Conveyor belt systems tend not to get a lot of credit, but choosing the wrong system could damage your productivity, cut your competitive edge and leave you with a large bill to pay to put your mistake right. Here are seven things that you should consider when sourcing a belt conveyor system for your business.
- Your specification requirements
Whether you are shopping for a large or small conveyor belt, you need to take into consideration the length, width, height and weight of the product that your conveyer belt will be handling. In particular, the weight of your product will determine the motor sizing that you need and may also influence the curvature of the belt.
2. The production rate
The production rate of most conveyor belts is measured per minute or per hour. Depending on the production rate that you need for your products, you may need to look at conveyor systems with a specific speed capability. Running your conveyer too slow could harm your productivity, but running it too fast could cause damage to your product and endanger your employees.
3. Process impact
Part orientation is a significant concern in manufacturing and can dictate which conveyor belt you need or if you are going to require additional equipment to complete your material handling. A precision index converter is a good option to consider if part orientation is a key factor in your transportation process. If you are shifting pallets, then don’t forget to look into pallet conveyors that are outfitted with additional fixtures to help maintain a balanced orientation at all times.
4. The environment
Not all conveyor belt systems are suitable for all manufacturing environments. For example, some belts may malfunction if they encounter metal shavings from metal parts. To avoid costly repairs and downtime, be sure to take the environmental conditions of your operation into consideration when choosing your conveyer belt system.
5. The layout you need
The layout of your belt system will also impact the material of the belt used and could rule out certain types of systems. If you are operating your conveyor belt on an incline or a decline, then often you will need to choose a stronger belt material to accommodate the extra force. If your belt system includes a lot of corners, then again, you will need to consider corner sections and additional features to ensure that your products remain on the right course and in the right orientation.
As with all equipment, another very important factor to consider is the safety of your belt system. Some belts come with built-in safety features, whereas others do not. To keep your employees safe, it is essential that you thoroughly research the relevant safety precautions and put safety measures in place to prevent accidents or injury.
Last, but not least, having found the perfect belt system for your product, you need to ensure that it is durable and maintainable in the long term. There may be cheaper belt options out there, but these will ultimately cost you more in the long run to replace, so do not be afraid of spending more at the outset to source a belt that is strong and easy to maintain.
So there you have it – seven things to consider when sourcing a belt conveyor system for your warehouse – do you have anything else to add?