Shippers seeing an increase in volume will need to consider mechanized sorting systems, which allow for increased sorting speed without the corresponding need for added employees, Supply Chain Digest reported recently.
The systems range widely in price and efficiency levels, depending on the number of items to be processed, from the entry level starting at $250,000 for roughly 10,000 packages per day, to the high end costing $6-10 million and handling up to 60,000 cases per shift.
However, the price tag on the technology is only part of the story, as companies must also consider the assets they bring to the table, including their own warehouse managing system, staffing, and resources necessary to support the solution.
Sorting machines play an important role across all supply chains, though none more than the food chain. Consumable food demands thorough inspection and sorting, especially within the production line, where it is initially sorted by color, size, shape, and weight.
Due to global food shortages, increased efficiency and waste reduction is an absolute requirement. Within the food production industry, sorting machines filter other material from the main product, such as undesirable seeds or rot from grains. Optical sorters are employed on such harvested foods as fruits, potatoes, vegetables and nuts, where its non-damaging technology is especially useful. By contrast, manual sorting is slow, antiquated and inefficient. Optical sorting aids in product quality, increased yields and lower labor costs. Employing the two together ---- mechanical filters and optical sorters ---- has proven to be an excellent method of improving food quality standards.