Depending on the industry, picking and sorting may be one of the most valuable departments in the factory. This isn’t an exaggeration. Just think of the immense confusion that can arise from the wrong parts going into a project or packaging. Imagine the wrong items going out to clients. A picking and sorting sector needs to operate systematically in order to work well. Let’s take a look at an industry that thrives on being able to pick and sort tons of material each day—the recycling industry.

Creating Priorities

When evaluating picking and sorting systems, knowing the product is paramount. In a recycling debris delivery, the materials are often in a large, completely unsorted pile. The facility sorting the materials does so by priority, using qualifiers like value to determine what is used from the debris and what is sent down the line for further processing. Things like wood and aluminum are used to make other wood and aluminum products. Valuable scrap metals are particularly sought after. These are the priority items around which the picking and sorting system is created.

Keep It Moving

A recycling facility runs smoothly because the system is configured to relieve the pressure points in the picking and sorting process. The system of conveyors, sorting machines, and human sorting are used to ensure that the system does not get hung up on an item or two. Safeguards are also in place along the way, to ensure that small pieces of miscellaneous debris are rejected, before they can derail the entire line.

Never Too Much Capacity

The right machinery for the job seems to be common sense in picking and sorting. However, companies grow at an unanticipated rate, or they buy basic equipment to do a job that is more specialized. In these cases, the machinery does not fit the job. Running machines at more than their capacity causes breakdowns, slowdowns, and quality control issues, which can eventually defeat the purpose of having a picking and sorting system in the first place.

These concepts work very well in distribution and even in introducing materials into the production phase as well. The recycling industry emphasizes the need for a strong system that is prioritized with safeguards and the proper equipment with which to do the job. As in all industrial settings, it is crucial that machinery is properly maintained, and all personnel are fully trained.

Eagle Technologies Group is an industry leader in the design and installation of factory automation systems worldwide.