How You Can Benefit from Our Automated Sortation Solutions

Automation is changing the way that companies do business. While major brands and corporations have been investing in automation for years, it was often too cost-prohibitive for smaller businesses and those who need a less massive scale of logistics solutions. Thus, many companies were left to wait their turn or find a way to come up with the huge investment required to automate.

Fortunately, modern technology has done well to create more effective, affordable solutions for sortation and warehousing, as well as other logistics. When you have automated tools in place, you won’t be doing the work by hand and can save a lot of labor, while also enjoying perks like:

  • Eliminating rework from picking errors
  • Smooth product flow
  • Wide range of options for product shape, size, and capacity
  • Low energy consumption
  • Lower noise levels
  • Simultaneous order processing
  • Reduced order processing costs
  • Fewer picking and sorting mistakes
  • Capabilities for every industry
  • And more!

The Importance of Automated Sortation

Sortation is important in the order fulfillment process in every business. Unfortunately, when companies are using human staff members to handle sortation, the risk of error is quite high. Even the best of the best will make mistakes eventually, and if nothing else, at least you can learn and grow from them.

Sortation is a process where items and products are identified on a conveyor system to easily be pushed forward to a specific destination using an array of system and categorization methods. In today’s business world, that’s what matters. As a bonus, you can show your customers that you truly are there for them with the right tools and solutions to get the job done.

There are many types of automated sortation solutions that run at various speeds. Knowing the different options available can give an idea of which might work best in a particular environment:

Slow Speed Automated Sortation

The least expensive automation sortation systems also tend to be the slowest. Therefore, this solution is only helpful when the number of products is low and speed is not a priority. Most slow-speed sortation devices work with standard roller or belt conveyor lines. On average, this automated sortation system will only work through fewer than 30 totes or cartons per minute.

Medium Speed Automated Sortation

Quicker than slow-speed solutions, medium-speed automated sortation will often move through up to 200 items per minute. These sorters also come in more styles than the less expensive models. Some of the most popular are pop-up sorters. These are linear sorters that push products down a belt conveyor line. After an item reaches the point of diversion, rollers or wheels come up and lift the item from the surface. It’s moved away from the conveyor at an angle and redirected to the correct location.

High-Speed Automated Sortation

In situations where speed is of the essence, a high-speed automated sortation solution can process anywhere from 150 to 450 items per minute. There are several types of high-speed sorters. Some are made for manual insertion of packages into the sorter, while others are combined with other methods to make the entire process automatic.

Inventory Sorting

One way to better manage inventory and incoming products is to use an automated sorting system. If you don’t want to waste endless hours tracking down inventory after a sale, organized sortation and tools can be useful to help you streamline your inventory management and take the work of checking and restocking off of your hands.

Our inventory sortation technology, like all of our solutions, can be built to your exact needs and specifications. Unless you have the time to hire staff to handle these issues, or you just think that you can do it yourself, having an automated sortation system in place is a good way to go. In fact, it’s a good choice for anyone who needs a little help with their various financial struggles.

Shipping and Receiving Sortation

The most common sortation automation that we deal with at Solution Net Systems is related to shipping and receiving. During the picking, packing, and shipping process, your items will be sorted several times to get to where they are going. Companies like UPS, FedEx, and the United States Postal Service have been using automated sortation for shipping and receiving of mail and packages for years now.

The new technology makes this available to businesses of all types and sizes, and provides a more streamlined, efficient sortation option for those who are done trying to make the old ways work. When it comes to warehousing and logistics, sortation is one thing that should NOT be done manually. There’s no sense in it when solutions like those created by our engineers exist.

If you’re still battling to find the best sortation solution, or you’ve outgrown your use of that third-party logistics team and want to go in-house, we have the systems that will help you. You’ll be able to reduce costs and the integrated scale makes sure that you are getting accurate weights (up to 100 parcels per minute!) so that you are saving on capacity, labor, and shipping costs.

A Brief Look at Automated Sortation Equipment

Most automated sortation systems will either qualify as case sorters or unit sorters. The former works by sorting and moving totes, cases, and orders of products from one place to the next. The latter focuses on moving individual products or items through a facility.

However, there are many types of sorters in both categories, which you can learn more about below:

Case Sorter Options

  • Roller, Belt, and Pop-up Wheel Sorters – Inexpensive and easy to use, these sorters are ideal for items in cartons and totes and typically handle around 40 to 100 units in a minute.
  • Pivoting Arm Sorters – Consisting of rotating arms on a conveyor, these sort and drive to another conveyor and are common in shipping environments. These may process 50 to 100 units per minute.
  • Pusher Sorters – Using pneumatic pushers mounted to a belt, these pushers move totes and cases to other chutes or conveyors to be processed. Most of these can carry 10 to 30 units each minute.

