The increasing demands of the e-commerce industry are placing an enormous strain on retailers. Supply chains are facing immense pressure to meet delivery demands, with some even requiring same day dispatch. In order to meet these ever shorter deadlines, the supply chain has to advance its processes. One proven method for speeding up tasks, such as sortation, is to invest in automation.
Sortation is a time consuming and laborious process that requires high levels of accuracy. Whilst employees may be trained thoroughly, it is still very easy for human errors to occur on repetitive tasks. To further complicate matters, some items may need to go through multiple sortation processes. Depending on your requirements this can include sortation for onwards processing, by shipping carrier, destination, or by weight and size. In some facilities, it is essential to have several sortation procedures and automation is the quickest and most efficient way to manage these.
Additionally, e-commerce is increasingly facing several throughput peaks during the year such as Black Friday, Christmas and online sales. As a result, it can be difficult and expensive to manually handle these large increases in processing volumes. It can be a challenge to find additional workers at short notice. On top of this, retailers need to factor in the increase in labour costs when hiring seasonal workers. These extra supply chain pressures can be eliminated by investing in an automated sortation system.
Axiom GB is experienced in designing and producing bespoke automation solutions for supply chain processes – especially sortation. Previous projects have seen the experienced team integrate automated sortation into a number of complex projects. In order to ensure that there is a solution for all, Axiom has a range of customisable sorters.
Types of automated sortation
Axiom has produced a range of sorters which can be integrated into your own bespoke automated system. You can choose from Axiom’s off-the-shelf and engineered equipment or third party products to create your own turnkey solution. Which sortation solution you choose depends entirely on the items being sorted. There are many important factors to consider when deciding which sorter will be the best for your needs. This can include what products you need to sort, their size and weight.
Developed in-house by Axiom, the pop-up roller sorter is ideal for high-speed sortation. It is capable of handling products at a sort speed of up to 200 items per minute.
The swivel wheel sorter was developed by Axiom – specifically for reliable parcel and carton sortation. Each module consists of several rows of wheels which are moved independently from the centre start position to either the left or the right without the need for the rollers to lift up and down. This allows warehouse management systems to divert parcels off or onto main conveyor lines depending on the sortation criteria. Typically, this sorter is capable of sorting up to 100 products per minute at a nominal product length of 500mm.
As previously mentioned, the sorter you pick will depend on the items you are sorting. On the occasions where product types do not suit conventional sorting methods (Pop Up and Swivel Wheel), Axiom has developed two types of pneumatic and motor pusher solutions. Both pusher designs lend themselves to being used in a sorting application or randomly throughout a more complex system.
The Overhead Pusher is designed for sorting bagged products and items that are difficult to handle. It is capable of sorting at rates of 60 products per minute using motor drives and 30 products per minute using pneumatic drives.
The Box Style Pusher is ideal for sorting regular shaped products and can hit rates of 80 products per minute (depending on the product profile).
With a range of sorters to solve a variety of material handling and sortation problems, Axiom can increase accuracy, productivity and reduce costs for your supply chain. Click here to view the latest case studies or contact Axiom GB for a consultation on 01827 61212 or email firstname.lastname@example.org