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This innovative sorting equipment focuses strongly on ergonomic solutions, increasing productivity and efficiency, improving quality and service performance and reducing the likelihood of injury. These vertical sorting frames have been implemented in 14 international postal organisations. Prolog has experienced postal professionals who can ensure the optimum benefits are obtained from the introduction of the Tubular Sorting Frames by implementing our extensive process improvement, training and address management programmes. Our experience has shown introducing this vertical tubular sorting frames can often be a catalyst for reviewing current practices and establishing new best practice for related processes, further enhancing the productivity gains.
Key features that distinguish this frame from other sorting frames:
- Vertical Sorting
- Future proof design
- Mobility and Ease of Assembly
- Manufacturing Process
The Tubular Sorting Frame utilises the vertical sorting concepts for sorting mail in one efficient step to the final destination. Sorting mail horizontally to the final destination requires multiple sorts usually to a street or street block first followed by a sequence sort into delivery/ final destination order. Sorting mail vertically requires only one sort with each final destination having a unique location/ slot on the sorting frame. By sorting mail vertically against horizontally for the final destination this significantly improves indoor mail productivity with typically a 40% gain in real worker output.
The Tubular Sorting Frame typically consists of two or three spines, with up to five shelves on each spine. Each shelf is made up of three to five 250mm shelf modules.
The Tubular Sorting Frame allows for a high degree of configurability and modularity with only the number of spines and shelves required having to be purchased. Every shelf frame is able to be expanded or contracted to three lengths and every shelf can be positioned at any height on the Frame removing the need for different shelves. As each sorting frame can comprise of a number of individual addresses and is used for different types and volumes of mail, the sorting frames can be configured with the exact number of shelf modules required. This ensures the configuration of the Tubular Sorting Frame size minimises the capital cost and allows the economical use of valuable property space.
The option of a rotating shelf front further adds to the configurability of the Tubular Sorting Frame as multiple sets of delivery information can be displayed on the one sorting frame. The rotating shelf front allows the frame to be set up to sort up to three different postal routes maximising the return on investment in the equipment and reducing property requirements.
As a round grows (either in volume or individual addresses) the shelves can be simply extended with the only purchase requirement being for additional 250mm shelf modules, dividers and label strips. Similarly, as increased mail volumes are machine or customer sequence sorted, the Tubular Sorting Frame can just as economically be reduced in size to cater for reduced manually sorted mail volumes.
Future Proof Design
The Tubular Sorting Frame has been developed to future proof our customers from changes to their business. As volumes of mail and mail type mix can change over time, we have incorporated features that allow the Tubular Sorting Frame to be easily adjusted to be appropriate for your future business operation. This ensures that as your operation changes, the sorting frames (and the investment made in them) are not made redundant and are easily able to be re-configured, with minimal inconvenience and disruption to the workplace.
Specifically we believe our Tubular Sorting Frames are future proofed against the following scenarios:
- Growth of Individual Addresses
- Sequencing sort technology
- Product type and mix change
Growth of Individual Addresses
The Tubular Sorting Frames can cater for the growth in individual addresses with the easy addition of a new 250mm shelf module into the frame without the need to re-do the entire frame layout and generate a complete new set of address labels.
Sequencing Sort Technology
The Tubular Sorting Frame can augment new sort technology developments such as machine and database sequence sorting. The Tubular Sorting Frame can easily be adapted to merge the streams of manual sorted and sequenced mail. The experience in the United States Postal Service (USPS) with increasing sequenced mail volumes is that the size of vertical sort frames has been reduced to meet the requirement for manually sorting considerably less mail. The flexibility and configurability of the Tubular Sorting Frame allows the frame to be readily reconfigured and adjusted for lower manually sorted mail volumes. This can be achieved by reducing shelf lengths (using the same telescoping shelf frame) and removing shelf modules. This will reduce the delivery footprint requirement with little wasted investment in equipment from redundant component parts as these parts can be used on any Tubular Sorting Frame.
The rotating shelf front also allows for the combining of sequenced and unsequenced mail for multiple rounds to be undertaken on the one Tubular Sorting Frame minimising the property/ floor space required and maximising the return on investment from the sorting equipment.
Product Type and Mix Change
As the impact of new technologies and marketing initiatives changes the postal business, the impact on the mix of letters, flats, packets and unaddressed mail is likely to be pronounced. Equally, as demographics change, the product type and volumes will alter in proportion to each other. The Tubular Sorting Frame allows for such changes in product type and mix to be accommodated throughout its life by the simple interchange of a few components.
The Tubular Sorting Frame has features designed to accommodate increasing volumes of larger product (both flats and small packets). These features are:
- Deep shelves (320mm) so that larger product does not obscure the address label
- High shaped dividers to ensure product remains upright in slots and does not encroach on neighbouring slots
- Large usable work surface and drawers
- Large letter tray storage rack.
The Tubular Sorting Frame was designed to maximise sort efficiency and minimise injury to sorting staff, by employing ergonomics in its design. Independent ergonomic reports on the sorting frame have been completed. Installations in fourteen postal organisations all over the world show that the vertical sorting frame has an excellent health and safety record. Hongkong Post received a health and safety award for the installation of the Frames in Hong Kong.
Prolog has invested a great deal of effort to ensure its equipment is ergonomically safe including detailed analysis of the factors causing injury to postmen. Features such as easy manual shelf height adjustment and a curved frame spine that reflects the vertical reach of the arm have been incorporated into the design. Every edge of the frame has been rounded and the plastic shelving and rounded steel channelling presents less risk of injury to the Postmen.
Mobility and Ease of Assembly
Tubular Sorting Frames are is robust and stable when in place but are also set on rear wheels so that they can be easily moved by one person from one work area to another. This gives more flexibility in the use of floor space and allows the sorting frames to be used for multiple purposes if required. The lightweight and high mobility of the frame also makes it ideal for use in an emergency or as a contingency.
It is possible to move the sorting frame from the front or behind. The best way to achieve full mobility is to tilt the unit slightly from behind which allows the Frame to move easily on its wheels.
The Tubular Sorting Frame is modular and very flexible and can be deployed at short notice. Features that assist in its rapid deployment for contingency planning (natural disasters, industrial disruption etc.) are:
- it can be assembled by one person in 15 minutes without the need for tools
- it can be individually configured for your exact requirements (e.g. number of shelves, shelf modules, spines)
- the modular nature of the Frame allows for optimum usage, storage and transportation.
The Tubular Sorting Frame is very easy to assemble without the need for any tools. The spine and base slide together and there is no need for any bolts, rivets or screws.
The unique clip-on brackets on the shelves and work-surface allow them to be quickly and easily fitted on the sorting frame from the side, eliminating the need to lift shelves over the top of the spine.
The plastic shelf modules click together like pieces of a jigsaw to form the required shelf length.
The Tubular Sorting Frame has been independently tested by a structural engineering company, Building Research Association of New Zealand (BRANZ), to European standards for weight load bearing, stability and rigidity along both axes.
The Tubular Sorting Frame is very strong and stable with each spine able to hold over 300kgs of weight, (the work surface is capable of accommodating over 100kgs and each shelf is capable of accommodating over 60kgs) without any distortion.
The added strength of the Tubular Frame has been achieved at the same time as a substantial reduction in weight with the spines being made of rounded steel and the shelves made of plastic. The weight of the Tubular Sorting Frame is considerably lighter than the previous sorting frame models.
With the Tubular Sorting Frame being used throughout the world, components and consumables are kept in stock and as such are able to be supplied with a reduced timeframe to delivery.
NB: Due to licensing agreements this product is not available for sale in New Zealand.