Unit Sorter Options

  • Crossbelt and Tilt-tray Sorters – Consisting of trays or belts, items are moved from a space to a chute or conveyor. These sorters are commonly used in the eCommerce apparel world and can carry 100 to 200 items per minute.
  • Push Tray Sorters – Carts with trays mounted on them move products to a loop conveyor. They use a gravity chute to move the product and can go through 30 to 60 items in a minute.
  • Bombay Sorters – Flat, or Bombay sorters, are trays with doors underneath to drop items. A gravity chute might be used for additional manual sorting. These are used in the pharmaceutical, jewelry, and apparel industries. The sorters typically move 100 to 230 trays per minute.
  • Pocket/Pouch Sorters – A series of pouches or bags are connected to an overhead trolley in picking operations. These are often used for processing returns in the eCommerce and apparel industries. Generally, they can move 100 to 120 pouches each minute.
  • Garment-On-Hanger Sorters – These are like pouch sorters but move garments instead of bags. They help accurately and quickly ship apparel in a way that cannot be done with manual sortation. The number of garments that can be processed varies based on multiple factors.

In addition to the technology above, some automation sortation solutions can be used as unit or case sorters and are more versatile for a business. These include items like sliding shoe sorters and narrow belt sorters.

Choose Your Automated Sortation Solution

The benefit of working with the team at Solution Net Systems, is that you will get the benefit of creating the custom automated sortation system that fits your needs, no matter what that might be. Automation solves many of the major issues that come from warehousing and logistics, including the serious shortage of workers and the rise of eCommerce.

Plus, new automation technology resolves the most important component for most businesses: automation has come a long way and there are much more advanced, affordable options available for companies of all sizes. You no longer have to be an enterprise brand or a multinational corporation to reap the rewards of automation. Even a small investment can get you leagues ahead of the competition.

Solution Net Systems provides reliable automated logistics solutions for any type of operation. In addition, we offer innovative solutions that can be used together to ensure the best logistics system possible. This is done by focusing on engineering, design, and integration as well as program management, installation, and technical support.

As a global leader in automated sortation, we can offer solutions of all sizes and levels of complexity. Our team members will take down all of your unique requirements to design and build a sustainable solution that is perfectly aligned with the needs of your business. This applies to single solutions or a set of solutions that integrate to meet industry and company requirements.

The Benefits of Automated Sortation

Some people are still looking for additional insight and reassurance that automating their sortation (and other efforts) is going to provide them with more than just a “better way” of doing things. For those, we’ve collected some of the best benefits. Below, you’ll find the most valuable advantages of implementing automated sortation in your own business.

Sortation systems can accommodate products of all styles, sizes, and shapes. Plus, you will be able to eliminate the human element, so there are fewer mistakes overall. This is a good time to open up the conversation and start learning about what this method can do for you.

  • Automation maximizes uptime. When you aren’t relying on people to handle sortation, you will never have to stop for people-related issues. Plus, modern automation machines are more efficient than old assembly lines and conveyors, meaning the system will work more effectively and require fewer bodies, saving you money on employees, as well.
  • Processing returns quickly is essential to your cashflow. You can increase your working capital and grow your bottom line by using automated sortation to handle returns and other related transactions. Without an automated process, you could spend hours trying to deal with the returns that you have or even locate them in the system.
  • These systems can be completely customized to your needs, allowing you to get the automated solution that you desire, no matter what type of warehousing business or logistics operation you have that needs a little help with automation.
  • This process is great for eliminating picking errors, increasing product flow, helping process orders simultaneously, and even reducing energy consumption and noise.
  • These systems are sustainable and scalable, which means that as your business grows, they can grow with you. You’ll be able to scale up to meet increasing production needs and do so on a timeline that works for you. When you invest in these systems, you are making a lifelong investment.
  • Automate now, save later. While this is an investment, those who get on board sooner will find that they spend less time and money scaling in the future when they need to grow their automation efforts or add to their solutions.

Importation Considerations That Influence Automated Sortation Choice

Before delving into the many applications of automated sortation and how that impacts the sorter that is right for you, you also want to know your requirements for the best sortation design. Many of these questions will be a part of your consultation with Solution Net Systems to ensure the solution truly meets your most pressing needs.

