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Merely utter the words “pop-up wheel sorter” and instantly one is bombarded with a plethora of negative remarks including “breaks, missed diverts, product damage, low speed, cheap.” The list goes on and on. However, Hytrol Conveyor Company’s ProSort SC Pivoting Wheel Sorter challenges all of these past observations. In my 23+ years in the material handling industry, I’ve yet to find a better, more cost-effective solution for mid-speed sortation.
Edward Don & Company is the world’s leading distributor of foodservice equipment and supplies. The key components of Edward Don’s continued success are their knowledgeable sales staff, unmatched product offering, strategic nationwide distribution network and the integration of new technology. These ingredients combine to make them the preferred supplier for all types of food service businesses including: independent restaurants, national chains, healthcare, hospitality, schools and universities, government institutions, and foodservice management.
Hytrol and the integration partner worked with Edward Don & Company to create a system that was user friendly, energy-efficient and customized to fit the company's specific type of product. With an inventory of 12,000 unique items available for shipment, it is easy to see why integrating new technology was critical for Edward Don & Company.
The new facility, which houses the corporate headquarters, is located in Woodridge, IL. When compared to the old facility, the new facility is 55,000 square feet larger in space with increased ceiling clearance. The taller ceilings and facility design allowed for an increase in cubic space, which increased the overall storage capacity. This increase means they can store twice as many reserve pallets, while picking and shipping up to six times more product using new picking methods allowed by the new system.
Mark Zabloudil, vice president of operations, was pleased with the competitive advantage delivered by the new system. “We looked at putting the conveyors in, which really afforded us an opportunity to make ourselves more efficient in how we process orders today, but then also afforded us the opportunity to bid on other business that we couldn’t compete against because our cost structure, based on our old method of processing orders, was too high.”
Zabloudil also commented on their decision to work with an integration partner. “In researching the best industry practices, we decided to leverage the experience of a Hytrol integration partner. During the early design process, the integration partner took the time to learn every detail behind Edward Don & Company’s operation and designed the most efficient system possible.”
Implementing an automated sortation system is an important step in creating an efficient and competitive solution. There are several key factors to consider before deciding what equipment best suits your needs. Whether your goal is to streamline facility processes, prepare for future growth or simply increase throughput, these guidelines will equip you with the tools to select the best sortation solution for your facility.
1. Throughput Requirements
How much product do I need to move through the sorter per hour? per shift? per day?
2. Type of Item
What type of product will I be running through the sorter (i.e. fragile or delicate items)?
Since its first delivery in 1944, California Cartage Company has become an industry leader in trucking, warehousing, and deconsolidation, owning and operating highly specialized logistics divisions nationwide. As a third-party logistics company, or 3PL, Cal Cartage provides customers a multitude of services. Their facility in Suffolk, Virginia, houses a cross-docking operation servicing a well-known major retailer. “We make it easier for large companies to break down their freight and ship out to their distribution centers. We condense the actual supply chain. We make that process very easy for potential customers,” said Jammie Faltz, assistant general manager.
Hytrol and the integration partner worked diligently with Cal Cartage to implement an automated material handling system capable of processing the customer’s large volume of product. The conveyor system gives Cal Cartage the capacity to deconsolidate up to 20 containers at the same time, with 4 additional doors for future growth.
“We were able to achieve some really unexpected goals, and we were able to make our customer happy and meet their demands." — Gary Taylor, engineering and maintenance manager
"Some of the containers would normally take 8 to 9 hours to process. Now, we can process them in 3 hours." — Jammie Faltz, assistant general manager