Shoe Sorter built with FlexSim Conveyor Object

Shoe Sorter with FlexSim

About Shoe Sorter

The Sliding Shoe Sorter is is a high throughput, positive divert sortation conveyor. It is capable of reliably tracking and gently sorting a wide range of and a mix of, items and materials along a linear sortation line. All this done at high rates of speed. Also, different types of carton sizes and packaged goods are sorted accurately on either side of the conveyor.


How does a Sliding Shoe Sorter work? 

The sliding shoe conveyor consists of a bed of uniform slats. With these, youworking of a sliding shoe sorter

can create a virtual flat conveyor that is ideal for conveying a variety of items.

Each slat has a sliding “shoe” attached and these shoes aligns to one side of the parcel.
Consequently when a parcel reaches its assigned post sort lane, several shoes electronically activate to slide in the direction of the intended divert, therefore, guiding the parcel to its destination.

As a result of the precision the shoes are controlled with, the sliding shoe gently pushes parcels toward a lane or chute in a fluid diagonal movement.

This mode of functioning ensures precise, safe, gentle handling at high rates of speed.


Challenges involved in building a Shoe-Sorter in Flexsim

  • FlexSim provides different types of conveyors such as ‘Belt Conveyor’, ‘Roller Conveyor’ etc. However, it does not provide a sliding shoe conveyor object to directly drag and drop in the model.
  • To create the sliding shoe conveyor from conventional Conveyors and to simulate the fluid diagonal movement is rather difficult.
  • There is difficulty in pushing the SKU on the conveyor object and passing it to the destination.

These challenges are certainly not without a solution. You can build a sliding shoe conveyor in Flexsim that will sort three different flow items into their respective lanes.


To build it, you will require…

  • Source1 – Creates flow item object
  • Source2 – Creates shoe sorter object
  • Sink – Destroys the object created in the model
  • Queue1 – Stores the flow items (itemtype1)
  • Queue2 – Stores the flow items (itemtype2)
  • Queue3 – Stores the flow items (itemtype3)
  • Mainline conveyor – Moves the flow item and sorter from source to destination
  • Sub line conveyor1,2 and 3- Moves the flow items (itemtype1,2 and 3 respectively) from the mainline conveyor to Queues 1,2 and 3 respectively


Steps to build

  1. Using drag and drop from fixed resource library, create Source1 and 2, Sink, Queue 1,2 and 3.
  2. Create a Mainline conveyor and Sub line conveyors 1,2 and 3 using drag and drop from conveyor library.
  3. Connect Sources 1 and 2 to Mainline conveyor.
  4. The Sink should be connected to Mainline conveyor as well.
  5. Place three Sub line conveyors perpendicular to Mainline conveyor with a defined interval.
  6. Using Join conveyor object, connect Mainline conveyor with three Sub line conveyors.
  7. Connect Sub line conveyor1 to Queue1, Sub line conveyor2 to Queue2 and Sub line conveyor3 to Queue3.
  8. With an interval time of 3 seconds, create flow items from Source1.
  9. Set item type to flow items using uniform(1,3) distribution.
  10. Based on the itemtype, set color to the flow items.
  11. Create sliding shoe from Source2 with the interval time of 0.6 sec.
  12. Set itemtype to sliding shoe based on the flow item itemtype.
  13. Place decision point in Mainline and Subline conveyors to help in deciding which sub line conveyor that item should travel.
  14. Connect the Mainline conveyor decision point to three Sub line conveyors decision point.
  15. Using decision point, set positions of the sliding shoes for creating the sideways movement using translate item in decision point. This is inturn based on itemtype of the sliding shoe.
  16. Create the fluid diagonal movement by moving the shoe positions using translate item in decision point.
  17. Using decision point, send the flow items and sliding shoes to the respective destination. This is based on the itemtype of flow items and sliding shoe.


Take a look at the 1-minute video output of our model created from FlexSim


Therefore, you can build a sliding shoe conveyor using FlexSim conveyor object the above way. It is efficient and easy as well.

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