Skyfall system with fully automatic infeed and delivery stations

Gentle, fast goods distribution

Up to 2000 pockets per hour: automatic loading and unloading stations increase pocket sorter efficiency
(PresseBox) ( Hinwil/Switzerland, )
Swiss company Ferag AG is rounding out the Skyfall pocket sorter launched three years ago with fully automatic loading and unloading stations developed in-house. Both of these enhancements, which will be exhibited for the first time at a trade fair, boost SkySorter efficiency many times over in its primary purpose of goods distribution and order fulfilment. The new Ferag solution achieves loading and unloading rates of 2000 pockets per hour – so far unmatched in the industry. The two innovations target online retailers and multi-channel operators whose product range does not exceed ten kilograms in weight. Integrated into the Skyfall technology, the systems facilitate mechanical handling not only of textiles but also food, drinks and household goods. Articles slide under their own weight into the Skyfall pockets, then at the end of the conveying and sortation process they slip gently back out again.

The Skyfall system developed by Ferag has rapidly penetrated a wide range of applications ranging from automotive, construction chemicals, food & beverage and fashion logistics to hospital laundry logistics, to name just a few examples. The Swiss company’s latest innovations come in the area of loading and unloading conveyed goods, in other words the upstream and downstream interfaces of an overhead conveyor technology that is both highly efficient and tailored to economical energy consumption. The pocket sorters, which are used mainly in goods distribution, can now be loaded and unloaded automatically. In a parallel effort, the Swiss engineers have designed devices for users in the fashion sector that make the same thing possible for textile goods suspended on hangers. What’s special: with SkySorter, a random mix of pocketed and suspended goods can be automatically checked in, sorted, buffered and checked out again.

Ferag has newly designed SkySorter merchandise pockets with sides made of elastic synthetic fibres, built for optimal automated filling and emptying. The level of performance is highly impressive: “Being able to load and unload up to 2000 pockets per hour is unheard-of in this context; typical for the industry are rates of 800 to 1000 pockets per hour,” says Ferag CEO Jürg Möckli. He proudly points out the possibility to even fill several items into one pocket.

At the loading point, products automatically drop into the prepared pocket; at the end of the Skyfall line a tilting mechanism tips over the pockets so those items can slide out in a controlled manner. Small rubber flaps and retention flabs ensure that this is extremely easy on products. Conveyed items or items for sortation then proceed to goods issue or order picking and are packed for dispatch to the consumer. “Both of these new developments are interesting for Skyfall users looking to extensively automate their goods distribution,” continues Möckli. The only limitation: the weight of the pocket plus its payload must not exceed ten kilograms.
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