Bulk feed to singulator: Process optimisation
Process optimisation at PostNord Parcel Centre, Veddesta, Sweden
PostNord’s parcel centre at Veddesta near Stockholm, Sweden, was developed placing priority on improving logistics by having an optimised sortation process to deliver efficient flexibility, alongside sound environmental sustainability.
To meet the target for sustainability, the PostNord system is based on the industry’s most energy-efficient sorter which uses Linear Synchronous Motor (LSM) technology to cut energy consumption by up to 75% compared to sorters which use conventional motor technology. The system also integrates two automatic parcel singulators which drive efficiency by streamlining the sortation process from induction to dispatch.
Parcels are received at the bulk in-feed via fully automatic tippers and conveyors. The singulators provide an intelligent link between the upstream bulk in-feed and induction to the cross-belt sorter and manage the parcel flow by releasing or reducing the number of parcels to match the available sorter capacity. The singulators convert the flow from the bulk in-feed into a single line of evenly spaced parcels. Items which are side-by-side, overweight and too long, tall or thin are automatically detected and diverted to a separate conveyor line. The singulators ensure a smooth flow or parcels on to the sorter and optimise the process to manage peaks in demand.
PostNord’s Parcel Centre at Veddesta, Sweden, uses the sorter to minimise the cost per item whilst delivering the highest speed and service.
The parcels are cross-loaded at the induction to the sorter which enables the sorter to handle parcels up to 1200mm long on a single belt. As an automated process, human intervention and manual lifting are minimised with camera scanning and Optical Character Recognition (OCR), in addition to system-wide optimisation with BEUMER Group’ SCADA and software controls.
Fast throughput is enhanced with the flexible transport options which are supported by over 200 discharge chutes from the sorter. These transport options enable PostNord to reduce the traffic through the centre of Stockholm, in addition to reducing fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions.
The spiral chutes use consecutive roller lands or extendable boom conveyors to despatch parcels for palletising or into one of twelve roller cages. Direct chutes discharge parcels for dynamic loose loading onto lorries or swap-bodies, while smaller parcels are discharged directly into bulk boxes or roller cages.
The sortation system at Veddesta is the culmination of a forty-year partnership with PostNord during which successive generations of technology have enhanced the efficiency of the sortation process.