Conveyor systems design requires experience and a high degree of application knowledge in order to select the right conveyors to be employed in a material handling system. Conveyors are commonly used to facilitate most of the operations associated within manufacturing, distribution and warehousing facilities.
As an example, in a manufacturing environment, conveyors transport manufactured product to a packing operation, where it is then placed inside a case. Cases are transferred via conveyor to a palletizing operation which, in turn, will convey pallets to a warehouse drop off point for storage put-away. In this situation, there are three different categories of conveyor; one capable of handling a single piece, another to transport cases and a third capable of conveying a pallet. All of these conveyor systems have different design criteria and specifications, taking into consideration the additional functions to be performed as product is conveyed; such as weighing, scanning, metal detection, labeling and a host of other tasks.
Conveyors in all warehouse and distribution environments transport product between successive steps in the order fulfillment process, leaving accumulation buffers throughout the system to allow for workflow balancing due to different processing rates associated with each step. The following is a list of locations conveyers are relied on for operations: receiving, put-away, order picking, packaging, quality control, returned goods, sortation and shipping.
Engineering automated conveyor systems is a step by step process. TriFactor’s professional material handling staff has conveyor application experience and takes into consideration the product being conveyed, the rates required to meet operational goals, and a thorough knowledge of gravity, live roller and belt conveyor design to result in a system that functions as intended. TriFactor’s Craig Bertorello wrote a White Paper titled “Guidelines for Choosing a Conveyor System” that is available for review in the TriFactor Learning Center section of this website.