Solution breakdown: SD-sorter with automatic infeed

With the increasing amount of parcels and rising pressure on delivery times, the need for automation has never been higher for CE, 3PL, and e-commerce companies. This is reflected in a growing demand for automatic infeed. Automatic or semi-automatic infeed enables higher throughput and improved accuracy without upscaling personnel.

Our solution used at GLS Spain includes an SD-sorter in a wide oval layout, combined with roll container tipper, conveyor belt, pocket belt, scanners, and auto infeed. Inbound items are transported in roll containers and leave the premises in large postal bags. Due to the station layout with large bags and the limited available space, the infeed had to be placed on a raised platform. To supply the operators with a continuous flow of items and maintain their productivity, the conveyor belt is used as an induction buffer. Read our guide on optimizing the induction capacity for alternative ways to increase operator efficiency.


  1. Roll containers
    Items arrive in roll containers. These containers are transported towards the sorter for further handling.
  2. Conveyor belt
    The roll containers are emptied and items are put on the conveyor belt. This conveyor moves the items to the raised platform, supplying the operators with a continuous flow of items. The process of emptying the roll container can be further automated by using roll container tippers. This reduces the physical load of operators and offers a more ergonomic and efficient solution.
  3. Pocket belt
    Operators on top of the platform only need to correctly position the items on the pocket belt. This greatly increases their productivity and with it the throughput of the sorter.
  4. Identification and scanning
    The integrated scanning system reduces human error by employing accurate and fail-safe scanning. After the pocket belts, the barcodes will be scanned on 2 sides: top and bottom. The identification can be expanded with other integrations such as dimensioning, weighing, and scanning (DWS) or Optical Character Recognition (OCR).
  5. Infeed
    The automatic infeed system ensures the parcels are correctly induced in the sorter system.  By automating this task,  the number of errors can be drastically reduced. This specific SD-sorter installation with a wide oval layout can handle over 12.000 parcels per hour.
  6. SD-sorter
    In this example, we have included a SD-sorter. This sorter is also commonly known as a bomb bay sorter or SD-sorter but opposed to these versions the SD-sorter uses single door trays to drop items which is a more reliable solution for parcel customers. The automatic infeed is not limited to this sorter and can be integrated for our SD-sorter, slide tray sorter, split tray sorter or LR-sorter as well.

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