Top ten must ask questions!

Before you starting you’re new conveyor project Proper planning with a distributor/integrator can make or break you’re new conveyor system

Every successful project has a definable beginning. Successful conveyor projects are no different. They result from a planning partnership between the customer and the distributor/integrator. Working together, a project plan is developed that considers a number of factors well before the first section of conveyor is ordered.

We begin all new projects by first asking our clients about their businesses and the kinds of products they intend to convey. This information is essential before starting any project. Here are some key points you should consider with your distributor/integrator:

What kind of business are you in?

This helps to define the type of systems needed. Is the conveyor to be used in manufacturing, warehousing, or distribution? The business you are in will have an impact on the suitability of various types of conveyors.

What are the goals of the system?

Do you want to save labour, improve efficiencies, speed throughput, increase capacities, improve ergonomics, reduce carton damage, or all of the above?

Well a conveyor fill your handling needs?

Depending on the product being moved, Would a lift truck or guided vehicle system be more efficient and cost effective for your materials handling needs?

What are the products that you wish to convey?

Different products require different types of conveyors. For instance, there is a big difference between handling cartons and bulk products such as flour or seeds. And some items simply are not conveyable. They might be too heavy, or may be too long to make turns. They may contain legs or other protrusions that do not permit them to ride comfortably upon a belt. Often these problems can be overcome if the client is willing to be flexible. For instance, an awkward product can be placed in a tote or upon a slipsheet.

“Recommend” waiting on the purchase of totes or pallets until after selecting the conveyor, as products already in-house may not be compatible.

Is the system for a new or existing facility?

It is much easier to design and install a conveyor in a new facility than to squeeze it into an existing space. Also, if in an existing building, it must be known if the installation is to be completed while the facility is operating.

What is the size of the project?

Is this a major project or small job? Are other materials handling products to be installed concurrently? What is the timetable to finish it?

How will the conveyor system fit into the overall design?

Often this requires a consultant or designer who can conceptualize the plan as a whole. This person must possess the expertise to help the client obtain the desired through puts and efficiencies without creating bottlenecks or choking the systems before and after the conveyor.

“Some clients want reuse old equipment or install used parts to save money. Sometimes this approach works; most times it ends up costing more.”

Is the job a turnkey project? Who will be responsible for installation?

Distributors are often better equipped to provide the installation services.

“Conveyor systems are getting more and more sophisticated.”

“Some people think they can save money by having someone else install it. That does not always work, and will cause trouble down the road if not installed properly.”

When all these factors have been considered, a plan for the project can be created.

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