Tight integration for higher capacity with fewer trucks
Integrated sortation and yard management ensures speed and flexibility
To deliver a paradigm-shift to handle a growing volume of parcels, UK Mail’s purpose-built hub combines fully automated parcel processing with integrated yard management. This not only increases sorting speed, but also reduces the number of trucks.
As one of the UK’s leading integrated postal operators, the speed and flexibility provided by automated sortation enables UK Mail to extend cut-off time for next-day delivery parcels. It also ensures an agile response to future increases in demand.
The ease with which the sorter handles parcels across an extensive range of shapes and sizes streamlines the sortation process. A single sorter is able to manage items which weigh from 100 grams up to 49 kilograms and which have a height of just ten millimetres or a length of 1,395 millimetres. A higher percentage of parcels are handled through the automated sorting system to ensure a fast throughput. Items which are detected as being out-of-gauge, out-of-size and out-of-weight, are discharged automatically for manual handling.
Installed in a two-tier configuration, the lower, hammer-head sorter handles parcels for the local postal area whilst the upper layer sorts parcels for other locations. The sorter automatically transfers a local parcel which is detected on the upper layer, to the lower layer for local delivery.
The integration of the sorter’s SCADA overview and UK Mail’s yard management system optimises trailer movements and the unloading process. The control room is notified when a trailer is due to be emptied and the yard manager alerts the shunter via a mobile device. The unloaded trailer is removed and replaced with the next trailer for unloading in a swap-over time of just seven minutes. Downtime at the in-feed is also minimised to enable the system to maintain full capacity.
All parcels are unloaded from the trailer into a single dock which contributes to the number of trailer shunt movements. The processing of more loose loads, with fewer cages and pallets, provides optimum efficiency in the shipment process.
The operation throughout the sortation process is monitored by BEUMER Group’s software statistics programme, CIS, and the SCADA overview. The monitoring includes updates on the KPI for flow capacity and on the performance of each in-feed.
The automated sorting process, combined with tight integration of the yard management system, delivers an optimised parcel flow and reduces the environmental and operational costs.