Blog Post

What Is It & How Does It Work?

By February 15, 2022 No Comments

The high speed of supply and demand is one of the major features of today’s world. The enormous volume of market requests has forced various industries to offer products and services with different mechanisms and facilities than in the past.

The need for quick preparation and packaging, on-time delivery, and fierce competition for customer satisfaction have made human error unacceptable. Consequently, one of the most significant developments has been in the areas of logistics and warehousing: automated sortation.

Below, we’ll take a look at different types of sorting systems as well as the benefits it brings.

What’s Sortation?

It’s one of the essential technologies to achieve excellence in any business. Automated sortation is a special strategy for separating different items with non-identical characteristics moving on the conveyor belt.

In this method, sensors, barcode scanners, or other smart technologies are used to perform the collection, division, organization, and shipment of items in the shortest possible time and with the least human error.

The technology comes with a wide array of benefits, including

Fast Processing

The entry of goods into a warehouse requires efficient procedures. The high speed of processing various goods shortens the waiting time for products in transit and allows easy and fast preparation of orders as well as entry into the logistics cycle.

Lower Costs

When order volume is high, employee time and overhead costs for the final product increase. Process automation can significantly reduce costs and create a larger market for products.

More Efficient Shipment & Delivery

Increasing the speed of separating and preparing goods for shipment creates the opportunity to prepare multiple orders simultaneously. This shortens the overall order cycle time, reduces freight costs, and ultimately leads to greater customer satisfaction.

Other Advantages

  • Reduction in costs
  • Prevention of human errors
  • Faster preparation and delivery
  • Lower interruption of work
  • The ability to increase work shifts without restriction
  • Increase in employee safety and health standards
  • Quick control of inventory and tracking of products
  • Lower energy waste
  • Less damage to products, especially fragile items

Different Types of Sorting Systems

There are different sorting systems; the most common types include:

1- Tilt-Tray

The inclined tray directs the goods in the same direction as the movement of the continuous conveyors. Each tray is connected to its service on the path, and the sorter follows a loop path. According to the set schedule, the manipulator tracks the tray sorter until the package arrives at the exit.

The tray then moves the box left or right through the controller into the designated compartment. Then, the package is removed from the conveyor. Since there does not have to be a motor for every service, inclined conveyors are cheaper than continuous conveyors.

For this reason, their maintenance is also more complicated. The problem is this sorting method depends mainly on human performance and supervision.

2- Cross-Belt Sorters

The cross-belt or loop sorter consists of a sequence of many fast conveyor belts that perform a uniform motion and are in a non-stop loop. Each belt contains an object that needs to be sorted.

When the item is ready to be unloaded, the belt diverts the package to the sides of the conveyor as it moves. This configuration makes the cross-belt sorter an incredibly efficient mechanism that takes up the least amount of space possible to sort high volume, high-speed items and goods.

3- Push Tray Sorter

The pressure tray arranger resembles an inclined tray in many approaches. Trays mounted on rolling wheels bring the product and run on a continuous conveyor belt. While the inclined tray’s handles tilt and attach to the gravity tube to deflect the product, the tray sorter uses a push rod to eject the product. The efficiency of push tray sorters is typically between 30 and 60 cartons per minute.

4- Bombay Sorters

The Bombay sorter, also known as a flat sorter, is used for the high-speed sorting of small, lightweight packages and tools. These items can be so thin and light that they cannot be moved and transported by a conventional conveyor machine. Postal packages, pharmaceuticals, and small tools are examples.

Bombay sorters are typically used in systems where large quantities of packages are sorted and shipped, such as post offices or drug distribution companies. Bombay sorters such as inclined conveyors or cross-belt sorters use similar tools for inspection and tracking. This type of automatic sorting is usually longer than other types. Nevertheless, their high accuracy in separating packages is their main advantage.

5- Pouch Sorter

A pouch or pocket sorter is a rail mechanism mounted above the floor. In this method, the goods and bags are hung on the rail system and transported separately along the conveyor belt. Various components are usually placed in bags in a single unit.

They are forwarded to the appropriate department for final inspection and packaging. This system is widely popular as it best uses internal space. This mechanism can move between 100 and 120 bags per minute and reach the target.

6- Garment-on-Hanger (GOH) Sorter

This system is designed to organize and transport clothes with high accuracy and speed. You do not need to remove hangers to process and arrange clothes. This mechanism has many advantages, such as:

  • Reducing labor costs and increasing productivity
  • Products are not damaged or wrinkled
  • Fast delivery of large orders without errors in the type and size

How Much Does It Cost

Although many companies ask the question about the cost of automatic sorting, it is not possible to determine it exactly. The cost of implementing the system varies from project to project and depends on many factors, such as

  • The length and space requirements of the project
  • The type of sorter selected
  • Expected operating speed and performance

How to Choose the Right System

Choosing the best automated sortation service plays a crucial role in simplifying and accelerating logistics processes. The solution offered for the medical industry may not be suitable for food. Therefore, experts need to review all business requirements to find the best solution before setting up the system.