The new sorting process is also expected to have long term affects on glass processing. Dynamic sorting systems, such as Bystronic’s first´sort, have everything that static systems lack: they’re fast, they’re significantly less expensive and require much less space.
For a long time, large sorting and marshalling stations were the only way to bring glass into the required ordered sequence for further processing after scoring and breaking. With the development of a dynamic sorting process, Bystronic is now able to provide a new, highly efficient sorting solution that eliminates the major disadvantages of previous systems.
“The principle of dynamic sorting is similar to a hamburger slide in a fast food restaurant”, explains Hans Gfeller, who was responsible for developing first´sort. While we’re filling the storage area on one side, we’re already starting to empty it on the other. These fully automatic processes are controlled by two transportable shuttles, one for loading and one for unloading. Pieces of glass remain in the sorting system storage only until a pair of lites is complete. After that, they are immediately moved along, ideally through a direct connection to a Bystronic insulating glass line or laminated safety glass line, etc.”
In this manner the first´sort sorting system generates a continuous, uninterrupted flow of glass that can be practically sustained without restriction by arranging orders one after the other. The Bystronic first’sort provides a major key benefit for manufacturers in that it does not require huge, costly logistic solutions with numerous harp racks as it includes a large temporary storage area in the form of multiple harp racks.
Dynamic sorting also allows for much shorter response times for glass manufacturers. Express orders can easily be integrated into the ongoing process and thanks to faster throughput times they can even be processed more quickly.
As Gfeller explains, the essential idea of dynamic sorting is the multiple use of compartments. “Static sorting systems arrange each lite into a specific compartment. Dynamic sorting, however, gives us the possibility of using the same compartment many times during a production sequence. Because of this, a dynamic sorting system requires significantly less space than a static solution.”
The actual number of first´sort storage slots depends primarily on how many different types of glass a customer wants to process. Generally the number of compartments is around 200, but only about 150 of those are needed for sorting lites. The other 50 serve as a safety buffer. If problems occur on the cutting line, for example, production can still be maintained for up to 15 minutes.
Gfeller is convinced that dynamic sorting is soon to become the new standard: “The first´sort sorting system is our customer’s first choice. We’ve just taken two more major orders with our first´sort sorting system as the key component.”
1. first´sort with a direct connection to an insulating glass line
Standard solution for mass production of insulating glass units with reduced need for personnel. A glass rack provided with the system can be controlled by the portable shuttles and thereby integrated into production, making it possible to feed special glass such as laminated safety glass or coated lites into the sorting system.
2. first´sort harp rack organization
If no direct connection is possible (for example because cutting and production take place in separate areas), the lites are placed in harp racks. The system has two docking stations so that the sorting process can be continued even if one of the two harp racks is completely full and needs to be changed.
3. first´sort with A rack organization
first´sort also offers some persuasive advantages when using A racks . Optimizing the sorting process means the operator does not lose time during de-stacking searching for the right glass rack. Instead, racks can simply be filled one after the other. That also substantially reduces the risk of mistakes when setting individual items down on racks.