We implement palletizing robot in the inbound process

We have successfully launched a new palletizing robot at our site in Venlo in the Netherlands.

The robot is part of the inbound process and not only palletizes boxes from loose loaded containers, but also wraps the pallet and applies the tracking label. With this robotic solution, the supply chain and e-commerce service provider continues to systematically implement its strategy of automating its global logistics centers.

“The use of the palletizing robot, which we have internally named ‘Bucky’ after the superhero Bucky Barnes, is the next step in our robotics implementation. After the initial success of our three depalletizing robots, we have gradually implemented more robotic solutions, from picking robots to container unloading,” says Karoline Kowalik, logistics engineer at Arvato. “Bucky is not a stand-alone system, but a further component in our automation strategy, with which we are redesigning and completing the process chain towards a fully automated inbound and putaway process,” highlights Bernhard Lembeck, Head of the Future Warehouse department at Arvato. “We want to use ‘Stretch®’ from Boston Dynamics in the container, Bucky for scanning, palletizing and packing as well as automated guided vehicles (AGVs) for storage in the existing pallet shuttle. We are currently working intensively on perfectly integrating everything into the overall process.”

The new robotic solution in Venlo was planned and tested jointly by a team from operations, technology, project management and IT development. The palletizing robot, supplied by automation specialist Segbert, can grip multiple boxes at the same time with its vacuum gripper and process between 700 and 3,000 cartons per hour, depending on their size. Karoline Kowalik: “The special thing about Bucky is that it is a turnkey solution integrating different process steps.” In the inbound process, Bucky palletizes the boxes from loose loaded containers, simultaneously capturing the serial numbers and assigning them to a pallet. As soon as the pallet has been completely packed according to a predefined pattern, it is transported to the packaging machine, wrapped in foil and labeled with a pallet number – all automatically.

“There are a number of advantages in terms of throughput times, staff shortages, employee health and sustainability,” emphasizes Karoline Kowalik. “For example, Bucky allows us to reduce the time required in the inbound process by around a third, providing a higher throughput for our customers and an increasing service.” Further benefits: Only two instead of four employees are needed to carry out the processes, so that the freed-up capacity can be used for other purposes. The employees also no longer have to lift heavy boxes, because the inbound conveyor belt is height changeable. The use of the palletizing robot also protects the environment and increases sustainability, as the combination of robot and shuttle avoids carton waste such as cornerboards and paper lids. Karoline Kowalik: “However, the use of Bucky is not limited to Venlo, as we attach great importance to modular and scalable automation solutions that can be used throughout Arvato's global network.”

Do you have a question?

Please feel free to contact us.

Press Office
Arvato Communications