What’s thought to be the first fully robotic parcel-sorting system to be deployed in South Africa is now operational at the Johannesburg hub of e-commerce and logistics services company Buffalo Couriers.
The sortation system at Buffalo’s 35,000m2 multi-client facility was supplied and installed by Black Rhino and features 90 autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) from LiBiao Robotics’ ‘Mini Yellow’ range.
At the facility, parcels are placed onto a Mini Yellow AMR at the system’s induction point.
The package’s shipping label is automatically scanned and the robot receives instructions to deliver the parcel to one of a series of destination chutes located around the perimeter of the operating platform.
A destination chute is assigned based on the town or city to which the parcel is bound and the system’s navigation technology directs the robot and its load to the designated chute via the shortest route.
Catherine van Zyl, Buffalo warehouse manager, said: “With our local delivery service covering city centres as well as remote parts of the country, we face a range of different logistics challenges every day within our business.
“But by investing in advanced technology and equipment, such as our new robot-based parcel sortation system, we ensure the shortest fulfilment times as well as providing maximum protection and safety for our clients’ packages as they pass through the supply chain.”
According to LiBiao, it took under a week to install Buffalo’s system and no significant alterations to the infrastructure of the company’s existing building were necessary.
Buffalo said it has calculated that its warehouse personnel are now productive for around 95% of their time. before the introduction of the robotic sortation system, the figure was reportedly as low as 25%.
Buffalo is reportedly set to see a return on its investment within 18 months.
Innovations and achievements in warehouse automation will be highlighted and celebrated at Robotics & Automation Awards on 31 October 2023 at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms in London. Go to roboticsandautomationawards.co.uk to learn more about this unmissable industry event – and to book your table today!