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Bastian Solutions Unveils Its ZiPline Conveyor Shoe Sorter

Zach Taylor | 28 March 2017

Shoe sorters are nothing new in the industry, but key improvements differentiate the ZiPline Conveyor model.

Bastian Solutions is proud to introduce a shoe sorter as the newest addition to its ZiPline Conveyor product line. Although shoe sorters are not new to material handling technology, they are essential in rapid product sortation for most order fulfillment sites.

Over the years, our team has integrated and installed many shoe sorter designs. Using that experience, we are proud to manufacture our own shoe sorter, featuring some unique design improvements. The typical strategy and appeal for picking one shoe sorter over another is the overly coined term “fast and accurate.” Both attributes are, of course, highly critical in the success of a system and the return on investment for a particular sortation conveyor. But they are hardly points worth using as comparisons among various shoe sorter options. In most cases, the capabilities of engineered products should be discussed with an engineer to determine needs for specific systems.


This shoe sorter theoretically could come complete with an oversized frame, an oversized motor, and move faster than any other sorter on the market. However, too much speed and power could cause issues. As product moves along the length of the conveyor, it is accelerated into a divert and taken away by a spur.

The resulting vector from this directional change and associated angle means the spur has to move at a faster speed than the sorter to accept products ? possibly tipping the product over as a result.

Having a sorter that moves faster than necessary over-complicates the entire system which can become cost prohibitive. Another ramification to excessive speed is the likelihood of missed diverts with dense accumulation. The controls required to properly operate a shoe sorter are not especially difficult, compared to other sortation technologies. But at a certain rate, the cost and complexity of controls becomes greater than the return on increased throughput. Therefore, Bastian Solutions designed its shoe sorter specifically for the speed and accuracy of YOUR system.

The ZiPline Conveyor shoe sorter runs up to a max speed of 650 feet per minute, while maintaining optimal throughput rates of up to 18,000 cases per hour. Engineered to fire diverts with only one shoe between products and slats designed on 5” centers, the sorter is capable of highly dense accumulation. That means it won’t need to run at high speeds to meet rate. Such capability minimizes wear to components, increases the longevity of the product, and increases the amount of time between necessary maintenance.

Additional key feature of the ZiPline shoe sorter include:

  • Patent pending “gentle touch” divert system for positive and gentle sortation
  • High speed dedicated electric divert controller – no pneumatics
  • UHMW slat surface for low friction and easy cleaning (especially beneficial for the beverage industry)

Shoe Sorter Maintenance

ZiPline Shoe Sorter Regardless of make or model, mechanical devices eventually wear to the point that maintenance is required. For that reason, Bastian Solutions made shoe sorter maintenance a breeze. Multiple access panels are added for technicians as well as chain lubrication. And safety sensors are used to detect wear and unsafe conditions.

Most regular maintenance tasks can be completed by only working on the affected area; each component is easy to disassemble without touching the chain. The slats are easy to remove and are designed to provide a low-friction top for reduced wear to the shoe sorter and product. Minimal slat gaps are included for a sleek look and significantly quieter operation. To improve integration, divert switches are highly adjustable and can be moved in the field with minimal effort. This allows the system to scale and change as lanes shift to accommodate unforeseen alterations.

The distance between diverts is based primarily upon the overall width of the product or the conveyor accepting product. Additional diverts can be installed easily, making the sorter customizable even after initial installation. Bastian Solutions’ ZiPline Conveyor shoe sorter is technology designed with customers in mind.

You can also see our ZiPline shoe sorter in action at ProMat 2017. Visit us at booth S3646 for a live demonstration.


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