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A Quick Guide to Sortation Conveyors

What type of sortation solution fits your need?

Sortation Inquiry

conveyor ergonomics in a warehouse distribution operation
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.

There are many options for sorting and diverting loads. Which fits your needs?

Standard Sortation Conveyors:

conveyor diverter system

Slow-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.

pop up sortation belt conveyor

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

Pop 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

conveyor ergonomics in a warehouse distribution operation

These are the high-velocity sorters that 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 is Cisco-Eagle's Vice President of Marketing with more than thirty years of experience in material handling, warehousing and industrial operations. His work is published in multiple industry journals an websites on a variety of warehousing topics. He writes about automation, warehousing, safety, manufacturing and other areas of concern for industrial operations and those who operate them.

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