Machine Design
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Singulator Gets Parcels and Packages Organized

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The Automatic Parcel Singulator

The increasing amount of goods being sent by online retailers—not to mention the Post Office—is putting a premium on fast, accurate sorting of boxes, parcel, flats, totes, and sealed bags. To keep the packages flowing between unloading and sorting, engineers at Mechanica Sistema developed the Automatic Parcel Singulator, which is available  through the Beumer Group. The Singulator can separate, space, and align up to 4,500 items per hour, depending on parcel size. It handles packages ranging in weight from 0.1 to 35 kg and in size from 100 × 100 × 10 mm to 1,200 × 700 × 700 mm. The fully automated machine adjusts its speed in response to changing levels of demand on the pull (induction) side, thus minimizing the need for manual handling and supervision.

The machine uses a minimum of moving parts so there is less wear and tear. Power-saving features, such as variable speed drives and a sleep mode, save energy. The entire unit is controlled by PLCs. Frequency inverters let the machine recapture kinetic energy and convert it to electricity, minimizing its energy consumption.

Items can be fed into the singulator from fully automatic container tippers, boom conveyors, or loading conveyors. They then get aligned, spaced, and released in a single flow. The items go through a detector section that checks the dimensions. Those that are out of gauge are removed and diverted to another handling machine. Data from the detector can also be used to split the packages into two different lines, delivering them to another conveyor, sorter, or handling station. Parts on the Singulator can be changed or swapped out without using screws, which simplifies maintenance.

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