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1) Sortation

Separating items (parcels, boxes, cartons, parts, etc.) according to their intended destination within a plant or for transit.

2) Tray sorter

A high speed type of sorting conveyor with sorts in the 250 cases per minute range, this type consists of a continuously moving train of independent trays that move in a straight line and recirculate in either a horizontal or vertical (over and under) closed loop. At the proper moment, controls cause the tray to tilt to either side, thereby discharging the load to the desired take away lane.

3) Bombadier sorter

A device in which items are dropped down through swinging doors to a desired location.

4) Cross belt sorter conveyor

Another form of the tray sorter is where the tray is replaced by a short belt conveyor section with its direction of travel orientated perpendicular to the line of travel of the main train. At the proper moment the belt stepper motor is energized propelling its load to either side and the desired takeaway lane. See also Tray sorter .

5) Shoe sorter conveyor

The conveying surface consists of continuously linked slats. The linked slats move in a manner similar to a belt. Between each slat, along one side, there is a shoe that moves along with the slats. Each shoe is capable of simultaneous independent lateral movement from one side of the conveyor to the other at the same time as it continues to move forward. At the appropriate time, controls sequence as many shoes as necessary, depending on the size of the load, to move from one side of the conveyor to the other, contacting the side of the load, thus directing the load to one of multiple discharge or take-away lanes. The take-away lanes can be powered by gravity. At the end of the run, after the last take-away lane, and on the return (remember the main sort lines move like a belt), the shoes are all reset to their original side. Such sorters are capable of higher sort rates in the range of 150 cases per minute. Another name for this type of sorter is surfing sorter .

6) Pop-up chain sorter

The change in conveying direction is limited to being perpendicular to the original flow. Such a system is not suited to high- speed sortation and is mainly used for a load transfer or simple directional changes. It is suited best to handling heavy loads such as full pallets.

7) Pop-up skewed wheel sorter

An in-line diverter conveyor that has wheels that pop up between the rollers of a powered roller conveyor or between belt conveyor segments and direct sorted items onto a powered take-away line. Fairly high speed sorting, in the range of 120 cases per minute, can be achieved.

8) Conveyor & Sortation Systems (CSS) Industry Group

The Conveyor & Sortation Systems (CSS) members are the Industry’s leading providers of conveyors and sortation systems. They design, fabricate and install conveyor and sortation systems worldwide and in virtually every major manufacturing and distribution sector. CSS prepares and distributes educational and promotional materials regarding the proper application and benefits of conveyor and sortation system solutions.

9) Loading dock

The sorting or staging platform where shipments are loaded or unloaded.

10) Dock

The sorting or staging platform where shipments are loaded or unloaded.

11) Motor driven pusher

An electric motor driven conveyor sortation device.  See Pneumatic pusher .

12) Package detection

The use of sensors to identify the presence of an object typically to actuate another device for the process of identification, sorting, sizing, etc.

13) Diverter

A device on a conveyor sortation system used to move a case/carton/piece off the main line.

14) Line shaft diverter

Roller diverters used in line shaft conveyor to sort and redirect materials along a powered conveyor line. 

15) Pneumatic pusher

An air-powered conveyor sortation device.  This device utilizes a ram and cylinder configuration and its movement is programmed to redirect packages and materials on a conveyor line.