Cross-belt Energy Savings

March 13, 2007
(Sidebar to "Save the Earth While Saving Some Money" from the March 2007 issue of Automation World)
Sandvik Sorting Systems LLC is one of the world’s leading makers of high speed sorting systems for material handling. For the new Toronto distribution hub of Canpar Transport L.P., one of Canada’s leading parcel handling companies, Sandvik was able to reduce equipment footprint by 40 percent while more than doubling throughput.“We eliminated a hodge-podge of mechanical systems by replacing traditional accumulation conveyers with a cross-belt system,” explains sales engineer Terry Cambron, who is based at Sandvik’s North American headquarters in Louisville, Ky. “We calculate this system will save a customer up to $50,000 annually on energy bills.”Sandvik uses products from Germany-based SEW-Eurodrive for the decentralized control and power transmission systems in its equipment. Integrating electrical and mechanical systems is critical to achieving more efficient equipment, according to Cambron. He credits SEW, which makes both gearmotors and drives as well as integrated systems, with helping Sandvik’s mechanical and electrical engineers merge their expertise to design new equipment.Sandvik’s cross-belt sorter uses a series of cells that each carries a parcel, with a buffer between to ensure a smooth, controlled flow. When each cell reaches a set point, it fires and sends a package either right or left, perpendicular to the sorter, toward its destination. The system weighs less than previous systems because it eliminates chain drives, sprockets and slats, and uses carriers made with extruded aluminum.“Bringing new equipment designs to market is always a challenge because it requires an educational process,” says Cambron. “It was a new way of doing things that met their objectives for energy savings, greater equipment reliability, increased productivity, smaller footprints and reduced maintenance.”To see the main story this sidebar was taken from - "Save the Earth While Saving Some Money" - please visit