A simple guide to the complex world of automatic sorters
What is an automatic sorter and why do I need one?
If your supply chain is coming under increasing pressure to operate even faster and more accurately, then a sortation solution could be the answer to your predicament.
An automatic sorter is a cost effective way of sorting and separating high volumes of products into divert chutes/lanes for further processing or packing, palletising or shipping. Because sorters are versatile, the products being sorted can differ in both size and weight.
Due to their reliability sorters are now used extensively by many different industries, from leading
e-fulfilment operations and retailers to parcel freight and examination boards.
What are the main benefits of automatic sorters?
Improved accuracy – reducing the need for manual handling and introducing automation is a
sure-fire way to boost the accuracy of an operation.
Increased productivity – with throughput rates of more than 200 items a minute, you are guaranteed improvements in both efficiency and productivity.
Reduced costs – ask your supplier to calculate the ROI of the sorter system before you proceed with your purchase.
Improved customer satisfaction – installing an appropriate sorter will ensure that your customers receive the correct goods, delivered on time with zero errors.
How do I decide which sorter is the most suitable for my business needs?
One of the most important considerations when deciding on the best sortation system for your business is to consider the products to be sorted – their type, size and weight as well as the contact surface of the product with the conveyor.
Then attention should be paid to throughput rates, budgetary constraints and also whether there is space within your facility for this type of equipment. It is always best to involve an experienced third party supplier at an early stage in the selection process. They will help you achieve your objectives with an appropriately designed, manufactured and installed system.
There are a number of different types of effective sortation systems on the market and you obviously want the best possible solution to match your specific requirements. Axiom GB has developed a standard range of sorters which have been designed to work across a wide variety of product profiles.
You can choose from Axiom’s own off-the-shelf and engineered equipment or third party products to create your own turnkey solution.
Pop up Roller – developed in-house by Axiom as part of a project for high speed sortation of media products. It is capable of handling products at a sort speed of up to 200 items per minute.
Swivel Wheel Sorter – Axiom developed the swivel wheel sorter to provide a reliable solution for parcel and carton sortation. Each row of rollers can move independently from the centre position either left or right without the need for the rollers to lift up and down. This produces a constant drive between product and roller as well as reducing the stresses on both product and equipment. The capability of the SWS has been extended to sort packets and bagged product.
Automatic Pusher – there are times when product types don’t suit conventional sorting methods and so Axiom has developed two different automatic pusher sorting solutions:
Overhead Pusher – for sorting bagged products and difficult to handle items
Box Style Pusher – for sorting regular shaped products to a single sided destination.
To sort or not to sort – that is the question
Still not convinced that a sorter is for you? Take the acid test – go and visit similar facilities which have recently installed a sorter. Any reputable supplier will arrange this for you. Take the opportunity to talk to the owners of the business and the operators themselves.
Find out from them how a sortation system can make a real difference not only to your productivity by increasing your throughput and efficiency, but also to your reputation for running a reliable supply chain.
If you’d like some expert advice regarding your sorter requirements or to see an Axiom sorter in action, give Matthew Nickson at Axiom a call on 01827 61212.