One of Europe’s largest parcel express companies consistently reviews its internal material handling operations and recently focused its efforts on achieving the following: (1) reducing package handling costs per unit, (2) reducing labor expenses and associated costs, and (3) improving service levels. Additionally, the company required material handling solutions to be operator-friendly, to have a small footprint, and to offer the flexibility to adapt to future requirements.
The Dynamic Volume and Weight Checker is a key element of the material handling process in depots because it simplifies the billing process. In order to perform accurate weight and volume readings, packages must be spaced apart and ordered in a single file. When parcels travel side-by-side on the preceding conveyors, the Dynamic Volume and Weight Checker cannot distinguish individual packages, which results in inaccurate measurements, no-reads, or interruptions in operation.
No-reads, or rejects, are recirculated within the system. This causes congestion, which hinders parcel flow and incurs undue costs on downstream operations. Side-by-side packages result in inconsistent operations and require significant labor costs to manually rework the recirculated packages.
To automate the singulation of parcels, the depot chose the Intralox Activated Roller Belt™ (ARB) singulator solution because they believed that the smart technology would reliably eliminate side-by-side parcels and thereby decrease the no-read rate.
Because Intralox believes that the Activated Roller Belt offers the best parcel and package material handling solution on the market, Intralox provided the components for the first installation on a No Cure, No Pay basis.
The Intralox ARB singulator employs Intralox’s patented technology: a robust, modular plastic belt features integrated rollers that steer parcels to uniformly line up along the center of the belt. Each singulator is custom designed to the specific needs of an operation or specific location. The system may consist of multiple singulation conveyors, depending on requirements such as throughput and product type.
The installation of the Intralox Activated Roller Belt singulator in three depots has proven a success, contributing to this large depot achieving its business objectives. With Intralox’s ARB singulator solution, the Dynamic Volume and Weight Checker no-read rate has significantly decreased, resulting in increased throughput capacity, a steady flow of packages for downstream sortation operations, and less necessary reworking of parcels.
The Intralox ARB singulators significantly increased the throughput of the total system by reducing side-by-sides by 95% and eliminating 74% of misdirected items. The depot received a payback in approximately ten months.