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AutoPocket enhances leading sortation range

24 August 2021

Retail customers are reaping the rewards of investing in pocket sortation technology from KNAPP due to one-touch handling, smarter sequencing and much else.

SHORTER ORDER processing times, increased accuracy and lower costs through one-touch handling are some of the benefits delivered by KNAPP's Pocket Sorter system. When paired with the company's OSR Shuttle solution – which combines high-density storage, automatic retrieval of products for orders and ergonomically designed picking stations – clients benefit from seamless and efficient order fulfilment for all sales channels. This powerful combination of technologies comes into its own during seasonal peaks, when huge volumes of products require synchronised sortation. Retailers that have invested in this combination of Pocket Sorter and OSR Shuttle from KNAPP include The Very Group, ASOS, REI and Zalando – and NEXT will soon join this list of top brands.

“The pocket sortation concept was pioneered by KNAPP group member, Dürkopp Fördertechnik, and the group has sold over 5.2 million pockets to date.”

The pocket sortation concept was pioneered by KNAPP group member, Dürkopp Fördertechnik, and the group has sold over 5.2 million pockets to date. The technology enables items in suspended pockets on an overhead conveyor to be arranged into the precise order sequence required for dispatch. Goods can be fed into the system automatically from any location in the warehouse and every pocket can be individually accessed. RFID tags ensure total visibility of products in all pockets in real time. Hanging garments can also be transported together with the pockets in one and the same system. 

Pockets with single-item orders travel automatically to the packing area, while pockets with items from multi-line orders are sequenced by the system's matrix sortation algorithm. For orders destined for retail stores, intelligent sortation enables the goods to be presented in a store-friendly way – whether by size, colour, weight or store layout.


Dürkopp Fördertechnik recently introduced the latest generation of its pocket sortation technology, known as AutoPocket. This new design of carrier is able to drop goods off precisely and fully automatically anywhere in the warehouse, without needing to slow down or stop. This innovation increases speed and efficiency even further. The first installation of the AutoPocket in the UK will be for multichannel retailer, NEXT plc, at its new distribution centre in South Yorkshire. This e-commerce facility, which is currently under construction and will begin operations in two years’ time, will expand fulfilment capability for NEXT Platform, the retailer's aggregation business.

The Pocket Sorter can help to synchronise fulfilment across multiple areas of the warehouse, whether they are manual or automated. Orders for consolidation can be picked manually or by robot and inducted into pockets, with the Pocket Sorter acting as a pre-buffer to harmonise the processing times of various areas. When all of an order's items are ready, the required pockets arrive at the packing station in the correct sequence. 

The Pocket Sorter solution is also ideally suited to processing returns cost-effectively, storing them in a dynamic buffer and making them immediately available for orders via totally automatic picking. Flat-packed and hanging products – whether they are delivered by a supplier or they re-enter the system as returned items – can all be transported and dynamically buffered in the same system.

For more information, visit www.knapp.com