Kerry Logistics Network deploys cobot arm in F&B operation

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Kerry Logistics Network is utilising robotic arms in its F&B operation to sort chilled products, with the aim of boosting accuracy and efficiency.

Installed at a regional distribution centre, that the company manages for one of the UK’s leading retailers in Hong Kong, the collaborative robot (cobot) is designed to handle large volumes of chilled-food products in a low-temperature environment. Kerry Logistics Network has nicknamed the robots “Koolbotic”.

The cobot has been deployed to support warehouse staff as it can endure freezing conditions, which would be detrimental to humans for a prolonged period. Kerry Logistics Network added it safeguards the health and safety of staff members.

Furthermore, able to work 20-hour shifts the cobot raises sorting productivity by 20%, helping the company deal with a relatively short lead time.

Koolbotic has been deployed as part of Kerry Logistics Network’s ongoing efforts to increase automation in its operations to enhance productivity. The company said 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.

Samuel Lau, deputy managing director – integrated logistics of Kerry Logistics Network, said: “At Kerry Logistics Network, 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. 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.”

Furthermore, Kerry Logistics Network will continue to explore the possibility of expanding the use of robotics for other sectors as it responds to the rapid growth of e-commerce in recent years.

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