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Information on the products and techniques to better store, handle, and move products in your facility.

A quick guide to sortation conveyors & systems

Sortation conveyor system

Sortation Conveyors divert a product from one conveyor line to another. By using controls and multiple sortation conveyors, product can be sorted by diverting the product only to the appropriate conveyor. From basic pushers to sophisticated cross-belt sorters, distribution centers and warehousing operators have more options today than ever when it comes to automated product sortation.

Standard Sortation Conveyors:

diverterSlow-speed sortation (fewer than 30 cartons per minute)

This is obviously the slowest type of sortation, and usually the least expensive. It works with standard belt conveyors or roller conveyors, and handles fewer than 30 cartons a minute.

Methodologies can include deflector arms or pushers. You need to allow more space between conveyed cartons when utilizing lower speed sortation.

Medium Speed Sortation Systems  (from 30 up to 150 cartons per minute)

pop up sortation belt conveyorPop up sorters are the most popular variation of medium speed sortation. Products or cartons are transported down the conveyor line until they reach a designated point, where they are diverted by wheels or popup rollers. This method lifts the carton slightly off the line and move it off, typically at a 30 to 45 degree angle.

Hytrol’s Model SC sortation conveyor is an excellent example of this way of diverting cartons from the conveyor line (page includes an illustrative video).
High-speed sortation conveyors can divert anywhere from 150 to 400 items or cartons every minute. The most common sortation types for high speed applications are tilt tray, cross-belt, “bomb” bay, and high-speed shoe sorters. The first three kinds are used to select and sort individual items to workstations or packing stations. Shoe sorters are generally used for larger items.

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Scott Stone Cisco-Eagle's Director of Marketing. He has over 25 years of experience in the industry.