Robotic fulfillment vendor Kindred Inc. will team with systems integrator Hy-Tek Material Handling LLC to provide Kindred’s “Sort” automated piece-picking systems to retail and e-commerce companies in the apparel sector that have seen hot growth during the pandemic, the companies said Friday.
The integration marks San Francisco-based Kindred’s third partnership with a systems integrator since being acquired by Britain’s Ocado Group plc in 2020 for $262 million. In recent months, Kindred has also announced alignments with California-based SDI and Arkansas-based S&H Systems.
Kindred says its Sort product is a smart robotic put-wall solution used by retailers and third party logistics providers (3PLs) to accelerate polybag pick and place processes to meet increasing consumer demand. Past applications of the platform have included large installations by clothing retailer Gap Inc., which purchased 73 of the robots in 2020, growing its total fleet to 106.
The partners will now offer those systems through a Robotics as a Service (RaaS) model, where retailers pay for the Sort robots’ service—such as the number of items the robots pick—rather than making a major capital investment.
“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,” Donnie Johnson, president of Hy-Tek Integrated Systems, said in a release. “Kindred offered an affordable yet flexible solution to efficiently and effectively improve their e-commerce fulfillment operations.”
The deal also marks Columbus, Ohio-based Hy-Tek’s latest move since it was acquired in March by the private equity firm Dunes Point Capital LP, which merged Hy-Tek Material Handling Inc. with another firm, the Nashville, Tennessee-based material handling automation integrator WorldSource Integration Inc. The combined companies were renamed Hy-Tek Holdings, although they will continue to operate under their respective names, spanning 500-plus employees and eight facilities.
Following that move, Hy-Tek Holdings promptly made two acquisitions of its own, last week buying BP Controls Inc. and Nogol Electric LLC. According to Hy-Tek, New Jersey-based BP Controls designs, engineers, and integrates controls systems and warehouse control software for warehouse automation applications.
More acquisitions may be yet to come, company leaders said. “Hy-Tek’s acquisition of BP Controls broadens our offerings as the predominant player in material handling. With BP Controls’ software solutions, Hy-Tek delivers a full pallet of products and services to the material handling and integrated systems (IS) industry. Committed to growth through acquisitions, Hy-Tek always is looking for best-of-breed companies to join our team,” Hy-Tek Holdings CEO Sam Grooms said in a release.
Hy-Tek Holdings Acquires BP Controls and Nogol Electric https://t.co/B5kvD9GbEC— Hy-Tek Material Handling (@HyTekMH) June 24, 2021
. #BPControl #HyTek #SupplyChain #SystemsControls #WarehouseControlSystem #WarehouseExecutionSystem pic.twitter.com/3aJN3qESng