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Case Study: Local Distribution Center


Imagine reclaiming three hours a day with the push of a button. That’s the power of automation.

A local distribution center in St. Louis, MO met with ISS Material Handling, a division of Industrial Shelving Systems, to design and install a custom conveyor run-up. This solution was necessary in allowing packages that had been kicked off to the problem-solve area to be reintroduced to the main conveyor line (just upstream of cross-belt sorter) at essentially the same location of the jackpot kick off point.


ISS Material Handling worked closely with a local controls company, Industrial Controls & Robotics (ICR)  to design a custom metal chute fed by a 32’ Hytrol Belt Conveyor. This conveyor handles a variety of packages, parcel dimensions, and weight. With an optical sensor providing jam sensing, the conveyor controls present simple ‘Start’, ‘Stop’, and ‘Jog’ functionality as well as a status light for operator and manager awareness. The controls for the belt conveyor also receive ‘Safety Stop’ commands from the main conveyor controls.

“The Industrial Shelving Systems team maintained the needs of the distributor team as their utmost priority from start to finish, from collaborating with local controls experts and a metal shop to navigating a successful Risk Assessment Proposal. The project culminated with installation of our custom solution in under 2 days that showed immediate and significant positive impact to the package return process.” – John Fontaine, Automation Sales Lead.


This system saved over three hours of package circulation time and eliminated several lengthy personnel trips per day to the opposite end of the facility. The power of automation is ever growing, and this project shows how it can save time and money. Let us know if you want to chat about how you can implement automation solutions into your system!


About the Author

John Fontaine

Automation Sales Lead

After a 9 year career as an officer in the US Navy Submarine Force, John developed vital experience in the advanced manufacturing and unmanned systems with business development roles at two major defense contractors. In directing the growth of ISS Material Shelving, a division of Industrial Shelving Systems, John’s mission is clear: to remain thoroughly customer-focused, ensuring that businesses who partner with ISS Material Handling seize the right opportunities for automation adoption, fueling responsible growth amidst challenging economic circumstances. When not in the office, John enjoys all things music, cooking, and fitness.

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