Intellisort Sorter: Common Repairs, Upgrades & Spare Parts
The Intellisort sorter is a popular line of sliding shoe sorters produced and distributed by Intelligrated for use in order fulfillment and material handling. It is effectively the next iteration of the popular UniSort sorter.
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Does your warehouse or distribution center currently leverage an Intellisort? Are you currently utilizing a UniSort, but considering an upgrade to Intellisort?
Below, we discuss how the Intellisort sorter works and how it is different from the UniSort of the past. We also discuss the most common repairs and maintenance that the equipment sees, the spare parts that you should always keep on hand to facilitate these repairs, and more, so that you can make an informed decision about what role the Intellisort might be able to play in your operation.
As mentioned above, Intellisort is Intelligrated’s line of sorters. The product line consists of pop-up wheel, cross-belt, tilt-tray, bombay, push tray, and sliding shoe sorters. Because the sliding shoe sorter is the most popular and commonly-used Intellisort sorter, this is the technology that we are highlighting in this article.
In operations which leverage an Intellisort sliding shoe sorter, product is conveyed across a series of slats. Between each slat, there is a slight gap, in which sits a sliding shoe. When activated, this shoe (or a series of shoes, depending on the size of the product) slides across the conveyor in order to divert product as necessary.
While the mode of diverting product is relatively straightforward, these sorters offer a substantial improvement over older sorters, which consisted of tubes instead of slats. Slats provide a greater surface area for the product to sit on and allow for a smaller gap, both of which reduces the risk of product or packages falling into the conveyor and causing damage or unplanned downtime.
Common Repairs for the Intellisort
As with any conveyor or piece of equipment which sees a lot of use, the Intellisort will require regular maintenance in order to keep it operating at peak condition over the long haul. Regularly auditing your sorter to understand its current state and how it is performing should be an integral piece of your maintenance strategy.
That being said, there are certain common repairs that the Intellisort is likely to experience, which you should be prepared to address should the need arise.
One of the most common repairs for the Intellisort will be replacing worn or damaged slats. Over time these components will wear down due to years or decades of conveying product. Similarly, though it is less common for product to fall between the slats than it is for product to fall between rollers or tubes, it does still occasionally happen. When it does happen, slats can pop out of place and potentially become damaged.
Another relatively common repair is to replace or shorten a stretched-out chain. Underneath the conveyor, on the return side, there is a section where the chain which drives the conveyor hangs free (the catenary). Because the chain weighs so much, over time they can stretch out. Once that happens, the sorter is likely to experience many issues, including potentially popped slats, and so on. This will commonly occur more on one side of the conveyor than the other.
Spare Parts for the Intellisort
Whether your operation leverages an Intellisort or a different piece of sortation technology, we recommend that you follow a predictive spare parts management process, wherein you always keep the most essential spare parts on hand in your operation. Doing so will help you prevent and minimize unplanned downtime in the event that a repair suddenly becomes necessary.
In our experience, for the Intellisort, these components include:
- Spare slats and shoes, in case one or a series of slats pops out and becomes damaged.
- Spare chains, in case the chain driving your machine rusts, snaps, stretches, or becomes otherwise damaged.
- Spare drivetrain components, such as a motor and reducer, so that you will be able to minimize downtime in the event that one of these critical components breaks down.
If you would like to purchase spare parts for your Intellisort sliding shoe sorter, you can do so here.
Upgrading Options for the Intellisort
The Intellisort is a relatively new piece of technology, which means that there are not currently many upgrade options available for operations leveraging them.
If you find that your Intellisort is not operating as you would expect it to work, that it is increasingly causing exceptions or other errors, or that it simply can’t keep up with the throughput necessary, conducting a sorter audit can help you determine a path forward which may include swapping out your Intellisort for a different piece of technology altogether. Because this will vary dramatically depending on your operation, it is impossible to generalize what these alternatives might look like.
If you are currently leveraging a UniSort or other, older model of sliding shoe sorter, upgrading to an Intellisort can be a highly effective means of increasing throughput, reducing errors, and minimizing maintenance costs.
Sorting Through All Your Options
Whether your operation currently leverages an Intellisort Sorter which is experiencing increased need for repairs or which is failing to meet your business needs, or you’re considering making the switch to the Intellisort from another technology (like the UniSort), you’ve got many options at your disposal. While choice is a good thing, it can also become overwhelming, particularly if you are unsure of how each option differs from the other.
Working with a skilled and trusted systems integrator can be an effective way of sorting through all of your options in order to select the one that makes the most sense for your business. Conducting a sorter audit can identify weaknesses in your existing system which can be addressed through repair or upgrades, and a wider warehouse audit can help you better understand how sortation fits in with your operation as a whole.
At Conveyco, our skilled technicians are experts at not only evaluating the equipment, but also in performing both routine maintenance and upkeep as well as full upgrades. They can also help you identify other potential solutions to your order fulfillment challenges. Ready to get started? Schedule a free consultation today.