Automated Sortation Series, Part Three: Sorter Types

If you haven’t yet, be sure to read Part One and Part Two of our Automated Sortation Series, where we list the key benefits and applications of using Automated Sortation in your warehouse operation.

This third and final entry of the series will cover the different types of Automated Sortation systems and go over the pros and cons of each. Collectively, you’ll be able to use this information 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.

There are a wide variety of Sortation options currently available. Here, we have listed 7 of the most common types. Each type has listed whether or not it is best for Case Sorting or Unit Sorting, a brief description of each, an outline of the pros and cons of each an an estimated throughput range which can vary from system to system.

 

Sorter Name Type Description Pros Cons Throughput Range
Pusher Sorter Case Pneumatic pushers mounted next to conveyor push a case at a right angle when activated onto a different conveyor line.
  • Low cost
  • Good for low-quality cases and varied case weight and size
  • Not suitable for fragile items
  • Relatively low throughput
10 - 30 parcels per minute
Paddle Sorter Case A pivoting arm implement activates to manually direct a case to auxiliary conveyor lines.
  • Low cost
  • Extremely efficient with uniform case sizes
  • Not suitable for fragile items
  • Items can become lodged under the arm 
30 - 100 parcels per minute
Pop-up Sorter Case Wheels, rollers or belts housed inside of a belt conveyor “pop up” to move an item at an angle to different conveyor lines.
  • Low cost
  • Easily integrated
  • Modular design
  • Lower maximum throughput
  • Difficulty with cases that vary greatly in weight
40 - 100 parcels per minute
Cross-belt Sorter Unit Miniature conveyor belts placed perpendicularly on top of a conveyor line activate to move product into chute or other takeaway conveyor.
  • High sorting rate
  • Can handle a diverse range of parcels and packages
  • Less suitable for fragile items
  • High Cost
100 - 200+ parcels per minute
Tilt Tray Sorter Unit A system of linked trays tilt to transfer a parcel into a chute where orders are compiled.
  • High sorting rate
  • Can handle a diverse range of parcels and packages
  • Less suitable for fragile items
  • High Cost
100 - 200+ parcels per minute
Push Tray Sorter Unit Trays mounted to carts on a conveyor line hold items and when activated a push bar diverts the item.
  • More suitable for fragile items
  • More cost effective than tilt tray or cross-belt
  • Slower sortation rate
  • Lower maximum throughput
30 - 60 parcels per minute
Flat Sorter Unit Trays on a conveyor system act like trap doors  and drop parcels either directly into a shipping carton or another sorting chute.
  • High unit sortation speed
  • More efficient if sorted directly into a shipping carton
  • Less suitable for larger items
  • Less suitable for cases
100 - 230 parcels per minute

 

This concludes our Sortation Series. If you missed them, click here to read Part One, and click here to read Part Two

If you think Automated Sortation could help improve efficiency in your system, feel free to Contact Us to discuss possible solutions. You can find information about out Sortation Solutions here: https://www.cartercontrols.com/conveyor/sortation-transfers

We promise that we won't SPAM you.