Important Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Conveyor
Conveyors, like motorised pallet trucks play an essential role within a wide range of industries and there are many advantages for including them in your materials handling operations.
The most obvious advantages are greater handling efficiency and lower labour costs. They can drastically reduce the travel distances for order or production assembly staff and increase throughputs, often with big improvements in productivity. The occupational health and safety (OH&S) benefits include fewer injuries and improved employee welfare.
Before you buy, ask these questions to work out what type of conveyor or conveyor system is right for you.
If the answer is yes, then consider a portable conveyor. They are very mobile and easy to move and if you are short on space can be rolled out of the way when not in use.
Replacing damaged belts and unjamming drives can cost you in downtime. Look for conveyors that are quick and easy to repair without using specialised labour. Modular conveyor sides, flights, belts, drives and accessories are separate units. That means if there is damage, you can replace a section easily.
Consider the design of the conveyor belt. If the belts are constructed of interlocking links, you only need to replace the section of the belt that is damaged.
Ongoing maintenance and running costs can be expensive, so look at whether a smartly designed, low energy consuming system that has a larger initial outlay will end up being more cost effective over its lifetime.
Look for a supplier who can replace parts quickly if necessary.
If you are looking at buying a conveyor system, you need to have realistic expectations of growth as well as a defined outcome. Consider where you will be in five to ten years. You need to look for a system that is right for your current operations as well as your future business.
Some conveyor systems offer accessories and specialised modules for specific uses such as turns and inclines, or have electrical accessories such as box filling.
Some industries, particularly the pharmaceutical, medical, food and microelectronics industries, need to meet specific clean room standards and requirements. If this applies to you, look for models that meet your specific requirements. Stainless steel conveyors are available for demanding applications.
As with any other purchase, check the warranty. The warranty will cover materials and workmanship and should include a cover for the motor and other electrical components and belts.
Costs will vary depending on the type of conveyor or system, accessories, and the integration requirements.