Package Handling
DCS’s design and engineering team has more than 40 years of experience creating unique parcel handling systems for diverse customer applications. With installations including semi-automated handling in small city distribution centers and fully automated, integrated hubs with advanced conveyor and sorter equipment, DCS routinely thinks outside the box.
E-Commerce and Multi-Channel Fulfillment
DCS designs and implements end-to-end warehouse automation solutions for e-commerce and multi-channel retailers that address numerous workflow challenges. This includes solutions for receiving, putaway, storage, replenishment, order fulfillment, picking, packing, sortation, and outbound shipping. Our custom integrated warehouse, distribution, and fulfillment systems draw from a deep pool of conventional, semi-automated, and automated material handling technologies.
Various Distribution Applications
Whether an operation is considering the construction of a new distribution or fulfillment center, or a retrofit or expansion of an existing facility, it’s important to create a solution that fits the overarching supply chain strategy. DCS has four decades of experience designing and integrating comprehensive, end-to-end material handling solutions that meet a multitude of operational goals. Whether conventional, semi-automated, or fully automated, DCS can help your organization implement a custom solution that meets its goals while maximizing return on investment (ROI).
Supply Chain Consulting
The DCS Supply Chain Consulting team offers a range of services to help your operations address the challenges it faces. Working in partnership with you, DCS consultants analyze your business data- existing workforce, workflow processes, inventory, order data, operations, and more- to determine a strategy that addresses your unique needs. Whether you need an operations assessment, process improvement recommendations, or distribution design services, DCS consultants will help guide you to the material handling system or operational solution that best meets your current and future needs, as well as your budget.
Customer Support
Keeping your warehouse operations and material handling systems running smoothly and at the peak of productivity are the goals of DCS’ Customer Service Team. By partnering with DCS, your warehouse automation solution is supported from commissioning to end of life. You’ll receive comprehensive in-house training of your personnel, including specialized training of your designated internal system expert. Plus, DCS offers a complete package of spare parts and expert system troubleshooting support from qualified engineers dedicated to your installation.
System Design & Integration
DCS offers a broad range of material handling equipment and automated system design, installation, and integration services for a multitude of projects. These include retrofits, expansions, upgrades, and more. While every project is unique, our system design and execution processes are the same, encompassing meticulous attention to detail, frequent communication, and a dedicated partnership with our clients.
About Us
Designed Conveyor Systems (DCS) has 40 years of experience serving major clients in multiple industries by providing material handling, full-scale warehouse operations, and conveyor design solutions that are custom crafted for their needs. DCS does not sell ready-made conveyor systems but builds relationships that empower collaboration to craft custom warehouse designs together. DCS utilizes consulting, engineering design, project management, installation services, and client support to ensure our customers can keep their promises to deliver on time.
Projects
With more than 40 years of experience providing automated system design, installation, and integration services, DCS has created solutions for companies throughout the United States in a broad range of industries and markets. We’ve completed more than 1500 projects ranging from greenfield facilities with completely new systems to expansions and retrofits of existing operations.

3 Approaches To Increasing Outbound Sortation Flexibility

3 Approaches To Increasing Outbound Sortation Flexibility

by John Knudsen, Lead Solutions Manager

Just because it comes at the end of the fulfillment process doesn’t mean outbound sortation should be an afterthought. Particularly today, when the demands of e-commerce and the need to minimize shipping costs have resulted in shippers using a diverse array of secondary packaging sizes, shapes, weights and types.

Yet, that packaging diversity – cartons, polybags, envelopes, mailers – coupled with abrupt swings between normal and peak throughput demands can be challenging for a single automated solution to handle without a significant investment. Instead, many facilities resort to costly and scarce manual labor to pre-sort outbound shipments to meet carrier preferences, and struggle to keep up with spikes in volume.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Instead, by applying the right combination of semi-automated sortation solutions, an operation can successfully – and affordably – handle and control the vast array of outbound parcel types, even during high-volume peak periods and with limited headcount. By blending multiple types of sortation technologies, retail fulfillment shippers gain the ability to flex their resources – both equipment and personnel – as needed to keep pace with end customer expectations.

Here, I’ll walk through three different approaches we’ve recently developed that integrate multiple, different semi-automated sorting systems from different original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to flexibly address sortation challenges.

1. At MODEX 2020, we showcased the turnkey Semi-Automated Bulk Sort Solution.This system incorporates a bulk sorter outfitted with a series of pushers. As the flow of mixed outbound parcels passes by, the pushers are timed to impel a batch of multiple parcels off the belt onto a chute. Each pusher-chute combination feeds a separate manual sortation workstation, each staffed by an operator who manually sorts the items by destination and size. From that initial semi-automated sortation point, the sorted parcels are routed to one of several zones, depending on their destination or characteristics. These include a final zone for small parcels sorted into different carrier gaylords (with or without optional light-directed putwalls); an accumulation lane that buffers outbound cartons; and a zone of carton sortation for manual routing to carrier-specific lanes. To support spikes in order volumes (both daily and seasonally), each zone of this system is modularly configurable, with areas turned off and on as needed. This allows management to add or change sort positions on-the-fly and reallocate their permanent or temporary workforce to better manage throughput surges.

2. For an application struggling to separate its smallest outbound parcels from medium-sized outbound case shipments, we’ve developed a stacked sortation system using two different types of sorter technologies. All parcels are initially sorted by type, individually, onto appropriate take-away conveyance. A singulated system carries larger cartons and sorts those items onto chutes leading down to a destination point; this prevents the smaller items from being damaged or lost within the system. The small items can be bulk handled, automatically singulated, and sorted into different carriers’ bulk containers for optimal shipping rates, while cases transported directly to outbound lanes are separated by carrier for loading.

3. One of the easiest ways to merge the diverse throughput while maintaining flexibility in truck loading is to deploy portable sections of roller conveyor or small, powered belt loaders at the dock. This accommodates a variety of diverse loading needs. When outbound parcels reach the shipping dock on a recirculating sorter, items are typically sorted to their destination carrier van or trailer. To increase throughput and reduce walking, these portable, small section conveyor solutions can be utilized as needed – moved away or offset to the dock openings – allowing alternative loading of trailers or vans at more effective productivity rates.

Through creative application of a variety of semi-automated sortation technologies and flexible, movable standard equipment, your e-commerce fulfillment operation can maximize existing labor and equipment to better handle shifting volumes. We’d love to talk with you about creating an approach to boost your outbound sortation throughput and flexibility.

Want to learn more about how DCS can create an affordable outbound sortation solution for your operation?
Connect with us.

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Author

John Knudsen, Lead Solutions Manager,johnk@designedconveyor.com

A 25-year veteran of the material handling industry in his second year with DCS, John has worn many hats u2013 business modeling, process and system concepting, system design, project management and implementation, and operational improvement u2013 and has settled in over the past year as the Lead Solutions Manager. Outside of the office, John loves to fish and hunt, and is into traveling and spending time with his family.