Leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) Powered Industrial Robots to Enhance Sorting and Singulation of Parcels

Manual singulation of hefty heaps of envelopes and parcels, sorting, and laying them on a conveyor belt can be challenging. Automating the process not only enhances productivity, but it also saves time and costs while reducing injuries.

To match the increasing eCommerce demands, an industrial robot sorting, and singulation system powered by AI is essential for logistics companies. Read on to understand how companies can improve the singulation and sorting of parcels with AI-powered industrial robots.

Is Manual Singulation a thing of the Past?

Parcel movements encounter massive fluctuations across the year and peak during the Black Friday and Christmas period. It is important to note that parcel volumes have been growing rapidly, annually.

The COVID-19 outbreak has had an impact on timely order fulfillment. The increased dependence on eCommerce has elevated the need for capacity. As a result, this triggers increased operational costs triggered by the need to hire more workers and the enrollment process. Seasons that would ordinarily be thought to be the most profitable from a sales perspective become unfavorable.

Further, to demand spikes and throughput requirements, manual sorting and singulation affect employee satisfaction and health. Workers can be bored from performing repetitive tasks or suffer injuries from handling heavy items. The impact of these risks on companies is; reduced productivity and compensation expenses, which may lead to losses.

Industrial Robots and Vision will come in Handy

Automating the sorting and singulation process can help businesses overcome the above-mentioned challenges. With advanced technology, predicting costs, and offering scalability during peak times.

Today, the most progressive automation combines AI algorithms, 3D machine vision, and compatibility with dominant industrial robot brands. Industrial robots also facilitate the gauging of quality and success of a specific pick and place system. For example, how can businesses gain from deploying an automated system to facilitate the singulation and sorting of huge unstructured loads?

Some companies merge in-house developed 3D machine vision with algorithms that allow industrial robots to select over 2,000 parcels per hour. The vision system offers precise 3D data and allows accurate localization that results in a +/-3 mm accuracy.

According to experts, this system relies on a pre-trained audiovisual network that can identify parcels from a box for a 95% success rate. The remaining 5% is from the parcel’s material, and mechanical properties. For instance, if an object is made from fabric, or has a wrinkled face, it is likely to fall from the gripper. In this case, the parcel will have to be picked again.

Multi-pick vs. Single-scan Mode

The performance speed depends on the selected scanning mode. A single scan mode executes a scan, refines the data, localizes the item, and alerts the industrial robot to pick it. This process is repetitive for every object. The processing delay is usually 0.5 seconds and below.

When it comes to the multi-pick mode, the camera or scanner executes a scan and the system identifies all packable items. The industrial robot then selects them one after the other without disruption.

Operators can adjust the number of scans to a specific application. There are no processing delays in the multiple pick modes which accelerates the performance. The cycling pace is only limited by the speed of the robot

Intelligence and Vision

The quality of 3D data will determine how successful an automated sorting and singulation solution will be. An intelligent system without robust 3D data to work with results in the unfavorable output. A powerful 3D camera should offer high resolution and precision, a large depth of field and scanning volume, and a high scanning speed.

Other critical factors include; plug-and-play performance and the ability to contain ambient light. If the configured camera comes with all these characteristics, the system acquires sufficient data for Ai to process and localize every project successfully.

Businesses can Gain from Automated Singulation

Robotic singulation enhances safety, reliability, productivity, and cuts costs. Today, automation is a critical tool for entrepreneurs who want to optimize logistic processes. Automating singulation and sorting practices is a crucial method of managing challenges in the logistics sector.