Kindred Systems today said it will integrate its SORT pick-and-place robots with Hy-Tek Integrated Systems’ material handling products to automate retail and e-commerce order fulfillment operations. The partners said they will accelerate polybag picking processes at warehouses and distribution centers to meet increasing consumer demand at Hy-Tek’s apparel customers.
“In this rapidly growing e-commerce fulfillment environment, Hy-Tek turned to Kindred and its SORT robotic system to solve challenges that our customers were facing,” said Donnie Johnson, president of Hy-Tek Integrated Systems. “Kindred offered an affordable yet flexible solution to efficiently and effectively improve their e-commerce fulfillment operations. We are very excited to be able to add this as a solution to our service offerings.”
Hy-Tek integrates material handling equipment
Columbus, Ohio-based Hy-Tek Integrated Systems integrates materials handling automation for clients in diverse markets, including automotive manufacturing, food, construction, third-party logistics (3PL), and parcel. Hy-Tek was established as a combination of Hy-Tek Material Handling, WorldSource, and BP Controls. Together, they operate as Hy-Tek Material Handling LLC.
Since 1963, Hy-Tek and its manufacturing partners have provided customers of all sizes with turnkey equipment, including automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS). From customized, one-of-a-kind systems to pre-assembled buildings and off-the-shelf products, Hy-Tek said its more than 500 employees can help customers across North America enhance productivity, streamline processes, and boost profitability.
Hy-Tek’s ECOMPLETE system helps retailers improve existing e-commerce platforms or enter into e-commerce for the first time. A one-stop-shop for e-commerce components, ECOMPLETE takes sellers from click to ship and everything in between, claimed the company.
Hy-Tek also said it provides integrated conveyor systems, welded conveyor installation, receiving and shipping systems, robotic palletizing cells, and complete turnkey solutions for any material handling application.
Kindred applies AI to picking
Kindred said it develops robotics and artificial intelligence to solve real-world problems and operate autonomously in dynamic environments. The company has offices in San Francisco and Toronto and is part of U.K.-based Ocado Group PLC.
Kindred's proprietary platforms include CORE with AutoGrasp, which combines AI-powered machine vision, grasping, and manipulation algorithms to handle a range of merchandise, including deformable items such as polybags. It can identify items to pick, place, and sort into complete customer orders.
The company noted that its SORT pick-and-place robots use CORE with AutoGrasp. In addition, Kindred said it uses reinforcement learning and human-in-the-loop data methodology to continuously improve robot capabilities so that picking becomes smarter, faster, and more accurate over time. CORE with AutoGrasp can provide critical business intelligence to inform decisions and increase productivity, said the company.
To meet the continued peaks in online orders since the COVID-19 outbreak, Kindred’s robotics-as-a-Service (RaaS) model changes how robots are deployed. Hy-Tek’s retail and e-commerce customers pay for the SORT robots’ service, such as the number of items the robots pick, rather than making a major capital investment. Retailers can use the RaaS model to minimize large one-time capital investments and better manage costs.
“Investing in robotic automation benefits both Hy-Tek and global retailers alike,” said Marin Tchakarov, CEO of Kindred. “By partnering with Hy-Tek to expand both parties’ order-fulfillment capabilities, we further our contribution to the workforce of the future with unmatched, field-proven technology.”
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