As digitization and automation become top priorities for businesses worldwide, they are partnering with experienced suppliers and integrators to implement robotics. DB Schenker, a global logistics service provider, today said it has partnered with Körber Supply Chain to automate operations at its new distribution center near Prague.
The companies claimed that the installation of 100 autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) from Geekplus Technology Co. is one of the largest of its kind in Eastern Europe. Geek+ is a trusted technology partner of Körber.
“DB Schenker has experienced outstanding success since its inception as an early innovator in the Eastern European market,” said Ingo Brauckmann, executive vice president for contract logistics/supply chain management Europe at DB Schenker. “With COVID-19 driving more consumers online, we are well-placed to increase and improve the service offering for our rapidly growing consumer base.”
With around 76,100 employees at more than 1,850 locations in over 130 countries, DB Schenker said it is one of the world's leading logistics providers. The Essen, Germany-based company operates land, air, and ocean transportation services, and it offers unified systems for logistics and global supply chain management.
In 2022, DB Schenker is celebrating its 150th anniversary. It said it is investing in innovative transport solutions, renewable energy, and carbon-neutral products for its customers to achieve its ambitious goal of climate neutrality by 2040.
Körber integrates multiple components for DB Schenker
DB Schenker's 18,000 sq. m (193,750 sq. ft.) facility in the Czech Republic is dedicated to supporting a leading electronics company.
The implementation consists of a comprehensive breadth of automation and software components, said Körber. This includes a large conveyor system, value-added service lines, and a packaging area. It also includes a cross-belt shipping sorter and the integrated Geek+ AMRs.
Körber said its software will orchestrate work assignments for the AMRs, allowing for fast, efficient goods-to-person picking activities.
Approximately 15 workstations will be equipped with advanced put-to-light and pick-by-light systems for enhanced ergonomics and performance. These systems will be integrated and connected to enable optimized strategies for enhanced customer services, according to Körber.
Latest collaboration to provide scalability
The relationship between Körber and DB Schenker dates back to 2006. The companies said they have completed many successful projects in warehouse management software, automation, voice, and simulation.
Körber said it has been making record progress for an anticipated go-live for the site in early 2023. It described itself as “DB Schenker's global preferred supplier for AMR-related systems.”
The software and Geek+ robots are intended to enable Schenker tto scale flexibly and gradually invest while increasing operational efficiency and performance, which is forecasted to double by 2034.
“Our research has found that more than three out of four businesses make digitization and process automation a strategic priority,” said Dirk Hejnal, CEO at the Körber Business Area Supply Chain. “At the same time, the issues around workplace safety and labor retention have never been greater. That's why we at Körber look forward to continuing our long-standing collaboration with Schenker.”
The Business Area Supply Chain is part of the global technology group Körber. The company said it provides “end-to-end” software, automation, voice systems, and materials handling technology, as well as the expertise to tie it all together.
“Körber offers the benefits from both a safety and efficiency perspective to turn today's supply chain complexities into opportunities for future-proof business operations,” added Chad Collins, CEO for software at Körber Business Area Supply Chain. “With our uniquely unrivaled depth of solutions, we empower our customers stay ahead of their competition.”