A conveyor system more or less acts as a central nervous system for processes that receive, handle, distribute, manufacture, store, or ship products. Selecting the right conveyor belting system is challenging for warehouse managers and other stakeholders because of the several conveyor types and hundreds of possible configurations to choose from the conveyor belting vendor.
Moreover, there are some factors to consider when identifying and buying the ideal conveyor system for your warehousing or delivery facility. You would simultaneously consider both product and process system requirements.
First off, an ideal conveyor system is:
- Energy efficient
- Operationally safe
- Adaptable to changing needs
- Reliable (parts and mechanisms engineered to last)
- Cost-effective (TCO, or total cost of ownership)
Installing the wrong conveyor belting system will quickly undermine a warehouse’s functioning efficiency, leading to higher prices and lower customer satisfaction, ultimately stripping the business of the competitive advantage.
Without further excitement, let’s explore other factors to consider when evaluating and choosing the right conveyor belting system for your operation from the leading belting vendor.
Essentially, people can use a conveyor system to move items between functional areas of a distribution facility. The type of items to be moved can determine the design, dimensions, and kind of conveyor belting system installed.
When searching from one belting vendor or another for the best conveyor system for your facility, answering the following questions can help you ascertain design and configuration requirements and support you calculate things like horsepower and belting pull for individual conveyors:
- What type of product can convey from the conveyor belting?
- What is the average weight per foot of product?
- What is the maximum weight of your products?
- What are the maximum, minimum, and average dimensions of the product (length, width, and height)?
- What are the dimensional figures for each product?
Factors like product weight, dimensions, and fragility can significantly impact your decision process. The item’s measurements in your facility will determine conveyor belting width, guide rail specifications, and roller centers. However, the weight of the products will decide roller diameter, roller gauge, and motor sizing requirements.
Process requirements cover many factors governing how the conveyor would move and the unique conditions of the functioning environment. These considerations comprise:
- The distance items want to move between functional areas
- The lane through which it moves — are there elevation changes, stops, curves, or diversions?
- Product alignment — must items be positioned in a particular mode (for easy scanning of barcodes, transfer, and more)?
- Transfer speed — short, rapid movement, slow, steady movement?
- Ambient environment
- Flow rate
- Available space
Your conveyor belting system can handle your facility’s average transfer rate and periods of peak demand because of seasonal fluctuations. However, the number of products you have to transport per hour or minute will determine conveyor system length and speed.
Moreover, certain kinds of conveyor systems are ideal for specific products. People can use a large plastic chain conveyor for transferring plastic-footed pallets, while a chain-driven roller conveyor is best suitable for wooden pallets. Furthermore, the former is best used for moving smaller containers or totes than the latter.