FATH Components has announced the arrival of its Flowsort automated diverting units, said to herald a new era of affordable, flexible sorting in conveying, handling and logistics
As the intralogistics industry continues to expand at pace, one of the challenges faced by conveyor line designers and systems integrators – never mind the customers themselves – is where to pitch a plant design or upgrade in terms of its capacity. Overly ambitious predictions can cost lots of money with valuable equipment purchased, installed and maintained whether it is used or not and overly cautious planning can strangle a rapidly growing business at a critically early point in its growth. With the arrival of its new Flowsort products, FATH states that it can help customers solve the dilemma by offering a new solution which is affordable, simple to install and set up, and can grow easily as a business expands.
Flowsort is a modular sorting and diverting product that has been designed from the outset to provide users in the intralogistics business with that most elusive combination of advantages – the benefits of speed, low investment cost, low running costs and scaleability.
“Some think of Flowsort as a ‘Pay as you go’ solution for users who need to invest in greater throughput only when the demand actually increases,” says FATH UK Managing Director David Hayes. “Flowsort helps obviate the need to second guess growth rates by allowing users to purchase and install additional conveying and diverting capacity only when they actually need it. And when they do, Flowsort installation is swift and straightforward.”
The company, based in Aldershot, UK reckons that for every mammoth intralogisitics centre in the UK there are many smaller, more localised or specialised sorting centres that are much more difficult to design processing and handling systems for. It is these users that FATH says it is targeting with Flowsort because put simply, it allows an intralogistics business to start sensibly and grow smoothly with an affordable, flexible solution that is fully modular and is also – critically – a simple ‘Plug and play’ system too.
Unlike many alternative solutions, Flowsort is an open platform in terms of both software and hardware integration: it means that Flowsort modules can be seamlessly incorporated into a wide range of belt or roller conveying systems. They can be added swiftly and effortlessly says FATH, thanks to the simplicity and range of units offered. Further, the fact that Flowsort can be retrofitted and introduced into existing lines at almost any point (and without interrupting productivity) is cited as another key advantage.
Designed and manufactured in Holland, Flowsort modules can be combined in a variety of ways to offer gentle package diverting in conveyor systems with widths between 400mm and 1050mm. FATH states that the footprint of the Flowsort modules is minimal, so users benefit from higher performance conveying and sorting without taking up significant floorspace. Further, because the Flowsort units run on 24V, energy efficiency is also high, helping users be more productive whilst using less power.
Three types of standard Flowsort diverting units are offered, Single Line Diverters (SLD), Double Line Diverters (DLD) and ZigZag Diverters (ZZ). Because the units are modular, users can expand throughput capacity quickly, easily and cost efficiently by simply adding extra modules as demand increases. The Flowsort rollers can rotate through 180° in just 0.3/sec, allowing a completely customisable outfeed direction. FATH claims a sorting rate of up to 6,000 PPH for the units, which can safely handle boxes, packages or envelopes of between 50g and 35kg.