Conveyor belt type systems to move many different types of things from one point to another have been in existence since the 19th century. They have been indispensable for agricultural projects, manufacturing plants and food processing lines, just to name a few.

Technological advances have been developed where the conveyor belt not only moves an item, but also can sort items at the same time. Here is the basic design of how a conveyor belt system can sort things, weeding out problems to help the production line move smoothly.

Sortation conveyor systems are very useful for types of things that need to maintain a precise shape, or for items that are either color-coded, or have a unique barcode system to sort them. Companies that require a perfectly sized item at a certain stage of production can benefit from a conveyor system that reads and sorts out improperly packaged merchandise.

There is also the frequent need to sort products by using a barcode data system. Conveyor belt systems with the ability to read barcodes and sort by product type, box category, or even zip code, are vital to both the manufacturing and shipping stage of production.

How Does it Work?

Packages enter the sortation line along a series of inbound traffic lanes. These lanes can be from different directions, allowing companies to have multiple lines for any particular job on their conveyor line. Each package that is added to the conveyor line merges smoothly in line with those already coming from another point in the chain.

At some point early in the sortation conveyor belt system, the packages will pass through a metering stage that separates the items an equal distance from one another. This is necessary, as the next step in the process requires a reading of either the weight of the item, or a read of the bar code on a package. If the line becomes too congested, this stage of the sortation can be compromised, disrupting the flow.

Once the component of the package is read, the weight, size, or barcode number, the packages are then diverted to a different belt, if they meet a preprogrammed series of requirements. Packages, or items that do not meet these criteria will be diverted off onto a secondary belt system where a worker can address the problem.

Situations That Use Sortation Conveyor Systems

Sortation conveyor systems are used extensively in the following types of operations:

  • Food handling and processing – especially canned and boxed foods for distribution benefit from being able to input multiple sortation criteria to move products along the line.
  • Sorting individual parts for shipment to main automobile manufacturing plants.
  • Any box, or package that uses a zip code bar can be sorted for shipment by region.
  • Packages and manufacturing materials can be sorted by weight and dimensions, and then diverted to different points along the production line.
  • Crates and tubs filled with different things such as recyclables can be sorted using a barcode system that is designed to distribute these containers to different places along the processing line.

Conveyor belts have made the lives of manufacturers and production lines much easier over the years, but the ability to also sort items along the way using automated sortation systems has been an enormous help. Sortation conveyor systems allow the smooth distribution of things along the conveyor line. Look on other websites for more info.