Supplier Spotlight

USPS has released revenue figures for the second quarter of 2018, which revealed the postal operator's shipping and packages revenue grew by US$445m or 9.5% (read more here). But how many more parcels did the operator handle between January 1 and March 31, 2018?

News

National post to pilot Prime Vision’s Autonomous Sorting solution

Dutch automation specialist Prime Vision has unveiled plans to launch a second pilot project for its award-winning Autonomous Sorting solution, commencing in mid-2018. Prime Vision demonstrated the concept to a live audience in July 2017, and now intends to develop the concept further with a new postal partner.

Autonomous Sorting introduces the idea of self-organizing logistics by utilizing the latest robotic technology to sort parcels or roll containers autonomously. These robots, called Rovers, enable delivery firms to turn an empty warehouse into a fully operational sorting center in less than a day.

Other than the Rovers themselves, little other equipment is needed to create the pop-up sorting centers. Collision evasion is in-built, enabling the Rovers to work together intelligently, like worker bees. It also allows them to operate safely alongside human co-workers if required. Prime Vision developed swarming algorithms that determine the actions of these ‘bees’ enabling them to identify, assess, sort, and physically transport items to their dispatch location.

Bernd van Dijk, Prime Vision’s innovation director, said, “We’re delighted by the market response and the positivity of our partners in collaborating to perfect this solution. As well as having a fully working solution by mid-2018, we intend to demonstrate further enhanced capabilities over the coming year. These include a fully autonomous robotic arm that can pick up and place parcels.

“We have also designed the system components as 3D printable designs. This facilitates the fast production of prototypes, design adjustments and serviceable parts, helping to future-proof the Autonomous Sorting solution,” added van Dijk.

The nature of the Autonomous Sorting system means that operations can be scaled up or down easily, and that Rovers can be dispatched to other locations depending on requirements. Whether seasonal demand, a temporary warehouse, or an excessive workload, Autonomous Sorting can be quickly deployed to bring a rapid, flexible solution to any short-term problem. Once in place, the solution can run according to any specified timetable and has the ability to process up to 15,000 parcels per hour.

In a purely commercial context, Autonomous Sorting is highly competitive; it lowers capital expenditure (CAPEX) and operating expenditure (OPEX), ensuring that there are no barriers to adoption by operators looking to integrate a more scalable and flexible sorting strategy. Crucially, Rovers can rapidly and accurately perform sorting at a lower cost (per sorted unit) than current industry standards.

“Since the proof of concept, we have already adapted the design of the Rovers,” said van Dijk. “Height has been increased to meet regulations and computing power has been increased to facilitate higher quality algorithms and sensors. We also achieved further autonomy by decentralizing collision avoidance, path planning and navigation.

“We want postal and logistics companies to consider Autonomous Sorting as a one-stop solution, whether setting up a new sorting center or automating an existing one. This system has to be reliable enough to be operative 24/7 in one location but robust enough to be redeployed at any time.”

January 16, 2018

Written by Daniel Symonds


Video Exclusives


Starship drones deployed at Intuit campus in California

Autonomous drone developer Starship Technologies has completed the installation of delivery robots at a work campus for US financial software company Intuit in California.

01 May, 2018

Tompkins launches autonomous robotic sorting system

Technology developer Tompkins Robotics has partnered with IT provider Lab Z to launch its t-Sort portable, automated sortation system. The new solution uses a network of automated drones fitted with tilt trays to harmoniously sort parcels and packets into dedicated containers.

30 January, 2018

RECEIVE THE
LATEST NEWS


Your email address:



Read Latest Issue

Read Latest Issue

Exclusive Articles

Mark Bigley, CEO at Secured Mail, explores how supplier collaboration across retail delivery and fulfilment is a must for next-level service. May 21, 2018
Click here to read more


The John Lewis Partnership may fervently deny it held talks with Amazon about selling its Waitrose grocery stores – but whether it likes it or not, there’s no denying their acquisition would be a big win for Amazon. ParcelHero’s head of consumer research, David Jinks MILT, reveals why buying Waitrose would boost Amazon’s fresh food supply chain and create even more Amazon Prime members. May 15, 2018 
Click here to read more


Postal and Parcel Technology International talks to Frank Cianciullo about what opportunities posts in developing countries have when it comes to investing in automation technology. April 11, 2018
Click here to read more


Analysis

Mark Bigley, CEO at Secured Mail, explores how supplier collaboration across retail delivery and fulfilment is a must for next-level service. May 21, 2018
Click here to read more


The John Lewis Partnership may fervently deny it held talks with Amazon about selling its Waitrose grocery stores – but whether it likes it or not, there’s no denying their acquisition would be a big win for Amazon. ParcelHero’s head of consumer research, David Jinks MILT, reveals why buying Waitrose would boost Amazon’s fresh food supply chain and create even more Amazon Prime members. May 15, 2018 
Click here to read more


Digital freight platforms are popping up all over the place, but do they offer any advantages over the legacy systems? May 14, 2018
Click here to read more



Supplier Spotlight

Supplier SpotlightClick here for listings and information on leading suppliers covering all aspects of the postal technology industry. Want to see your company included? Contact helena.hunt@ukimediaevents.com for more details.

Submit your industry opinion

Industry BlogDo you have an opinion you'd like to share with the postal technology community? We'd like to hear your views and opinions on the leading issues shaping the industry. Share your comments by sending up to 500 words to helen.norman@ukimediaevents.com

Submit Your Recruitment Ad

Recruitment AdTo send us your recruitment advertising or to receive information on placing a banner please email helena.hunt@ukimediaevents.com