Europe’s largest automated robotic parcel sorting system has been installed in Turkey by the leading Turkish-owned parcel distribution and postal services company Kuryenet. The system was designed and fitted by LiBiao Robotics in conjunction with its Turkish distribution and after sales support partner, Lodamaster, at the Kuryenet facility in Tuzla, a small town on the outskirts of Istanbul.
As well as being the biggest robot-based sortation system in Europe, the Kuryenet installation is the first of its kind to be deployed in Turkey.
The sortation system – which uses 120 LiBiao ‘Mini Yellow’ autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) to connect over 700 destination chutes with five parcel induction points – has the capacity to process some 45,000 items per hour. Each of the fast-moving sorting robots has a load capacity of up to 10kg and uses collision avoidance technologies to perform their route-based sorting tasks safely.
At each induction station a worker places a parcel onto a waiting robot at which point the package’s shipping label is automatically scanned and a destination chute is assigned based on the town or city to which the parcel is bound.
The LiBiao ‘Mini Yellow’ robot’s navigation system directs each robot and its load to the assigned chute and, on arrival, the parcel is tipped into a waiting mail sack.
The control system indicates when a sack is full and detailed delivery information is printed and attached to the mailbag before it is transferred to the dispatch area and into the appropriate Kuryenet waiting delivery vehicle. Thanks to the efficiency and precision of the technology, accuracy of 99.9% is being achieved.
Since the installation of ‘Mini Yellow’ robot technology, Kuryenet has been able to reduce its labour costs significantly and, furthermore, because the LiBiao robots are highly energy efficient, running costs at the facility have been noticeably cut.
A five-minute charge is all that’s needed to achieve four hours of operation from the AMR’s maintenance-free battery and each robot is automatically instructed to take itself to the nearest battery charging point when topping-up is required.
A significant benefit of Kuryenet’s new sorting solution is the fact that because each individual robot can be replaced if required, the system does not suffer from the downtime issues sometimes associated with some traditional conveyor-based sorting operations – where a single point of failure can bring the entire parcel sortation process to a time consuming and often costly halt.
“Time is very important in our industry, so the reliability of the robotic system was very attractive to us,” says Derya Aydin, Kuryenet’s Assistant General Manager of Operations.
LiBiao’s AMR range has been developed as a cost-efficient and flexible alternative to the tilt-tray and cross-belt conveyor-based sortation systems that have historically been used within many busy parcel sorting operations. Robots, chutes and induction stations can be added as required as Kuryenet’s demands grow while additional robots can be introduced as and when they are needed to provide future-proof flexibility.
Kuryenet’s automated robotic sortation system requires just one-fifth of the floor area needed by a traditional conveyor system and the project took just four weeks to complete from start-to-finish.
A 100% Turkish-owned business, Kuryenet has always been quick to adopt new technologies: it was the first Turkish parcel delivery company to employ barcode-based parcel tracking and reporting, for example, and with the introduction of the autonomous mobile robot-based parcel sortation solution the organisation is raising its customer service offering to another level.
“Our aim is to become a global brand in the parcel delivery sector,” says Aydin. “We believe that automation is the key to success in our industry and we have always been early adopters of pioneering technology and systems.
“We are delighted with the way that the robotic sortation system has integrated with the other technology that we deploy at our Tuzla facility. The installation went particularly smoothly with engineers from LiBiao and Lodamaster working closely with personnel from our operations team to ensure the success of the project.”
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