A conveyor system is a common piece of material handling equipment used in various industries to move items, products, raw materials, and other objects from one spot to another, usually inside the same area or building. It’s especially useful for businesses dealing with bulky items, sharp things, raw goods, and mass-produced products.
Conveyor systems are typically made up of a belt stretched across two or more pulleys. The belt makes a closed loop around the pulleys, allowing it to revolve continuously, transporting things from one area to another. Now let's take a look at the efficiency and safety benefits you can expect when using a conveyor system as well as how to successfully implement it within your facility.
Through automated and uninterrupted material transport, these systems eliminate the need for manual handling, thus optimising workflow. The benefits in efficiency are:
Reduced Labour: Businesses can benefit from the high-speed, continuous flow of goods. Heavy things can be moved using conveyors without hand lifting, pushing, or tugging, reducing the physical strain placed on workers. This way, workers can focus on other tasks such as selecting, packaging, and quality control, ultimately increasing productivity.
Enhanced Accuracy: Conveyors can be integrated with barcode scanners and sorting machines to monitor and fulfill orders. Picking and packaging mistakes are reduced, minimising order inconsistencies and customer dissatisfaction.
Better use of space: The use of vertical or overhead conveyor systems maximises the available floor space. This is particularly beneficial for facilities with limited space or large inventory.
Reduced Risk of Damage: Due to the reduced need of manual handling, conveyors lessen the risk of product damage or breakage during transit and handling. This improves product quality and lowers damaged or returned item expenses.
- Scalability and Flexiblity: Conveyors can be expanded to meet changing business needs, like higher volumes or new product lines. This lets logistics operations grow and upgrade without disturbance.
Safety is paramount in any work environment, and conveyor systems bring several benefits to the table.
Reduced Risk of Repetitive Strain Injuries: The automated work flow minimises the risk of injuries such strains, sprains, and back problems.
Ergonomics: Conveyors can be adjusted at optimal heights to improve posture and minimise repetitive motion injuries and unnatural body postures.
Enhanced Traffic Control: With designated conveyor routes for goods, workers can focus on their job without navigating crowded areas. This improves workplace safety and lowers traffic accidents.
Built-in Safety Features: Conveyor systems can include several safety features such as emergency stop buttons, safety interlocks, sensors, and guards.
Reduced Fall Hazards: Conveyors improve worker safety by providing a regulated and steady platform for material transportation. Workers no longer need to transport things on slick or uneven surfaces.
- Standardisation: Conveyors standardise processes and workflows, simplifying training and ensuring safety. Workers can learn conveyor operation, safety protocols, and emergency procedures, which reduces human error and training-related incidents.
Implementing a conveyor system in a pick/pack operation involves these steps:
Assess Workflow and Space Requirements
-Evaluate the available space and determine the most suitable location for the conveyor system.
-Consider the layout, dimensions, and accessibility of the workspace.
- Identify the requirements of the pick/pack operation, such as throughput, load capacity, and integration with existing equipment or systems.
- Determine the types of items to be transported and their characteristics (size, weight, fragility) to select an appropriate design.
Choose the Right Conveyor Type
- Common options include belt conveyors, roller conveyors, gravity conveyors, and powered accumulation conveyors.
- Evaluate the need for additional features, such as inclines, declines, curves, or vertical lifts, based on the specific requirements of the operation.
Design Your System
- Collaborate with conveyor system suppliers or engineers to design a system that meets the identified requirements.
- Ensure the conveyor integrates seamlessly with existing equipment, such as pick stations, packing tables, or automated systems.
- Incorporate appropriate safety features into the conveyor system.
- Adhere to safety standards and regulations.
- Provide comprehensive training to operators.
- Choose experienced professionals to install and configure the system.
- Conduct thorough testing and quality checks to ensure proper functionality.
- Regularly monitor the performance of the conveyor system, including throughput, accuracy, and safety records.
- Collect feedback from users to identify areas for improvement.
- Implement necessary adjustments or modifications.
Following these steps ensures a successful conveyor system implementation, improving productivity, accuracy, and operational efficiency. For all your conveyor needs, contact Containit Solutions today.