It’s a nice night, you’re curled up in your favorite chair with a hot cup of coffee, and you’ve just opened the book you’re eager to finish. Before you start reading, did you ever stop and think how exactly that exquisite little novel ended up in your hands? Sure, you may have picked it up at a store, borrowed it from a friend, or bought it at a yard sale, but where did it come from before then?
Books must be printed, assembled, and delivered somewhere. You may have heard the term “publishing house,” but what do you picture a publishing house to look like? Do you think of a warehouse or a small factory, perhaps? If there’s one thing book distributors and publishers often count on, it’s an efficient conveyor system to make sure the right groups of books get from point a to point b.
For example, take Zondervan Publishing House, a book distributor and publisher in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Their success depends on a new picking, replenishment, and shipping conveyor system. What elements make up such a system?
Specifics of a Conveyor System
- Receiving Conveyor – All products are loaded on the receiving conveyor and thus begin their journey.
- Pre-Sorter – A pre-sorter is exactly what it sounds like. Products are initially sorted depending on the set criteria.
- Carton Flow – You may have encountered this setup on a trip to the grocery store. Carton flow means when the front product is taken out, or picked, the products behind flow to the front. This keeps workers from having to unnecessarily reach or bend to fetch more products.
- Pop-up Wheel Sorter – When a product reaches a certain point on the conveyor belt system, a subsystem collects its information in order to direct it to the correct destination. The pop-up wheels divert the product in the right direction.
- Shelving Sorter; UBT Bidirectional Transfers – Bidirectional transfers can transfer products in two directions: either parallel to or perpendicular from the current conveyor.
- Shipping Sorter – Shipping sorters are the final step in getting products to their destination. The shipping sorter also is a pop-up wheel sorter.
Post Conveyor System
After shipping, the books are delivered to retailers for you and others to find. Although you may just focus on the final product and its place in your lap, sometimes it is interesting to sit back and think of all the steps that needed to be taken before it fell into your possession. In addition, think of just how many books are sent through conveyor systems, sorted, and packaged up every day. Yours is one of a great many.
This post made possible by viastore, a global supplier of conveyor systems.