21 robots to Itella

Jun 03, 2010
Cimcorp Headquarters

The fall in letter volumes and the liberalizing of the postal markets led to Finland’s Itella investing in the MultiPick system developed by Cimcorp.

Itella is responding to the challenges of the postal markets with a major investment of 160 million Euros, including mail-sorting automation systems for their mail centers supplied by Cimcorp and Siemens.

Hannu Tuominen, development manager, justifies the corporate investment both with the new challenges and with the fact that the current equipment and systems were nearing the end of their life cycle, and that the space at the sorting centers had become insufficient.

“This major investment includes the building of two completely new sorting centers at Kuopio and Oulu, and the expansion and refurbishment of the centers at Helsinki and Tampere. In each of the four locations new equipment and systems will be installed; letter sorting equipment equipped with optical reading and data systems, letter tray handling systems as well as parcel and bundle sorting equipment.”

When the decision in principle was made to automate mail sorting, it was put out to tender to the key equipment and systems suppliers. The total logistical package put together by the Cimcorp and Siemens consortium proved the best and landed the contract for letter handling and storage systems.

Tuominen praises the MultiPick system for its effective use of space, its flexibility, and ease of maintenance. The pre-sorted blue letter trays move by conveyor from the letter-sorting equipment to the storage area, where a robot sorts them into product- or zip code-specific stacks. When the floor acts as both a sorting area and buffer storage area, optimal mail throughput time is achieved. MultiPick transfers the ready stacks to the transport units and onward for loading into the delivery vehicles.

“The big plus compared with the competition is that MultiPick is able to alleviate peak situations in a rational manner. When there are a lot of incoming trays, the robot piles them up first in mixed stacks and only sorts the trays after the rush has died down. This means no bottlenecks are created for the mail sorting or distribution center. The competitors did not offer this kind of feature. Also, service procedures on one robot do not hold up the process, because the allocation of work between the robots can be altered smoothly.”

Read more about MultiPick in mail centers.

Read more about Itella's solution.

21 Cimcorp robots to Itella

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