Distribution Management Group (DMG), was opening a new facility in Cranberry, N.J. The third-party logistics (3PL) company was responsible for sorting, packing and shipping products for its clients in the footwear industry. Seeking equipment to reliably process and ship 100 shoe boxes per minute, DMG chose a crossbelt sortation solution.
The company originally wanted to model the new distribution center after their existing facilities. Previously, employees pushed carts up and down aisles picking shoes. When filled, carts were taken to a central sorting area where other workers pulled boxes from carts and packed them until each order was filled. The process was effective, but it was too labor-intensive and would not be manageable at the anticipated volumes.
The modular new solution features crossbelt sorter technology (Interroll) that reduces electricity costs, simplifies maintenance and makes product packing and distribution more efficient. The project manager (Conveyor Handling Company) had to address a combination of high product volumes and the need to sort color, size and style combinations by the hundreds.
Unlike traditional crossbelt sorters, the solution uses a pneumatically actuated plate and drive wheel mechanism to transfer goods to the appropriate chute, rather than a motor on each carrier. This reduces electricity costs and simplifies maintenance to increase reliability. The system is smart and accurate, with automatic recirculation of “no-reads” and overflow products. This is especially important in e-tail, where system demands are unpredictable, and customer return rates are much higher.
The sorter’s modular design is compact and easy to reconfigure based on changing needs. In this particular application, the customer double-stacked the conveyor, maximizing the system’s throughput without increasing its footprint. The company now ships 15,000 to 30,000 pairs of shoes each day, with capacity for much more.
“We have only choice for conveyor systems, sorters, materials handling equipment and integrations,” says John Roca, vice president of DMG. “They have a highly skilled team that responds with practical solutions and reliable equipment, one that stands behind all of their work and offer outstanding after-the-sale service.”
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