Concept Sorting Assistance System

Group 03, Videoprototype, WS1314

Postal services have been increasingly used in the last years. More and more retailers send catalogues and other types of advertisement to their customers at home.
Although the process of sorting this huge amount of mail has been done by machines for many years, the assistance of human workforce is still needed. Hence, errors can happen because of human failure.
The sorting machine needs two separate runs for sorting the mail correctly according to its destination:
In the first run, workers load all the unsorted mail in small batches into the machine which sorts it into an intermediate sorting. The result of the first run is hardly understandable for the postmen. Therefore, a second run is required to sort the mail in the correct order in which it is delivered by postmen. After the second run, the mail is loaded onto trucks and it is brought to the post offices to be distributed.
Our concept focuses on the process between the two machine runs. There, the intermediately sorted batches from the machine’s output have to be placed on wagons according to a number labeled on the batch itself and the wagon.
This process is cumbersome because the worker has to compare each label to ensure the correct placement of the batches.
If more than one batch is misplaced, the machine is unable to sort the mail in the second run correctly and thus the first run has to be repeated which takes at least two hours.
Our approach is to replace the paper labels on the batches with RFID Tags. Therefore, the numbering on the wagons has to be replaced, too, which could be done by using monitors.
These monitors serve two purposes: On the one hand, they can give feedback if the placement of the current batch is done correctly or not. This is achieved by showing intuitive optical signs. If a batch is misplaced, auditory feedback can be additionally be used to call immediate attention to the mistake. On the other hand, monitors could speed up the sorting work by indicating the right placing spot with a sign. This would eliminate the comparison process of the labels and thus save time.

Concept Development 2014 – Gruppe 3 on Vimeo.

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