Flex/the Innovationlab

Sorting Machine for PostNL

The project

This innovative sorting machine processes all sorts of post and packages, to reduce the physical burden on PostNL employees. The system has three features: the emptying of the stackers in the sorting machine, the storing of post, and the introduction of post to the sorting lanes.


There was no computerised system within PostNL for processing large and small packages. With increasing sales of products through web shops there was a real need for this. A reliable and smart fleshed-out solution that also improved the ergonomic aspects of the working conditions. Focused around the needs of the user. Reducing physical burdens to a minimum. Use of materials and construction were carefully considered through which it is easy to disassemble. In addition to a functional product the collection trolleys form an intriguing pattern.


The design of this complex system was based on the needs and experiences of postal staff. Design is often used to streamline logistical processes but does not always receive the attention it deserves if the result is not particularly media-genic. With Post Sorting Aid, FLEX clearly demonstrates design’s ability to create added value. For the jury, the design is a blueprint of meaningful design that can serve as an example across the entire profession. The design is practical and strong – a smartly executed, ergonomic solution that delivers tangible improvements.

— A smart fleshed-out solution that improved the ergonomic aspects of the working conditions.

Want to stay informed? Sign up for our newsletter