this initial deployment."

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