Vanderlande and AWL join forces to develop robotic small-item picker

Vanderlande launched a new robot picking solution – Auto Induct – at the Parcel & Post Expo 2022 on 18 October in Frankfurt, Germany. Developed in collaboration with machine builder and robotics expert, AWL, Auto Induct allows for the robotic picking of small items from a bulk flow of parcels.

The partnership combines Vanderlande’s unparalleled knowledge of parcel handling systems and processes with AWL’s industry-leading expertise in robotics. Auto Induct will help carrier, delivery and parcel companies cope with rising volumes of small parcels, as well as labour shortages. It will also allow them to increase the flexibility and scalability of their operations, while increasing capacity.

The smart solution is designed to pick items weighing between 20g and 5kg, and place them on a belt for further sortation – this is known as the “singulation process”. Auto Induct is configured for parcel companies that have a dedicated line for smalls. Results from testing show that the robot can pick up to 1,500 items per hour.

Auto Induct ensures that each parcel goes through the singulation and sortation process in the most effective and accurate way possible. Its unique functionalities have been proven in a controlled environment and are being tested in an operational facility in collaboration with a leading global parcel company.

“We’re delighted to be collaborating with AWL on this innovative new solution,” says Mike Christman, Vanderlande’s Executive Vice-President Parcel Solutions. “As well as complementing each other in terms of expertise and technical know-how, we share an open and honest working culture. This is helping us to deal with the challenges and complexities of this exciting project.”

“Auto Induct delivers both companies’ first robot solution designed specifically for the parcel sector,” adds Arjen Vos, Director Strategy & Development from AWL. “Results from development and testing have been positive, and all our hard work is paving the way for a commercial launch in the second half of 2023.”


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