About the Patent
With the rapid growth in businesses and market needs, a new challenge in optimum management of the inventory or warehouses is booming. The modern e-commerce sector has made it necessary to speed up order fulfilment procedures. One of the key tasks in completing the order is sorting the items and packages.
Robotic sorting is one of the fastest techniques of sortation, and it is mostly controlled by the speed of the robots’ movements. However, these conventional systems are only capable of travelling at significantly moderate speeds and losses stability and navigational controls at higher speeds.
This means that despite the presence of a number of ground-based robotic sortation devices, a significant amount of sorting is still done manually but FLEXLI TECHNOLOGIES PRIVATE LIMITED has found the solution to this problem by patenting a system for sorting packages which requires minimal manual assistance. This patent (Application number: 202241056449) was filed at the Indian Patent Office and was granted in the year 2023.
How It Works
This model talks about the fast movement of packages without involving any manual or robotic assistance as the present model involves an inventive step compared to the conventional models i.e. use of barcode and scanner for mobility of packages at desired location with speed regulators and collision prevention modules.
The present patent has replaced the robotic sortation with overhead conveyors along with control units which regulates the smooth manoeuvrability of the carriage. The control unit consists of a scanner for scanning the identity mark which could be a barcode, an RFID or a QR code on the package defining the location to be dropped.
The control unit also contains a repository, where the whole map of the conveyor along with the location of receiving stations of the packages are stored. The processor in the control unit controls the movement of the carriage by generating actuating signal after receiving scanned signal, the processor uses the repository to determine the path and movement of the carriage with respect to the identified locality.
The control unit also contains other microprocessors, digital signal processors etc. to manipulate the signal based on an operational instrument such as regulating the speed of the carriage. The guide rails along which the packages move also contains indicators at each receiving station.
At these stations, the packages are released and the sensing unit in the control unit senses these indicators and generates deactivating signals for stopping the carriage and releasing the package at a predetermined time. It then generates actuating signal to continue the movement of the carriage for the delivery of next package.
This whole system of sorting has reduced the manual labour so efficiently as the whole system works on the actuators and signals, even the receiving station and carriage contains actuator which receives the release signal simultaneously.
There is also a collision prevention module in this system which creates a coordination between different actuators and facilitates change in lanes of the carriage to prevent collision with other carriages if the timings of the carriages overlap with each other.
From the understanding of this patent it can be concluded that this system of operation and sorting the packages has reduced the manual and robotic input at a significant level that too without compromising the efficiency and accuracy of the process.
If one is in a business where he has to deal with the management of the warehouse then one of the major challenges- that of slow and irregular sorting can be avoided by replacing the conventional sorting system with these fast moving overhead conveyor belts along with smooth moving package carriages system based on barcodes and scanners in order to deliver the package at the desired location.
Yet another object that this patent fulfills is to provide a system for sorting packages in a relatively economic manner, hence this patent can be a boon to all those who are in the business of production or have to deal with warehouse management.
Author: Lakshya Chauhan, Legal Intern at PA Legal.
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