Selection of Conveyor Systems is in itself a big question mark – How to start with? where to begin?
Selecting the right conveyors and automation is really a daunting task.
First and foremost task, to know your product profile
In the market, there are several types of conveyors to be found. There are customized conveyors designed for specific use, as well as, other for general purposes. The profile and mix of products you want to convey dictates the type of conveyor needed.
To come up with the right decision, you must clearly know the product or package specifications which include :
•Specification regarding exact size of the product. Its minimum and maximum (L x B x H) and in case of circular objects, its diameter.
•Weight of products – Minimum and Maximum.
•Flow of product on conveyor – How many products per minute need to flow on the Conveyor System ? This may be calculated on the basis of your requirement throughout a day, per hour, or per shift etc.
•Preferred working height of Conveyor system – whether it is to be attached to any existing process, table, conveyors or machines.
•What is the purpose? – To transport products from one end to another or is it needed for more complex operations. Will this be a standalone conveyor system or will it be a part of an integrated solution attached with other processes?
Thoroughly, know the product or the packaging material that is to be conveyed
Unless, the type of packaging or raw product that is to be conveyed has a major implication on the types of solution. As there are various products to be packaged, outbound shipping, internal processes, etc. every product has to be packaged, whether boxes , bags or mixed bags and boxes.
•Boxes only – The best option is the Roller Conveyors or Belt Conveyors, for boxes, which, generally, works in a fine manner. The weight and size, is needed , which will decide, if roller, belt over roller, or slider belt conveyor.
•Bags – In case of bags the avoid roller conveyor. The bags may contain the mixed product and may not flow smoothly.
•Mixed boxes and bags – Generally a belt or belt over roller conveyor will be comfortable in this case to handle.
Know your next bottleneck
Now a days, Conveyors are certainly solving various problems from basic transportation of ready products or the raw ,material to be required for production, merging several lines of production with a single flow. Conveyors are transforming an operation from manual to an automated work of art.
During the designing phase (whether, be it a simple or complex process/system), it is certainly a good idea to review the processes downstream to anticipate any new bottlenecks that may be created. Generally, the errors cannot be judged before the operation starts, as Often times productivity increases dramatically and an additional solution may be required for processes such as scanning, weighing, dimensioning, taping, etc. If any of these processes are manual inputs, it can be easily seen that operators are not able to keep up with the new and faster upstream process.