In modern parcel sortation centres, one of the most commonly overlooked areas for improvement is the ‘infeed’ station at a CROSSORTER. This is the point at which items of various sizes are fed on to the CROSSORTER for final sortation and shipping. Typically, several infeed points are required in a busy hub.
However, there are a number of challenges associated with this process. Many companies struggle to effectively handle items of different sizes, as well as move packages at the highest possible speed. The ability to sort a large volume of items within the required timeframe and to the correct outgoing dock – without the need for manual intervention – is often a depot’s biggest challenge.
The most effective infeed process must take into account a number of factors. For example, larger items require more space, but if they are waiting on the final infeed station, it is difficult to find a suitable gap for them on the conveyor. The heaviest packages can also potentially damage other items.
In addition, if multiple items on the sorter have the same destination, the sorter exit could become blocked and cause damage. This means that the system must vary the destination of each parcel across all infeed stations. These issues must be accounted for while delivering the highest level of capacity, and reducing the number of damaged and missorted items.
Utilising state-of-the-art software is one of the main contributors to achieving an optimal operation during the infeed process. If integrated correctly, an automated solution powered by intelligent software can – on average – increase the capacity at this stage to over 3,000 items per hour per infeed. Alongside hardware, this is why software now forms a key part of Vanderlande’s proposition in the parcel market.
This approach has already been recognised by software quality company TIOBE. It credits the best performing projects in its quarterly Software Quality awards. Out of more than 3000 qualifying software projects from various multinationals, Vanderlande’s software for loop sorters – the FSC7.2 Controller – was awarded third place in the category “very large projects” in the first quarter of 2018.
"This result of the FSC7.2 Controller team is outstanding given the fact that there is a fierce competition between companies to become the best in the world concerning software code quality", according to Paul Jansen, Managing Director TIOBE Software BV.
For more information about the TIOBE awards, visit tiobe.com/tqi/awards/