What is a Sortation Conveyor System? A Buyer's Guide
Sortation Conveyor Systems Guide
Sortation systems complete with scanners, controls etc., often cost more than the average company can afford to spend. At SJF, we believe that you don't need to invest a small fortune to incorporate one of these sorter systems into your operation. We specialize in previously-owned sortation systems that will do everything the new systems will do for you and more. You'll have peace of mind knowing that we can provide you with everything from design, layout, programming and installation from one single source.
SJF has successfully put several systems into operation for customers just like you. They are all currently sorting products at a fraction of the cost than a new system would have set them back. Take a look at the different types of sortation conveyor systems we can provide.
In the example shown to the right, the packages enter the sorter via the inbound traffic lanes where they merge with the recirculating packages. They will pass through the Gap Metering Belt which creates an equal distance between each package before arriving at the weigh station. In this system, based on the weight of the package, the scale will send a signal to the sorter to divert the package to the appropriate sort lane. Packages not identified will be sent to the recirculation line for a second attempt.
Several types of Sortation Conveyors are available for different applications. Below are some sample images and information on the different types of sorters. If you have any questions about the best conveyor solution for your operation, please contact an SJF sales professional at (320) 485-4974 (direct sales line) or (800) 598-5532. Sortation conveyor systems are large and very complicated systems and should only be installed by professional installers that are knowledgeable in conveyor and the tips & tricks of the trade.
Types of Sortation Conveyor Systems
Cross Belt Sortation Systems
Advantages of Cross-Belt Sorters include quietness, ability to have sort points close together, sorting to the right or left and versatile layouts such as straight, "L" or oval paths with inclines and declines.
Tilt Tray Sortation Systems
Tilt Tray Sorters use trays that are connected in a chain and tip to both sides, dumping packages into chutes or sides. The advantages to using this type of system is low noise levels and the ability to sort small, flat or delicate items. This is a common type of sorter for the publishing industry.
Tilt Slat Sortation Systems
A Tilt Slat Sorter's conveying surface is made up of slats that can be tilted to the right or left. Packages travel in close proximity and only the slats under them will be activated to tilt.
Pop-up Belt/Chain Sortation Systems
Pop-up Belt/Chain Sorters use pop-up sorters to sort boxes or containers to either side of a main conveyor line. They work by pulling heavy packages onto angled spurs at high speeds. The belt or chain used is matched to the package being handled, for example heavy wooden items may use a chain while lighter cardboard boxes would use a rubber belt.
Sliding Shoe Sortation Systems
Sliding Shoe Sorters are one of the fastest continuous sorters. A row of sliding shoes travels across the sorter path smoothly, easing containers onto takeaway spurs. Typically, this is used in conjunction with photo eyes that either push the package onto an alternate lane or allow the package to continue down the main conveyor line to the correct lane.
Pusher/Diverter Sortation Systems
Pusher/Diverter Sorters have spur or sort points located very close together and handle heavy products. They are slow to medium speed because the diverter mechanism must return across the belt before intercepting the next package.
Pop-up Roller Sortation System
A Pop-up Roller Sorter is driven by its own motor at a higher speed than the main-line conveyor. In sorting, the roller grabs the leading edge of the container and leads it off onto a spur.
Swivel Wheel/Roller Sortation System
This Swivel Wheel/Roller Sorter diverter can work with belt or roller conveyors to drive packages off to the right or left using a roller that will swivel in place to either allow the package to pass or be diverted. Divert points can be as close as three-foot center. Main-line belt conveyors are typically less noisy than most roller types.