DHL Supply Chain has launched a new “plug & play” robotics platform in collaboration with Microsoft, and AI driven digital fulfilment provider Blue Yonder to accelerate implementation of warehouse robotics through standardisation.
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 first implementation on the new platform with 6 River Systems at one of the DHL Supply Chain facilities in Madrid has already shown a 60% reduction in integration times, but with subsequent deployments, DHL foresees further improvements of up to 90%. It has already demonstrated that the new platform can reduce complexity and accelerate the integration of robotic systems into an existing warehouse management system. At the same time, the platform gives customers greater flexibility in selecting and integrating different robotics vendors in one system. The robotics platform is powered by Blue Yonder’s Luminate Platform with machine-learning (ML)-driven task management capabilities that enable the highest level of warehouse operational efficiency.
With this collaboration, DHL Supply Chain, Microsoft and Blue Yonder combine their strengths in customer-centric contract logistics, secure cloud computing at a global scale, and seamless end-to-end supply chain integration to improve warehouse management and operational excellence for a wide range of industry customers.
While the new software platform is just one part of DHL Supply Chain’s company-wide digitalisation strategy – that includes the use of DHL’s focus technologies such as robots, smart operations through wearable devices and data analytics – it plays an essential role in facilitating and accelerating the deployment of new technologies on a large scale.
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