Which systems are used for goods sorting in the warehouse and how do you find the best solution?
Every warehouse operation involves a dozen different processes. Moving between the different work areas, collecting and storing data and sorting, can be done manually or with the help of automated systems. The manual method is suitable, when the warehouse has only a small assortment and a low capacity.
But when a company’s product list includes hundreds of individual items and multi-line customer orders need to be processed, there is no way around an automated system. In this case, it is important to automate the warehouse as quickly as possible.
Using an automated system, makes it possible to reduce costs and speed up order processing. Automated sortation is a musthave for postal and courier services, freight forwarders, distribution centres and other organisations. The “intelligent” system can process up to 15,000 parcels per hour.
The main types of sorting devices
When selecting a system, the focus should be on effectiveness. The system, that can provide the best performance, should be selected:
- speed up the processing of a comprehensive range of goods with different characteristics (size, weight, fragility);
- reduce the manual labour involved in product sortation;
- avoiding errors when picking multi-line customer orders.
Sorting can be manual, semi-automatic or automatic (IN and OUT). Automatic sorting is the best solution for a high throughput of goods and a large assortment.
Manual sorting is less productive and more labour-intensive. However, it can be supported by small automation elements, for example the Pick-by-Light-system. The paperless picking technology simplifies and speeds up the process of picking multi-line customer orders. The Pick-by-Light-system presents itself in the form of a display with operating elements and an LED display, that is activated in front of the respective item. The technology makes it possible to process between 250 and 600 lines per hour. The use of a multi-colour display makes it possible for several users to process a multi-line customer order at the same time or for one technician to process several tasks at the same time. By introducing innovative Pick-by-Light technology, warehouse productivity is doubled. Workflows are executed quickly and the risk of incorrect entries is reduced to zero.
Due to the increasing workload and the associated risk of errors, the automation of processes is becoming more and more important. With the help of conveyors, the consignments of goods can be divided into different categories. The equipment works with different types of material: boxes, cartons, pallets, parcels, envelopes, flexible packaging materials. Different types of equipment are used for sorting via conveyors: conveyor belts, powered and non-powered roller conveyors, spiral and vertical conveyors. Each type of equipment is used to perform specific tasks.
The use of automatic push-tray-sorting systems makes it possible to minimise the number of employees in the picking process, so that the picking process is accelerated and the risk of errors is reduced. The features of the system and its configuration can be easily adapted to changing conditions.
KAPELOU offers robotic sorting solutions, in which additional modules can be integrated, such as weight and quantity measuring devices. With the advanced configuration, automatic sorting is ensured according to preset specifications. For example, all cartons weighing more than 10 kg are directed by the system to specific areas. With the push-tray-sorting system, the packages can be quickly assigned to specific characteristics.
An automatic sorting system is a very useful solution for every modern company. The main advantages are:
- improved productivity: Depending on the package size, the push-tray-sorting system can process up to 15,000 packages per hour;
- the possibility of modular construction: because of this feature, it is possible to develop an effective solution for any warehouse. The push-tray-sorting system can be reconfigured as needed, when changing work requirements demand it;
- the presence of product identification systems (manual or automatic) and different types of load feeding to the conveyor system: In the case of load feeding, the containers are fed directly or at an angle of 45/90 degrees. Loading of the conveyor system is automatic or manual;
- low power consumption: Economical operation of the systems is the most important factor in reducing operating costs;
- reliable operation around the clock: The push-tray-sorting system is characterised by its simple operation. Furthermore, it does not require any special and expensive maintenance;
- connection with the WMS (warehouse management system): it coordinates the work of the corresponding machines, the employees and the movement of goods. KAPELOU’s engineers programme the equipment themselves, so there are no problems with the installation;
- quick and easy installation: Because of the modular system, there are no particular difficulties in installing the units.
The push-tray-sorting system is able to handle different types of packaging: Plastic boxes, cartons, envelopes, plastic bags and much more. The unit is suitable for heavy-duty operation and can withstand loads from 0.2 to 31.5 kg per trolley. The maximum travel speed is 1.2 m/s.
The right choice of a sorting system
To choose the right sorting system for a warehouse, you have to consider a few things:
- the throughput capacity: depending on this characteristic, the type of the sorting equipment is selected;
- the number of different sorting directions;
- the operating hours;
- area and equipment of the warehouse;
- environmental factors (humidity index, temperature, noise pollution).
In addition, the technical properties of the goods to be sorted are taken into account: Size and weight, centre of gravity, fragility, coefficient of friction.
Effectiveness is increased with the help of automatic sorting
The purpose of sorting goods (cartons, packages), is to divide the goods into groups according to one or more characteristics. When a production company receives goods, the main task is to divide them into different categories and direct them to the appropriate areas of the warehouse. In a logistics company, on the other hand, goods from different storage areas have to be assembled into a multi-line customer order.
The implementation of automation systems in warehouse operations enables the following:
- time saving during order picking;
- precise control of the flow of goods;
- minimisation of maintenance costs for the equipment;
- avoidance of errors when picking customer orders.
Automation of warehouse operations increases productivity and simplifies workflows.
KAPELOU has extensive experience in this field and adapts the equipment to the customer’s needs.
We will tell about other effective sorting systems in the following materials of the blog or in consultation.
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