Automated Sortation Series, Part One:
Overview and Benefits
Automated Sortation is a powerful tool that is leaned on heavily by manufacturers and distributors alike in the material handling, ecommerce and order fulfillment industries. Over the years, this technology has become more and more sophisticated. If you still rely on manual sortation methods in your operations, it’s high time to consider automation. Automated Sortation solutions can benefit your operation in a number of ways, most notable by increasing efficiency and reducing the reliance on labor and the costs that come with it.
Part One of CCS’s Automated Sortation Series will explain what Automated Sortation is and provide an expanded list of the potential benefits of Automated Sortation. Stay tuned next week for Part Two of our Automated Sortation Series, which will outline the applications for Automated Sortation and options. The following week, Part Three will cover the different types of Automated Sortation systems and go over the pros and cons of each. With this information, you’ll be able to make an educated decision about a) whether or not Automated Sortation is right for your operation and b) what the best Sortation system for your throughput needs is.
Automated Sortation: Overview
Simply put, Sortation is the process by which items moving through a conveyor system are identified and subsequently moved to a specific location within an operation. Manual Sortation relies on human labor to do the identifying and diverting. With this reliance on manual labor comes high labor costs, human error and the potential for workers compensation claims if the items being sorted are particularly heavy or awkward. Automated Sortation replaces the need for manual intervention with technology that is able to read data on an item, and machines or robots that gets the item where it needs to go. This technology most often includes barcode scanners and/or other types of sensors. The beauty of Automated Sortation — especially in this day and age — is that the options available to you for sensors, sorters and diverters are widely varied and should be selected carefully to ensure they are custom-tailored to your operation’s needs.
Automated Sortation: Benefits
The benefits of Automated Sortation is different for every operation and will have differing impacts on product handling and throughput. Generally speaking, these are the three primary benefits of Automated Sortation:
Reduced Labor Costs. Eliminating the need for manual labor in your operation will most always pay off in the long run. Expenses like payroll and workers compensation claims are guaranteed to decrease when you start turning to more and more automated solutions and can make a big impact on your bottom line. Plus, Automated Sortation solutions are more reliable and consistent than their human counterparts, so you will benefit from less broken or damaged product and fewer accidents overall.
Improved Order Accuracy. As you’ll soon read below, two of the major application where Automated Sortation can be the most beneficial is Picking & Packing and Shipping. With Automated Sortation solutions, you will see a sharp decrease in errors made while fulfilling orders, providing a huge boost to efficiency and throughput as you’ll be spending less time and money fixing mistakes made by workers.
Fewer Touch Points. Have you ever taken a serious look at your operation and asked the question, “How many touch points does it take for a worker to process a package in my warehouse?” Odds are, the answer is simply “too many.” Automated Sortation can be a huge step towards optimal efficiency in your operation by reducing these touch points and ultimately saving you time and money.
Stay tuned for Part Two of our Sortation Series, covering Automated Sortation Applications.
You can find information about out Sortation Solutions here: https://www.cartercontrols.com/conveyor/sortation-transfers.