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Automated Sortation System: Reasons To Choose and Avoid

In the quickly changing e-commerce and logistics sector, automated sortation systems are rising as a key differentiator for warehouse efficiency. As companies grapple with the decision to automate, it’s imperative to understand the multifaceted impact of sorting systems on operations.

We will discuss the compelling reasons to adopt as well as the potential challenges to navigating automated sortation systems. Sit with us to learn all you need to make a better decision in this regard.

Understanding Sortation System

A sortation system can automatically categorize items into designated groups. After scanning and reading the information on the product, the sorting system sends them to different lanes based on their destination or other sorting criteria like product type, picking bins or zones, weight or size, etc.

After items arrive at the warehouse and are labeled with a unique tag, they move along with the conveyor belt and pass through the high-speed scanner. The information encoded in the tags is sent to the system control unit, which then makes the decision to sort.

These items then reach their final sorting stage, where they are directed to their intended pathways by diverted conveyors, tilt-tray sorters, or automated sortation robots.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Sortation Systems

Automated sortation systems are widely used in e-commerce, post and parcels, pharmaceuticals supply, and large airports for quickly sorting and delivering goods to specified locations.

Benefits of Automated Sortation System

  • Improved Efficiency and Throughput: Automated sorting can function at high speed without breaks and with fewer mistakes. You no longer need to worry about high-volume handling and picking demands when entering busy seasons.
  • Enhanced Order Accuracy: Sortation systems use automatic barcode reading technology together with advanced system and algorithm integration to ensure correct items are sorted, and the optimal routes are assigned. With less manual operation and more data intelligence, it reduces the errors significantly.
  • Wide Compatibility: Warehouse sortation systems can usually accommodate parcels of multiple sizes, shapes, or materials and allow you to handle different product types, thereby maximizing efficiency and productivity.
  • Cost Reduction: Higher throughput for the same amount of time means higher productivity and lower operational costs. You can also save money with lower labor costs as this sorting station reduces the need for manual labor.
  • Scalability for Growth: With modular designs, modern sortation conveyors can quickly adapt to increased order volumes and different warehouse layouts, ensuring timely order fulfillment when the business grows in the future.

Drawbacks of Automated Sortation System

It is no secret that automated sortation systems are very helpful. But still it is not implemented in every warehouse. Its drawbacks and limitations are listed below:

  • High Costs: The sorting system doesn’t come cheap. You need to purchase the equipment and pay for special installation and ongoing maintenance. The power consumption also adds to the cost over time, making the ROI uncertain.
  • Complex Implementation: Automated sorting station requires optimal warehouse reconfiguration to put the equipment. In addition, it needs to connect to the Warehouse Management System or Order Processing Systems to realize its full potential in real-time visibility and seamless order fulfillment.
  • Difficult Management for Staff: Operating and maintaining automated sorting systems often requires specialized technical skills that may not be readily available among existing warehouse staff. Training employees to effectively use and troubleshoot these systems can be time-consuming and costly.
  • Technology Dependent: Automated sortation systems rely heavily on technology, including sensors, software, and control systems. Any malfunctions can disrupt operations and require skilled technicians to troubleshoot and repair.

Is the Sortation System Right for You?

With a clear understanding of the benefits and drawbacks, the next step is to evaluate whether a sortation system is the right fit for your business. Consider factors such as

High Volume and Varying SKUs

If your warehouse deals with a high volume of orders and a wide variety of products (SKUs), an automated sorting workstation can streamline the sorting process.

Need for Rapid and Accurate Order Fulfillment

Sortation systems excel at rapidly processing orders with high accuracy. If your business requires fast and precise order fulfillment to meet customer demands and maintain competitiveness, sortation conveyor systems can help you.

Limited Warehouse Space

Sortation systems optimize space utilization by facilitating dense storage configurations and maximizing throughput within the available footprint, allowing you to make the most of your warehouse space.

In general, you would best benefit from an automated sorting system if you were e-commerce retailers, wholesalers and distributors, third-party logistics (3PL) providers, or food and medicine delivery services.

How to Avoid Common Pitfalls in Sortation System Implementation

As with any significant investment, avoiding pitfalls is key to a successful outcome. By taking a strategic approach, businesses can mitigate risks and ensure that their sortation system serves as a cornerstone for operational excellence rather than a source of frustration.

To maximize the benefits of the sortation system and avoid common pitfalls, you should:

  • Make an in-depth assessment of your present warehouse operations to identify specific needs and difficulties.
  • Consult with high-quality vendors to explore available options and tailor solutions to your unique requirements.
  • Consider initially implementing the system for specific tasks or areas of your warehouse before full deployment.
  • Explore a hybrid approach that combines automated sortation with manual processes to maximize efficiency and flexibility.
  • Ensure sufficient staff training to effectively operate and maintain the sortation system, mitigating potential issues and maximizing its benefits.

HWArobotics – A Professional Sortation System Supplier

Let’s now focus on HWArobotics, a provider that has the know-how and trustworthiness to guide you through the challenges of sorting systems.

For businesses seeking efficient order fulfillment solutions, HWArobotics offers a range of cutting-edge sortation systems tailored to diverse needs.

HWArobotics’ workstation series includes:

  • PSS105 single-layer sorting station, offering ergonomic design for semi-automated split picking
  • GTR200 goods-to-robot sorting station, revolutionizing split-picking processes with innovative robotics technology
  • PSD310 double-layer sorting station, ideal for split picking in various industries

Whether you operate in e-commerce, manufacturing, logistics, or healthcare, our solutions ensure rapid, accurate, and efficient order fulfillment, enabling you to stay competitive and meet customer demands. Unlock productivity and optimize your warehouse operations with HWArobotics’s advanced sortation systems.


In conclusion, the decision to implement an automated sortation system is a significant one, fraught with potential benefits and challenges. Businesses can turn their logistics operations into an efficient unit that is prepared to handle future demands with careful thought, strategic planning, and the appropriate partner.


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