Arvato Supply Chain Solutions continues to focus on innovation globally. To this end, the supply chain and e-commerce service provider has had an intelligent robot-controlled depalletizer developed that further accelerates processes and the flow of goods in the warehouse. The first two new robots have now been integrated by Arvato into the warehouse processes at the sites in Louisville (KY), and Venlo (the Netherlands). In both warehouses the robots already ensure significantly higher throughput.
“Random, mixed boxes depalletizing in logistics is new, while robots have been around in manufacturing for many years,” says Karoline Kowalik, Logistics Engineer at Arvato. “Robots are usually good at performing one task at a time, but adding label recognition and singulation makes it special.” In logistics, robots have to deal with thousands of different sizes and shapes in fast-changing environments. For this, Arvato specifically looked for a provider that could develop and implement internationally not only the robot but a complete turn-key solution. In collaboration with global robotic integrator ‘AWL’ and vision developer ‘Fizyr’, Arvato implemented its depalletizing robot called ’Stark’. With a flexible gripper head and self-learning AI vision software, ’Stark‘ can place up to 750 different cartons per hour on the conveyor belt. “Close cooperation was the key to success because there are only a few similar solutions in the logistics market,” emphasizes Karoline Kowalik.
“With our first robotic case we further extend our automation capabilities and solution toolbox,” explains Bernhard Lembeck, Vice President Future Warehouse at Arvato. “Recurring processes such as the storage and retrieval of goods or order picking can often be handled more efficiently and cost-effectively, especially in combination with other automation technologies like automated guided vehicles.”
Arvato has initiated various projects across all industries to drive the automation of its sites in the future and implement innovative robotic solutions. The aim is to meet customers' demanding fulfilment requirements even more reliably and flexibly in the future. “Warehouse automation is not only an optimal support for our customers in developing their business,“ highlights Martijn Nielen, Managing Director at Arvato in the Netherlands. “At the same time, it is also an important step in Arvato's digitalization strategy.“ For example, the automated systems and their IT not only integrate with the company's massively expanded cloud technology, but they also generate a wealth of new data that Arvato uses together with its extensive Big Data inventory from across the value chain to develop new digital solutions. Innovative robotic solutions, according to the consistent opinion of Arvato's experts, are therefore becoming increasingly important on the way to the future warehouse in logistics. With several other robotics solutions in planning, Arvato continues its innovation journey and wants to be a frontrunner in the logistics market.