Systems integrator Invata Intralogistics specializes in full-scale, automated solutions for fulfillment and distribution centers. A well-established, omni-channel retail group hired Invata to help launch a new e-commerce distribution center in Massachusetts.
This facility, which was to span nearly 450,000 sq ft (41,806 sq m), represented a major investment for the retail group. Invata was charged with providing a “worry-free” system that could handle several package types—including polybags and small boxes—while achieving a throughput target of 25,000 packages per day.
Invata designated Intralox® Activated Roller Belt™ (ARB™) technology as a critical part of its automated material handling system. ARB systems can handle a wide range of products within a small footprint, and are especially adept at handling polybags and small boxes without jams, pinches, or damage. Intralox provided two pieces of equipment: an ARB Sorter S7000 and an ARB Aligner S7000.
Positioned near the beginning of the line, the ARB Aligner S7000 aligns polybags and small boxes to allow for accurate placement of shipping labels. Further on, the ARB Sorter S7000—which measures 96 ft (29.3 m) in length—sorts bi-directionally to 12 exits, with an additional exit for exceptional items that need to be manually reprocessed. Packages are automatically sorted by weight, type, and delivery options; each exit corresponds to a different parcel carrier, price, and service level. Polybags are fed to one of eight gaylords via chutes; small boxes travel to extendable loading conveyors by way of a de-elevating spiral conveyor.
Invata’s system has enabled a standard throughput average of 25,000 packages per day, with the ability to achieve approximately 50,000 packages daily during peak seasons. Previously, the retail group had relied on predetermined shipping methods that dictated where and how packages were shipped. Inaccurate weight readings were a common problem; often, packages had to be reprocessed to ensure they were delivered correctly. Intralox’s ARB solution replaced this process while ensuring more accurate sortation and more efficient product handling.
Invata’s founder, Jay Moris, had high praise for his company’s ongoing relationship with Intralox: “Intralox is great to work with and is very responsive from a business and engineering standpoint. They’re very helpful when it comes to getting the equipment tested and into the field. When Intralox says it will do something, it does. Their equipment performs as they say it will.”