Sorter and sequencer in one - GEBHARDT GridSorter®

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Based on the GEBHARDT FlexConveyor, a modular, decentralised controlled conveyor system, the GEBHARDT GridSorter® was developed, which enables you to sort your goods flexibly. The modular design and the adaptable control open new areas of application. The sequencing of the orders is a decisive advantage of the system.

The concept

Within a cooperation project with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), a plug&play sorter was developed which, with its modularity and decentralised control, meets the requirements for simple commissioning and high flexibility. The goods are not sorted by ejection from a line or a ring as is the case with conventional sorters. The GEBHARDT GridSorter® consists of a continuous area of 90-degree converters and is, therefore, a kind of chessboard of conveyor modules. Each module can process data and make decisions independently.

Advantages of the GEBHARDT GridSorter®

The structure of identical modules, the decentralised control and the plug&play capability provide you with the following advantages:

  • Significant optimisation of planning:

You can already create a rough layout since the same element is always used for sorting, infeed and outfeed. Planning for different environments (layout, number of terminals, etc.) is therefore easy to execute.

  • Easy adaptation of the layout or throughput to new requirements

This is made possible both by the plug&play concept on which the system is based and using the decentralised control system, which automatically recognises a new layout and adjusts itself accordingly.

  • Automatic detection and compensation of disturbances:

During operation, module failures or faults are automatically detected and reported. Since the system operates decentral, all other sorting modules can continue to operate normally in the event of a failure and the faulty module can be easily replaced. Meanwhile, the intact modules search for alternative transport routes; the overall system thus achieves high availability. This is a significant advantage in comparison to classical, centralised control systems, which usually represent a single point of failure and shut down the entire system in the event of a failure.

Example of use

The GEBHARDT GridSorter® has an advantageous ratio of throughput and space requirement. Depending on the layout, the individual modules have a different utilisation, which can change dynamically during operation. Less used modules can be used to buffer conveyed goods. The endpoints can be close together in a small area and their number is variable. This opens new fields of application in addition to the traditional ones, where no sorters have been used so far. One example of this is sequencing and sorting as a link between automated small parts storage and picking workstations. The possibility of buffering conveyed goods on the sorter can reduce the average access time and increase the continuity of the conveyor flow. With the help of the GEBHARDT GridSorter®, the system performance of a mini load can be increased, resulting in a more robust overall system.

Also, the GEBHARDT GridSorter® can be used as an alternative to conventional systems, such as sliding shoe or simple crossbelt sorters. This makes its use in parcel sorting or e-commerce possible. Advantages resulting from the significantly lower space requirement and the high availability. The plug&play capability of the FlexBox control system allows the quick replacement of faulty modules. Since the sorter always continues to work with the intact modules and looks for alternative transport routes, the availability for the entire system is high. Thanks to the large buffer capacity and the flexible layout, the GEBHARDT GridSorter® is also suitable for cross-docking applications.


GEBHARDT FlexConveyor