Kerry Logistics Network has installed robotic arms to handle large volumes of chilled food products at a customer’s regional distribution centre located in Hong Kong. Kerry Logistics has been managing the distribution on behalf of the customer – one of UK’s leading retailers – since 2011.
Called “KOOLBotic”, the robot forms part of the company’s ongoing efforts to increase automation in its operations to enhance productivity. The robots are designed for Kerry Logistics’ F&B operations to boost sorting efficiency of chilled items in a low-temperature environment.
KOOLBotic is able to work 20-hour shifts and raises sorting productivity by 20%. Essentially collaborative in nature, KOOLBotic also supports warehouse staff as it can endure freezing conditions which would be detrimental to humans for a prolonged period. In doing so safeguards the health and safety of staff members.
“We are firm believers of leveraging the benefits of technological advances to bolster our productivity as well as to improve the working conditions of our people. KOOLBotic is added to our chilled-food product sorting process to support staff and increase ease of operation,” said Samuel Lau, deputy managing director for integrated logistics of Kerry Logistics Network.
Kerry Logistics Network has been committed to providing its customers with the latest technologies to support the digitalisation of the supply chain with end-to-end visibility. Its R&D department has been constantly reviewing and implementing the latest technology developments, including blockchain, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Automation is becoming an integral part of Kerry Logistics Network’s operation, especially amid the pandemic when human contact is minimised in the sorting process. In view of the rapid growth of e-commerce in recent years, the logistics firm will continue to explore the possibility of expanding the use of robotics for other sectors.
“We see this type of selective automation and collaborative robots as the future of our industry, as it combines the best of both worlds - the flexibility of humans and the endurance of machines. We anticipate installing more cobots in our logistics centres to take our operations to the next level,” Lau said