Moving and Thinking outside of the box: Solutions for Large and Irregular Product
Conveyance needs vary greatly from company to company, but typically they center around a few key factors:
- How quickly can products get to customers?
- What type of products are being moved?
- What is the size, shape, and weight of the products?
With the prevalence and popularity of e-commerce, consumers expect to be able to buy pretty much anything they can dream of online and have it shipped to them quickly. This consumer desire poses both potential payouts and issues for those in the business of shipping those goods.
The attributes of the product can pose a challenge as well. For instance, how do you ship a couch? Or a new wheel for a tractor? Firstly, you’ll look at both the overall weight and the dimensions of the product. Even if something isn’t overly heavy, it can cause issues due to shape—think of an aluminum ladder or a rolled-up area rug. In most cases, items that don’t fit standard parcel dimensions will often have to be sorted manually.
So, what’s the problem with manual sortation?
A few drawbacks to manual sortation are:
- Decreased productivity
- Labor requirements
- Risk of error and injury
There are some that will argue that a person can work just as hard as a machine, but the downside is people get tired, whereas automation can run continuously at the same rate, given the proper maintenance. Finding people to do the manual jobs in the e-commerce and warehousing markets is also becoming increasingly difficult. Some operations require skilled labor and, especially in the case of heavy product, there is an ever-present risk of injury which could halt productivity altogether.
It is beneficial to reevaluate your sortation set up periodically to see where automation is possible. Through the innovation of conveyance technology, there is equipment that can lighten the load, both literally and figuratively, of your workforce. Giving these innovations some careful thought and attention can lead to efficient processes like those exhibited with moving “regular” items. In addition, human labor can be reassigned to other high-priority tasks within your operation.
If you are unsure where to begin in seeking out these innovations, let Hytrol help. A possible solution to conveying the “non-conveyable” is the Hytrol ProSort 1400 LP. It is an exceptional choice for any business needing to move a wide range of product. The LP can accommodate items as small as a 4”X 6” box and as large as a set of patio furniture. You can see more on the ProSort 1400 LP here.
Hytrol has also put together a useful tool in the Sortation White Paper which gives a detailed breakdown of the wide array of sortation offerings currently in market.