Automated Garment Sorting System
SmartRail is a patented, computer-controlled garment sorting system able to create and sort garment batches of up to 2,500 garments, arranging the garments in an exact specified sequence according to specifications. It is controlled by a network of personal computers and is directly on-line to the garment database.
The SmartRail system is unique because each garment is independently sorted. If any garment drops or is otherwise misplaced, it will not disturb the sorting accuracy of any other garment.
This SmartRail system is comprised of several modules. At the Scan/Load module, garments are loaded on carriers and both the carrier bar code and the garment bar code are scanned. An operator can scan up to 2,000 garments an hour.
At the Primary Sort module garments are separated into batches of garments - the actual batch size is determined by the system layout. Each sorting batch contains one or more route-days garments. Batches should remain on the Primary Sort rails long enough for both press and tunnel work to complete for included routes and may allow for mends and stock issues to catch up before final sort. The Primary Sort also automatically separates return-to-stock items and sends garments to the mending area if they have been flagged for repair.
This system contains one Final Sort module and can receive batches of 1,240 garments or less from the Primary Sort and then sorts them into desired order. Most companies sort garments into route-account-man-garment type. This Final Sort recirculates garments four times to complete the sort. The Final Sort can produce over 1,500 garments per hour. Installation of four additional rails to the Final Sort will allow sorting in one less pass and results in a throughput of over 2,000 garments per hour.
The Tie-Out module is a final checking point where each garment carrier is scanned and the sort order is verified. Operators remove a wearer's group of garments from the carriers, twist tie them, press foot pedal, and release the next group of garments. Tie out garments are placed on a storage conveyor trolley. Any out of sequence garments will be rejected where they can be individually processed.
The proposed system includes a carrier return conveying system to return empty carrier hooks to the Autoloader once they have completed their passage throughout the system.