08 June 2022

The Container Unloading System You’ve Been Waiting For

Autonomous container and trailer unloading is a topic that’s gaining increased attention of late, due in large part to labor shortages and the labor-intensive, dangerous nature of the work. As an AI based robotic solutions company that’s taken on the audacious endeavor of developing a fully autonomous container (or trailer) unloading system, we’re well aware of the value and need to apply robotics to this line of work.  

Autonomous container unloading is coming – but it will likely be years before a fully autonomous solution has the true manipulative capabilities required to manipulate SKUs of various dimensions, needing to be picked, stacked and packed in ways that pose unique challenges. This is especially true for 3PLs and distribution centers that handle different customers, different brands and a large assortment of products.

Pairing Two Innovative Solutions

The DoraPalletizer has proven its merits in reliably and efficiently building multiple pallets simultaneously, working autonomously to handle this arduous repetitive task. When it comes to unloading floor-loaded containers and trailers, it’s evident that our palletizing solutions can be depended on for standardized inbound processes – to sort and build single and mixed SKU pallets, accelerating the process and reducing dependency on manual labor. 

Of course, building pallets is only a part of the container unloading process. Equally arduous can be the work of operators inside a container, who handle each item individually in order to introduce it to an inbound process – which typically originates with an extendable conveyor. 

This is where Destuff-IT, our newest integrated system partner comes into play. The Destuff-IT is a “portable ergonomic conveyor system” that allows operators to greatly increase productivity while greatly reducing the strain required for handling individual boxes and other items. In addition to traveling into a container, this innovative product easily allows the conveyor end to be moved up and down, left and right, so that it’s always in close proximity to what’s being handled. As a result, a single operator can introduce more than 1,000 boxes per hour into the unloading process.

Closer To Autonomous Container Unloading

Dorabot’s newest container unloading solution works hand-in-hand with the DeStuff-IT to achieve greater efficiency and less strain while unloading a container or trailer. With the two systems operating in unison (DoraSorter controls the pace of the Destuff-IT rollers) it’s now feasible to unload a shipping container or trailer with as little as one operator, in a reasonable amount of time.

This is a breakthrough for companies that struggle with unloading. The standard DoraPalletizer operates at a pallet building rate of 500+ cases per hour. By configuring  two DoraPalletizer robot cells working simultaneously, with a single Destuff-IT, an individual operator can effectively unload and palletize 1,000+ cases per hour.  This process and rate are achievable with the inclusion of AMRs (autonomous mobile robots) to swap pallets while both robot cells continuously palletize.

This integrated system can boost unloading speed by as much as 5x – as derived by production results.
Is this the solution your team has been waiting for? Let’s discuss.