Embracing innovative solutions for easier installation and maintenance

In recent years, the parcel industry has faced various challenges, such as fluctuating e-commerce trends and labour shortages. In response, many courier, express and parcel (CEP) companies have turned to automation to optimise their operations and minimise workforce requirements. While automated solutions are generally expected to reduce day-to-day manual tasks, their more complex nature can also increase workloads associated with installation and maintenance.

To ensure the benefits of automation outweigh any potential challenges, CEP companies should consider solutions that facilitate the installation and maintenance process, while enabling streamlined and continuous operations.

“Sorting centres in brownfield sites can be complex. Choosing solutions with plug-and-play capabilities and modular designs is key.”
Brendan Mathews
Product Manager – Transport & Convey

Streamlined installation

Sorting centres, particularly in brownfield sites, can be complex, making the integration of new technologies especially challenging. In this context, choosing solutions with plug-and-play capabilities and modular designs is key. These must also offer flexibility for easy adjustments or scaling up, enabling systems to evolve with operational needs.

By enhancing integration, certain technologies can play crucial roles, such as: Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems; Internet of Things (IoT) platforms; and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). Along with Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs), they can simplify the way we connect different devices and systems.

Minimising downtime

CEP companies also want to simplify maintenance operations to ensure their systems are always up and running. In the high-pressure environment of parcel delivery services, minimising downtime is essential to maintain efficiency and reliability.

The ideal equipment should allow for quick diagnostics and straightforward repairs. This can be achieved through modular designs that enable the easy replacement of parts, and systems capable of self-diagnosing and guiding technicians through the repair process.

Additionally, a simplified system can reduce the need for extensive operator training and facilitate more efficient maintenance activities. This approach not only accelerates these tasks, but also reduces the need for highly skilled on-site personnel – enhancing reliability and leading to fewer interruptions.

Furthermore, robust design is also critical to minimise downtime, and reduce equipment wear and tear. Engineering durable equipment helps to decrease operational disruptions and maintain consistent service levels, thereby enhancing overall operational performance and cost efficiency.

Vanderlande’s plug-and-play solution

Vanderlande’s Steerable Wheel Module (SWM) is a solution designed to redirect and align material flow between conveyors. It is also a great example of a piece of equipment that is easy to install and maintain. Designed with a plug-and-play approach and controlled by PLC, its integration process is straightforward as it can simply be placed in position and start operating. And because SWM uses a cassette system, parts can be easily removed and maintained.

Optimising processes and improving productivity are never easy tasks, but by embracing innovative solutions parcel companies can thrive in this dynamic and demanding environment.

Like to know more?

Every parcel company and market are different. This is reflected by the various layouts of depots and sortation centres. Our experts are available to offer help and advice in every respect.