Hellenic Post (ELTA), the state-owned provider of postal services in Greece, has introduced additional robots, chutes and induction stations from robotic parcel sortation technology company LiBiao at its sorting center in Athens.
A total of 120 LiBiao autonomous mobile robots (AMR) were deployed at the sorting center. They can scan each parcel’s barcode, weigh the package and, directed by sensors, empty it into the appropriate mail sack situated around the platform on which the robots travel.
With the additional robots, ELTA can now handle close to 125,000 parcels weighing up to 10kg every day and, because each robot only needs to be recharged for five minutes every four hours, on-site power consumption and energy costs are minimized. Based on the performance of the first phase of the installation, ELTA expects this latest investment to pay for itself within two years.
According to the partners, the investment means throughput capacity at the Athens facility has been significantly increased and enables ELTA to provide next-day delivery services to several additional destinations throughout Greece. Since the parcel sorting function was handed over to the LiBiao robots, the process is three times faster, ensuring next-day delivery; errors have been virtually eliminated.
Initially introduced as part of ELTA’s digital restructuring program, which was established to tackle the growing number of parcels generated by the growth of online shopping, the AMR-based sortation solution has reportedly enabled ELTA to improve the efficiency of its workforce by assigning personnel to more productive tasks.
Before the LiBiao sorting system went live, ELTA had undertaken parcel sorting manually – which the company found to be time-consuming and labor-intensive. It was also prone to errors, which caused parcels to be delayed. Late deliveries were costly for the company.
Evi Arguriadou, ELTA’s head of sorting operations, commented, “Since the introduction of robotic technology, our Athens facility has come to be regarded as a center of excellence within our industry. We regularly host visits from executives from other parcel delivery service companies across Europe who are interested in the technology we have deployed. We are happy and proud to do so.”
Xia Hulling, founder and CEO of LiBiao Robotics, commented, “The initial installation at ELTA and the recent extension highlight perfectly why LiBiao AMR-based sortation technology is proving an attractive alternative to the high capex fixed tilt-tray and crossbelt conveyor-based systems that have historically been used within many busy parcel and e-commerce operations. With no fixed infrastructure requirements, modular AMR-based systems are scalable and offer complete flexibility, with additional robots easily introduced as and when they are needed. I am pleased to say that several of the companies that have visited ELTA’s Athens site to see the system in operation for themselves have become LiBiao customers too!”
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