By Jeremy Axel
A conveyor system is an automated transport system used to move freight, luggage, containers, pallets, products, and other materials. The freight to be carried can be loaded at any point onto the conveyor system’s transport medium. Conveyors are often used for handling heavy loads which are impractical to handle manually. Conveyor systems are widely used in manufacturing plants, warehouses, shipping ports, airports, restaurants, retail stores and many other facilities. The design of a conveyor system will depend on factors such as reliability, available space, labor costs and efficiency.
Since conveyors are considered the central nervous systems for operations that receive, handle, store, distribute, manufacture or ship products. As conveyor systems are utilized in an increasingly large array of applications, selecting the right conveyor system can be challenging for warehouse managers and other stakeholders due to the several conveyor types and hundreds of possible configurations to choose from. This article from Fluent Conveyors – The best Custom Conveyor Solutions will review some of the factors associated with choosing a new system or upgrading an existing one, taking into consideration quality issues that should be considered before selecting your final conveyor solution.
With the advancement of technology and different industries, we see a lot of new changes in the method employed for smoothing and efficiency of work. People now prefer the use of conveyor systems and conveyor belts for their effective and efficient working. But there are some critical points to be considered before installation of such a conveyor system.
Conveyor systems and belts need to be fitted and maintained by professionals to ensure they are being used safely. Each and every manufacturer needs to be aware of the operational safety, quality service and durability of their product. In order to make sure that the products are not under-using at any time, it is essential that concrete steps are taken in this direction. Building a great reputation for this will ensure a good deal of business promotion in the long-term.
Energy efficiency is a must for any business. Energy costs continue to rise and businesses no longer consume unlimited amounts of energy without considering the impact on their cash flow. With pressure increasing, you need to check that your conveyor system is energy efficient and costs you less than traditional systems.
Conveyor systems, if designed and installed incorrectly, can be an energy hog. A conveyor system that’s energy efficient uses 90 percent less electricity than an inefficient system. An inefficient system will also make it more difficult for the warehouse workers to carefully position products on the belt, because it will be constantly moving. According to the U.S. Department of Energy installations with inefficient conveyor systems can waste as much as 30 percent of total electricity costs on conveyors alone.
The three most important factors in a conveyor system are the belt, fans and controller. The belt is the part that moves material from one point to another. The belt may be made from reinforced rubber or plastic. The amount of reinforcement in the belt will dictate how long it can operate for and if it’s able to withstand the loads it has to carry. For instance, a conveyor belt that carries heavy loads on an incline will need reinforced belts that are stronger than those used in light loads. As you know, fans are responsible for pushing material on the belt through an air-tight drum where they are sorted using objects like trommels. This process is dependent on the intake speed of these fans and their capacity to contain the materials.
When looking at how to set up and design a new conveyor system, the first thing you need to ask yourself is why you’re setting one up. The main reason behind having a conveyor system is to get products from “A” to “B.” Your system should do that. The next question should be what happens when “B” changes? You may get a rush order and need to fit more product on your line quicker — what will happen?
In terms of your conveyor system layout, it is important to note that your conveyor system should be adaptive to change. If the companies on the inside of a building begin to grow or a new tenant moves in, a conveyor system should provide the room and flexibility to expand based on changing needs. This ensures that while a company expands, the surrounding companies can sustain growth as well. All of this reduces issues of bottlenecks and exhaustion while growing a business.
Conveyor systems are not cheap. For this reason, some companies may question the value of buying, installing and maintaining such sophisticated moving equipment. The cost of modern warehouse conveyor systems with automated transfer depends on the technology, the required functionality, the number of individual units required for your operation, and whether or not customization is needed. The cost of purchase usually ranges between $10,000 and $100,000 per unit with most installations including multiple units for a single facility. installation ranges from $4,000 to more than $120,000 depending on the size of the structure. Configuration costs around an estimated one percent of hardware costs per unit–which means that three units costing $300,000 will trigger an additional $3,000 in configuration costs. But with the promising benefit of using conveyors, the investment is truly worth it!
Conveyor systems are highly customized and can feature a number of configurations. But a good rule of thumb is to determine the total cost of ownership (TCO). The cost-per-piece-delivered or throughput will be different for each operation based on factors such as the size of the facility, the number of delivery trucks coming in and out each day, and whether your warehousing operation is growing.
There are no two warehouses that are exactly alike, therefore there can never be an ideal conveyor system for all situations. However, there are some general guidelines that can be followed in order to minimize costs and maximize your facility’s overall productivity. Selecting the right conveyor system is like finding the best job for your employee. Each system has certain strengths and weakness, which can be used to maximize productivity, safety, and output. To determine the ideal conveyor supplier for your warehouse, you must first understand how conveyor systems work—because no two are built alike.
Jeremy Axel is the founder of Fluent Conveyors, they design and manufacture conveyors for Waste and recycling industries, Manufacturing, and Distribution centers across the United States. He is also known for building trusted relationships with conveyor dealers and reseller networks and developing advanced technological processes and tools that help them do their jobs more efficiently. Check his Website: http://www.jeremyaxel.com/