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What Should You Know About Automated Sortation?

Automated sortation systems move packages through a network of conveyors and sorters to direct the package to its proper destination. Packages may be sorted several times before reaching their final destination. Other features include systems that can combine several packages into a single package, for example, for efficient bulk delivery.

What Are Optical Sorters?

Optical sorters use photocells to identify the orientation of packages and direct them onto different conveyors for further processing. Optical systems may also call for the manual relocation of misplaced or mislabeled packages by human workers. On the contrary, mechanical systems cannot easily relocate misplaced items.

How Do Mechanical Sortation Systems Work?

Mechanical sortation systems use the shape of a package, i.e., its length, width, and height, to identify its destination. These sorters do not require labels because they rely on an accurate model of all packages that may pass through the system. This allows them to more easily be used to handle packages of different sizes and shapes. Mechanical systems may be used for combined automated sortation. The mechanical sortation systems may use pneumatic tubes or trays, which can carry more than one package at a time. These tubes/ trays allow the sorter to move multiple items more quickly than with an optical system where each package is handled individually.

How Are Unmanned Automated Systems Used?

UAS systems are used for package sorting, where the goal is to sort packages by zip code or other addressing information. These systems use sensors that can identify the orientation of a package and direct it onto the proper conveyor belt. They are particularly useful for large facilities with many different items passing through, where it would be too expensive to hire enough employees to label each item manually.

Automated sortation systems are increasingly used to streamline processes for companies of varying sizes. There are significant benefits from using sorted belt conveyors at a warehouse facility. The system was implemented as a way to eliminate a bottleneck that had been created by the increased speed of the conveyor belts.

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