Primary sorting consists of identifying sorting criteria to direct mail to final sorting stations. These sorting criteria may be:
- geographic (department, region, group of agencies, etc.),
- by code (numerical or alphanumerical, ranges of numbers),
- decision-based (to be opened, do not open, search).
Sorted mail may be just in piles on a sorting table but preferably in a clearly-labelled basket, tray or pigeonhole.
Sorting tables can be fitted with:
- holding rails,
- under-table storage (pigeonhole for laminated jambs or lower shelf for legs)
- dual-access pigeonholes,
- robust wheels with brakes and donut bumpers for confined spaces or to free up space on the floor for carts or pallets.
To further optimise primary sorting, Outils Océans has created the concept of funnel tables. Funnel tables can receive 4 to 6 trays or baskets on 1 or 2 levels. The work surface can be single or double-sided. Operators working at this station rapidly sort the mail into the funnels with their 2 hands free. A tray is placed under each funnel corresponding to a sorting criterion.
Outils Océans funnel tables are fitted with inclined trays and/or individual integrated tray carts. When trays are placed on inclined areas, the full trays can be slid seamlessly onto individual tray carts and empty trays are replaced to continue sorting. Integrated tray carts can be removed like drawers when the trays are full. Empty tray carts are replaced by pushing under the funnels.
Rails are included to complete and secure operations.
Outils Océans funnel tables can be used for primary sorting on a number of criteria and in reduced space. The station is continuously in operation and productive. Work heights and handling have been designed to prevent RSI (Repetitive Strain Injuries).
Depending on the complexity, the number of sorting criteria and the frequency of changes to the sorting surface, primary sorting operators may be assisted by the vocal system Facilitri.