Automatically sorting books, within the book sector sorting systems have been used for years. Worldwide, for large book distribution companies, Hexapole has implemented automatic sortation solutions for optimal handling of books. As books are susceptible for fall damage it is of great importance to use the right sorting machine. A flat sorter (also known as a bomb-bay sorter) in combination with adequate software is particularly suitable for books as it ensures the books fall flat into the destinations / cartons.
The books are either inserted manually into the trays or inserted through an automatic infeed belt. As soon as the tray is located over the related destination, the tray is opened and the book is dropped in the appropriate carton.
A common difference in comparison with the retail sector is that book distribution companies do not have their own shops and depend on orders. This is why a physical sorting destination often cannot be statically assigned to a shop. The Hexapole Standard Booksorting Software contains a module for dynamically assigning orders to physical destinations; dynamic allocation. Sorting books, the benefits at a glance:
- The sorter uses dynamic allocation; orders are dynamically linked to stations at the moment the first article for that order is inserted into the sorter
- The content of the box is not predefined; articles inserted into the sorter are added to the boxes until a specified volume is reached
- As soon as box is full, the next available station is automatically assigned to the same order. In this way, other books from the same order, can directly be dropped instead of going round in the machine until the original destination becomes available
- Utilisation of the sorter is kept low, allowing the operators to insert more books per hour and make better use of the machine capacity
- Order / station allocation is dynamic, allowing a better throughput in situations where there are more orders than stations
To ensure boxes are not overfilled, the Hexapole Standard Booksorting Software works with both individual book volumes and a volume for the boxes:
- The individual volume per book is known by the software
- Per article the default volume can manually be changed by the operator
- When volume is unknown a default volume is used
- The software can deal with multiple boxes of different sizes
- Boxes are filled until a predefined volume percentage is being reached
- A destination / box can always manually be set to full by the operator
Reporting to ERP or WMS
The Hexapole Standard Booksorting Software delivers a content report for each individual box. This report is being sent to the overlying ERP or WMS system. Also a shortage report (what books were expected but not delivered) is always sent at the end of each run.
Our Hexapole Standard Boosorting Software is, despite to its name, open for user specific modifications. Meaning, when required, additional functionality can be created and added to the standard modules. The software consists of a solid basis, originated by over 20 years of experience. This basis can be expanded with customer specific sorting algorithms. Also the communication with the overlying ERP or WMS system can be arranged according customer wishes.
Are you interested in more information about our solutions for book sortation?
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