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Conveyors: Stock or Build-to-Order

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Should I buy a custom conveyor, or a pre-built one?

Sometimes in life, you’re able to just go to the store to buy the perfect part you need for your DIY project. Other times, no matter how hard you scour stores both online and in person, that very same part eludes you. Sure, you COULD use a “good enough” replacement part, but it might fail quicker or run less efficiently than if you found the perfect fit.

Conveyor systems work in exactly the same way. Sure you could buy an in-stock or pre-built conveyor, and in some cases; that’d be perfect for your conveying needs. But sometimes you need that built-to-order (or custom if you prefer)  conveyor for your manufacturing needs. Thankfully, mk is here to fulfill any custom conveyor needs you have. But first, let's live deeper into comparing these two options.

When should I buy a "stock" conveyor?

Stock conveyors aren’t the most module or customizable, but if all you need to do is move objects from point A to point B then they’ll be both cheaper and quicker to obtain than a built-to-order conveyor. For sturdy products that don’t need specialized care a pre-built conveyor can also come in handy, as it provides a less expensive alternative that still keeps products both safe and moving.

Additionally, buying a stock conveyor means that the specifications are typically readily available online. If you need many different conveying systems in many different locations, the ability to buy stock conveyors can be extremely valuable; as long as you are OK with a conveyor system that may be a little to narrow or wide, short or long, for each application. Stock conveyors are pre-built to the conveyor-manufacturer's specifications of what they think most applications may need, without any real consideration for exacting footprints and functionality beyond moving from A to B. 

When should I buy a customized conveyor?

Conveying systems are can be extremely complicated. There are many moving parts that must exist in harmony with both each other and the product they’re transferring from place to place; as well as any 3rd party equipment that is interacting with the conveyor and/or product.

Since this is the case, it often happens that standard stock conveyors might not fit, curve, or slope in the right way to lock into a preexisting system.

Additionally, many products need their own specialized conveying needs. Built-to-order conveyors allow for much more control over product handling including product traffic control and the transferring of materials between processes.

Some products must be protected during the manufacturing process, especially anything glass or electric; and built-to-order conveyors can easily handle those requirements.

If there are any worries during the design process for your manufacturing system, then it is wise to at least consult one of our conveyor professionals. They’ll be able to point you in the right direction as to what kind of conveyor you may need. (Or if you like try our conveyor selection tool).

And, if you think all you may need is a stock conveyor, then we still encourage you to inquire about mk's conveyors. All of our conveyors are built using in-stock-standard modules; which allows for mk to provide a built-to-order conveyor that will meet your exacting needs at a price point similar to off the shelf models. 

And let's not forget how built-to-order conveyors can streamline the manufacturing process; and allow for the transport of goods from place to place while keeping the manufacturing and conveyor line consistent.

Product reasons for wanting a built-to-order conveyor

  1. Transporting delicate and/or easily breakable products

  2. Testing products that need to be kept in a specific position the whole time

  3. Transporting products that need to be tested, systematically or randomly. Products like medications or electric batteries often fall into this category.

  4. Transporting products through awkward positions either vertically or horizontally. This is best used to augment preexisting manufacturing systems, improving their efficiency. 

  5. Transporting products that require special conditions, such as temperature regulation or self cleanability. 

  6. Transporting products that require special materials to be transported on. Food requires sanitary stainless steel, while products with a high temperature need a belt that can resist their heat.

By working closely with our sales team and engineers, any customer will be able to obtain the perfect conveyor for their manufacturing needs; regardless of how simple or complex the process.

To contact a member of our team about your next project simply complete the form below.

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