Home Bots & Business Depalletiser to process up to 800 parcels per hour

Depalletiser to process up to 800 parcels per hour

by Pieter Werner

In 2022, Germany saw 4.15 billion courier, express, and parcel shipments, a figure projected to rise to 4.9 billion by 2027, according to the German Parcel and Express Logistics Association. This increase underscores the need for enhanced automation in the shipping and logistics sector due to the escalating volume of orders and a persistent labor shortage. In response, DHL eCommerce in Rotterdam adopted AWL’s RODE (RObotic DEpalletiser) system, integrating advanced 3D camera technology from IDS Imaging Development Systems GmbH.

DHL eCommerce needed to efficiently handle a high volume of packages varying in size and weight, often randomly arranged on pallets. Traditional depalletising systems struggled with such variability, leading to delays and increased labor costs. Additionally, the physically demanding nature of manually destacking parcels posed a risk of injury to employees.

To address these issues, DHL eCommerce implemented AWL’s RODE system, central to which are two Ensenso X36 3D cameras from IDS Imaging Development Systems GmbH. These cameras provide the essential image data enabling the RODE system to perform its tasks efficiently.

Each Ensenso X36 3D camera system comprises a projector unit and two GigE cameras equipped with 5 MP CMOS sensors. These cameras deliver robust 2D and 3D information, allowing the RODE system to accurately identify the position of each package in three-dimensional space. The integrated FlexView2 technology enhances spatial resolution and system robustness, even with dark or reflective surfaces. The cameras are delivered pre-calibrated and are easy to set up using the software’s integrated setup wizard, ensuring seamless integration into the RODE system.

The RODE system, equipped with the Ensenso X36 3D cameras, was installed at DHL eCommerce in Rotterdam. This setup enables the depalletiser to process up to 800 parcels per hour, each weighing up to 31.5 kg. The system recognizes and determines the position of parcels, identifies the optimal gripping position, and avoids collisions with other parcels or machinery.


The implementation of the RODE system at DHL eCommerce led to increased efficiency by processing a high volume of parcels continuously without delays or downtime. During peak times, such as the holiday season, the system can handle extra shifts, ensuring timely processing. By automating the physically demanding task of depalletising, the system allows staff to focus on more skilled tasks, such as handling customer inquiries and subsequent processing of consignments. Automation also reduces the risk of injury associated with manual handling of heavy parcels, contributing to a safer working environment. The combination of camera technology and artificial intelligence in the RODE system positions DHL eCommerce to tackle evolving challenges in the logistics sector, including the increasing variety of packages and the ongoing labor shortage.

As the intralogistics market continues to grow, the demand for advanced robotic solutions like the RODE system is expected to rise. According to Sander Lensen, R&D Manager at AWL, the evolving nature of products and the shortage of skilled workers will drive advancements in image processing and smart solutions. The successful implementation of the Ensenso X36 3D cameras at DHL eCommerce demonstrates the potential of combining cutting-edge camera technology with AI to enhance efficiency and meet the demands of modern logistics.


Misschien vind je deze berichten ook interessant