Some two years after introducing LiBiao robotic parcel sortation technology at its sorting centre in Athens, Hellenic Post (ELTA), the state-owned provider of postal services in Greece, has introduced additional robots, chutes and induction stations at the site.
The investment means throughput capacity at the Athens facility has been significantly increased and allows ELTA to provide next-day delivery services to several additional destinations throughout Greece.
In all a total of 120 LiBiao autonomous mobile robots (AMR) are now deployed at the sorting centre in Athens. They scan each parcel’s barcode, weigh the package and, directed by sensors, empty it into the appropriate mail sack sited around the platform on which the robots travel.
Initially introduced as part of ELTA’s digital restructuring programme which was established to tackle the growing number of parcels generated by the growth of online shopping, the AMR-based sortation solution has 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 was obviously extremely time consuming and labour intensive. It was also prone to errors which caused parcels to be delayed. Late deliveries were not only frustrating for ELTA’s customers and courier partners but also extremely costly for the company.
Since the parcel sorting function has been handed over to the LiBiao robots the process is three times faster, ensuring next-day delivery, while errors have been virtually eliminated.
With the additional robots, ELTA can now handle close to 125,000 parcels weighing up to 10 kg 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 minimised.
Based on the performance of the first phase of the installation ELTA expect this latest investment to pay for itself within two years.
Evi Arguriadou, ELTA’s head of sorting operations, comments: “Since the introduction of robotic technology our Athens facility has come to be regarded as a centre of excellence within our industry. We regularly host visits from executives from other parcel delivery services companies across Europe who are interested in the technology we have deployed. We are happy and proud to do so.”
LiBiao Robotics’ founder and CEO, Xia Hulling,commented: “The initial installation at ELTA and the recent extension highlights perfectly why LiBiao autonomous mobile robot (AMR)-based sortation technology is proving an attractive alternative to the high CapEx fixed tilt-tray and cross-belt conveyor-based systems that have historically been used within many busy parcel and e-commerce operations.”
Xia Hulling continued: “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.
“And, 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!” she added.