  • Variety of Products and Packaging Needing Sorting – Some sorting solutions are better than others, depending on what products and packaging are involved. Everything from the weight to the size and shape of the product has a part in correctly choosing an automated sortation solution.
  • Requirements for Throughput – Regardless of your sortation needs, automated sortation can meet your specifications. However, different options are available for those who require faster sortation. Knowing the requirements of your business ensures you get a robust system that works for you without spending more on extra power you may not use.
  • Number of Destinations – As you review automated sortation options, another consideration is how many destinations an item might go to. Some sortation solutions will have minimal destinations, while others might have the capacity for hundreds of them. The layout of the solution will depend on the business’ needs.
  • Amount of Space Available – Space is another critical consideration. The square footage of your operation, available floor space, access to vertical space, and whether a system will be linear or loop are all essential factors to consider. Some automated sortation solutions are larger than others, so size matters in choosing a final option.
  • Need for Flexibility – Thinking about the future is also an essential part of the process. For instance, consider how much your operation’s needs may change in a year, five years, or even a decade. Having a basic picture of how the situation may change will make it easier to select automated sortation options that work with you even as you grow.

This is only the first stage of selecting the perfect automated sortation solution for your needs. First, consider your goals and challenges and how automated sortation can help with those. Next, decide what application you want to support using the sortation option you select. Think about every aspect of your business, and then work with an expert to select the best solution for your needs.

Applications of Automated Sortation

Automated sortation systems can be used in all kinds of warehousing and logistics applications. They are great for any business that has a busy sortation load ahead of them, from standard eCommerce order picking to reverse logistics and more. We can assist your brand with everything that you need, including a consultation to sit down and discuss what kind of automation systems would work best.

ECommerce Fulfillment

With our fully automated sorting systems and other solutions, we can help provide the logistics and fulfillment automation that new eCommerce brands need. Plus, we’ve created an affordable, scalable solution that will allow it to grow with you over time. Whether you’re drop-shipping, selling products of your own, or selling anything else online on a mass scale, sortation systems can take the work out of the order processing.

Warehousing and Logistics

Of course, our systems are ideal for warehousing and logistics operations that need dedicated automation solutions. Warehousing can save a small fortune by investing in automation tools like this, streamlining their operations, and further improving their bottom line. Imagine being able to do everything in less time with more accuracy, and deliver a better overall experience for your customer while also improving your warehouse operations. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Reverse Logistics

Redistribution plays a huge role in some industries. It is important that you take the time to process returns efficiently. When you do that, you can reduce cash flow issues, increase capital, and reduce the costs associated with shipping and returns. Plus, when it’s all automated as part of the same solution, you’re making one investment to get all the tech and automation tools that you need. Plus, there are options to design just about any scanning and sortation device that you might need.

How Automated Sortation Might Evolve in the Future

The best automation sortation solution companies are currently creating advanced handling capacity, increased productivity at lower costs, and faster delivery times. This is something that we pride ourselves on at Solution Net Systems. Our custom products can be used in any environment for businesses in various industries.

Quick automated sortation systems do more than offer cost savings to those who use them. By implementing faster speeds, companies can meet new benchmarks on delivery times and introduce shorter lead times. In addition, automated sortation helps move material and equipment with better precision to avoid missing or lost items.

Our automated sortation solutions can integrate with returns handling, cut lead time from beginning to end with logistical activities and industrial processes, and even reduce energy consumption using energy-efficient tools. Businesses can also benefit from better control of the order picking system and help with batch picking that is customized to get things done fast.

As we move into the future, it’s essential to realize that technology is constantly improving and changing. As technology is explored in more depth, more capable and cost-efficient options will start to be introduced. This progress will offer even more benefits to businesses in industries ranging from eCommerce to pharmaceuticals.

A large amount of this demand is related to eCommerce, which is quickly surpassing normal geographical boundaries and is set to increase. As inventory increases in these companies, inventory and shipping management become even more essential. Automated sortation and similar technology will be a huge part of continuing this boost.

With the use of entirely automated sortation systems, manufacturers can change their focus to choosing the right equipment and building the best control strategies before, during, and after the stage of the sortation of goods

Automated Sortation for Scalable, Sustainable Success

All the sortation systems that we design are 100% scalable to the needs of your business. They’re also fully sustainable on their own, and they can grow when your business does. We can even help create custom solutions for reverse logistics to save time, increase efficiency and productivity, and increase your bottom line. If you’ve been looking for a way to improve your operations or create success faster, automation might be the way to go.

Our dedicated team of engineers has been working hard to continue to improve the solutions that we offer and scale to a level that makes us accessible to even the smallest brands seeking warehousing, logistics, and automation solutions. At Solution Net Systems, we believe in the power of automation, and we are going to do everything that we can to help you succeed with it.

Contact us now to discuss how Solution Net Systems’ automated sortation could improve your operations, from standard order management to reverse logistics, and everything in between.

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