High Speed Sortation - ProSort 400 Elite Series

Hytrol's ProSort 400 Elite family of sorters is specifically designed to handle high-speed applications. The ProSort 421 is designed to sort products at a 22-degree angle where high speeds are required. With the ProSort 421, speeds of 700 FPM are possible. The ProSort 431 is designed to sort products at a 30-degree angle where close divert centers are required. With this model, speeds of 350 FPM are possible. The ProSort 421 & 431 series is offered as single-sided, diverting from either side.

Read more about Hytrol's ProSort 400 Elite Series »
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Material Handling System Solution Specialists


H.D. Smith Wholeale Drug Company
SIC: 5122

H.D. Smith Increases Productivity With Hytrol System

Prior to the implementation of the Hytrol conveyor system, H. D. Smith had only two separate pick lines, one for over-the-counter products and one for Prescription products. The total conveyor system then was only about 100 feet of powered conveyor and 300 feet of gravity. In implementing the new Hytrol system, the company’s main objectives were to increase primary pick locations from 15,000 to 30,000, increase worker productivity, and shorten cycle time.

Product Flow:
RECEIVING: All receiving is done at the north end of the building. Product is received and brought by pallet to the receiving stations and scanned into the system. Products are removed from every carton and placed into a barcoded tote. All corrugate is deposited into an overhead trash conveyor (Hytrol Model TH) which carries it to an automatic baler located outside the building. The product is then married to the tote. The mainframe computer communicates with the conveyor control system (CCS) and tells the CCS which zone to send the tote. The totes are then conveyed across the building to the pick module, sorted to the correct zone, and placed into the correct pick location.

View of the Shipping Area

PICKING: Orders are printed in waves at the order induction station. Each order has its own barcode denoting an order identification number. The pick sheet is then married to a bar coded (license plate) pick tote. The host system then communicates to the CCS which pick zone or zones the tote must be sent. The tote is then routed only to the required pick zone(s).

CHECKING: Once an order is complete, the tote is conveyed to the checking area. The checkers remove the tote from the Hytrol zero-pressure accumulating conveyor (Model 190-ABEZ) and scan the pick ticket. Each item is then scanned and placed into a shipping tote. When the order has been confirmed complete and correct, a lid is placed on the tote. The tote is then placed onto the conveyor and moved to the shipping sortation conveyor (Hytrol Model SC). The computer communicates the license plate and its assigned sortation lane to the CCS.

SHIPPING: The totes are conveyed to and through an automatic strapper. The strapped totes are then inducted into the sortation system, the license plate is scanned, the appropriate sortation line determined, and the tote is sorted out.

EMPTY REPLENISHMENT TOTES: Once the replenishment totes are empty, they are placed on the line with the pick totes. On each pick level, there is a divert location where the empty replenishment totes are diverted off and conveyed back to the receiving station to be reused.

Benefits Realized:
Prior to the installation of this system, the average lines shipped per DC worker was 40 per hour. With the new system, the average is currently 104 lines per hour. Pickers are picking 250-300 lines per hour. Checkers are checking 350-400 lines per hour. In the past year, volume has increased 50%.

Customer satisfaction is evident from the comments received: "The material handling system installed by Century Conveyor Service is the foundation of a world class distribution center.”

Products handled: Pharmaceuticals and OTC drugs and other pharmacy stocked items
Size of facility: 100,000 sq. ft.
Employees: 65
Conveyors Used: High speed sortation, zero-pressure accumulating, roller-belt incline/decline, trash belt conveyor, skatewheel extendible

H.D. Smith Wholesale Drug Co.
Carlstadt, New Jersey
System Integrator:
Century Conveyor Service, Inc.
South Plainfield, New Jersey

H.D. Smith System Layout

Another view of the shipping area. Hytrol conveyors
are used extensively throughout the system.
From the receiving area, totes move into the rack and
shelving area.

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