03 November 2022

Sorting to Gaylords: Overcoming the Bulk Bin Blues

Sorting to Gaylords is integral to the productivity of distribution and e-commerce centers. In case you’re not familiar with the term, “Gaylords” are large corrugated boxes used to move a sizable volume of materials. The name originates from Gaylord Container Company of St. Louis, the first to manufacture these boxes in the early 20th century.

Not only do Gaylords allow for the transportation of products in bulk, but they’re useful for a variety of goods, from bulk foods to apparel. Gaylords are typically a familiar means to ship and store your inventory, rather appropriate for a company tackling logistics. 

Yet there are challenges associated with sorting to such voluminous containers. Let’s see if adoption of the DoraSorter Sort-to-Gaylord solution can help your operation use them to their full potential.

The Pitfalls of Manual Sorting

Despite the quintessential nature of Gaylords, sorting to them presents an assortment of operational challenges. Sorting to boxes as high as 60” tall can place strain on the human body, especially when the action is done repeatedly throughout the workday. You also run the risk of missorts. While “mistakes happen,” the cost of shipping mistakes can add up fast, resulting in significant financial loss.

Even if you focus on achieving a high degree of accuracy and safety, it may come with sacrificing an equally vital element of your operation: speed. In an industry where delivering goods to clients in a timely manner is of utmost importance, every hour counts, as does your sorting throughput. If you’re sacrificing speed to prevent mistakes or vice versa, it means your operation’s throughput is being adversely affected.

To promote profit and efficiency, Dorabot has configured a version of the DoraSorter specifically for the Sort-to-Gaylord process. 

The Sum of Its Parts

One thing that sets the DoraSorter apart from other sorting solutions is its patented conveyer belt end-effector (CBEE), which swiftly sorts virtually any type of package. With the CBEE’s versatility matched up with superior motion planning, polybags and small parcels can be sorted at high speed, exceeding 1,000 units per hour. As a result, companies handling lightweight consumer goods, such as cosmetics and apparel, find this solution incredibly appealing. 

Speedy sorting to discrete destinations relies on the utility of the system’s barcode scanners, and the use of high definition 3D cameras too. Both provide ‘vision’ to the system in different ways. It’s the barcode scanners that help the DoraSorter identify the appropriate destination of each parcel, allowing it to sort diverse packages to up to 20 unique gaylord destinations. 

The DoraSorter is made even more intelligent by the use of 3D cameras, which may be used to identify when any given Gaylord is reaching its capacity. The overhead system senses the height of the contents inside, providing “fullness detection” notifications. 

To optimize the time spent sorting, customers are provided a sorting heat map. The heat map indicates the sorting speeds associated with each destination location, enabling higher volume destinations to be placed in faster sort locations. When possible, the system may employ duplicate gaylord locations for high volume destinations. This ensures that less time is required for swapping out full gaylords, which helps to boost throughput.

Customized Solutions

Like every DoraSorter solution, the Sort-to-Gaylord is highly configurable. Integration with a customer’s warehouse management system (WMS) and enterprise system is an important example. This ensures a strategic and consistent workflow as real-time data is collected, interpreted, and reported. Integration empowers customers to change sort maps on the fly and access real-time parcel status information.

By further automating solutions and adopting new forms of intelligent robotics, our customers are finding new opportunities to boost their operations. Autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) may be integrated for even faster pallet swapping. This eliminates the need for manual forklifts to transport heavy gaylords to outbound shipping lanes or other downstream processes.

Additionally, the DoraInductor can be integrated to work in tandem with the DoraSorter. As the DoraInductor receives a bulk of incoming parcels, it can create singulated flow that matches the optimal processing rate of the DoraSorter.

The DoraSorter Sort-to-Gaylord is redefining the true value of large container sortation. Not only does it provide greater accuracy and higher throughput, but it also creates less redundant and stressful operations, letting operators move onto tasks that allow for greater creativity and deeper thinking. 

Maybe the DoraSorter is just right for you? Let’s chat