Pick up the pace with new picking technologies

DC VELOCITY (April 2019) - The buzz over DC automation is spurring interest in robotic picking solutions as well. Robotics company Kindred offers a key example with its piece-picking solution called "Sort." Used by retailers in omnichannel and e-commerce fulfillment centers, Sort is an artificial intelligence (AI)-driven robotic solution that automates the manual process of sorting multiple SKU (stock-keeping unit) batches into a single customer order. Using vision, grasping, and manipulation technology, Sort consists of a robotic arm that separates items into predetermined slots that are laid out in a circular pattern around the arm. Employees then unload the sorted, completed orders. Sort is designed for organizations that are looking for ways to reduce their dependence on labor and boost throughput, according to Monique Apter, Kindred's vice president of sales. She says the solution is currently best suited for applications in the apparel industry but adds that Kindred is working on expanding into a wider array of general-merchandise items, such as shoes and cosmetics.

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