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bastian solutions modular sorter

Bastian Solutions' Modular Sorter

Sam Osterhout | 19 August 2020

Due to the rapidly expanding industry of ecommerce, ease of installation and maintenance of conveyor systems is exceedingly critical to remain competitive in today’s material handling market. The more complicated the system, the more of an impact this can have on its design and success as a solution. In material conveyance terms, sortation is one of the most complicated problems out there.

Typical medium rate sortation requires AC power, DC power, and pneumatics for successful sortation of packages up to 75 pounds in weight. They provide rates up to 300FPM at 85CPMwith a maximum sorter length of 150ft. Bastian Solutions’ conveyor team has now developed a solution that provides the same speed at 90CPM, an unlimited maximum sorter length, and requires nothing but low-voltage DC power for operation, all while offering competitive pricing; the Modular Sorter.

Designing the Modular Sorter for Modularity and Scalability:

The modular sorter uses high rate transfers (HRT), pivot wheel diverts (PWD), and belted roller bed DC (BRBDC) conveyors as building blocks to create a reliable, quiet, and turnkey package with low installation and implementation cost. Depending on project requirements, the modular sorter can have as few as two diverts and up to hundreds.  The low voltage DC power requirements makes the modular sorter the safest and most modular medium rate sorter on the market today.

Just how turnkey is this solution? For starters, each divert zone comes with a plug-and-play electrical wiring harness and four photoeyes; one for induction, two for divert confirmation, and one for updating the position of packages passing straight through to a downstream divert. The induction and update photoeyes are used in conjunction with a single belt encoder–mounted under the sorter’s inducting transport conveyor–affording effective product tracking.

Clever placement of io-blocks and master blocks along the length of the sorter allows for shorter and far fewer cable runs. Furthermore, our conveyor and controls teams had the opportunity to collaborate during the product development and testing phases of the project to create a modular, and scalable code structure, drastically reducing implementation time, effort, and cost. Once mechanically installed, controls integration and calibration should be complete in just one day.


Over the past two years, the conveyor division has implemented both PWD-format and HRT-format sorters with resounding success. Now, the highly anticipated offering of the controls-integrated Modular Sorter redefines medium rate sortation. Whether you’re sorting  ½-lb poly-bags or 75lb totes at 60FPM or 300FPM, the modular sorter utilizes intelligent mechanical, electrical, and controls logic design to handle it with ease. Want to see one for yourself? Our 50ft model is operational and stationed at our Westfield facility, just waiting for you to come check it out. Bring or send us some sample product to test and you’ll see that our modular sorter is the medium-rate sortation solution for you!



Learn more about our modular sorter and other conveyor solutions here

Author: Sam Osterhout

Sam is a Project Engineer with Bastian Solutions ZiPline Conveyor. He has a Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering with a focus in design, robotics, and mechatronics, and a minor in computer science from the Colorado School of Mines. Since starting with Bastian in 2018, Sam has spent his time designing, building, testing, and managing shipment and installation of a wide variety of NPD projects, along with providing customer interfacing, and onsite troubleshooting and diagnostics. Additionally, he has experience in magnetic system design and testing, nuclear mechanical engineering and electric vehicle design and testing.


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