Questions to Ask When Selecting a Conveyor System
Investing in a new conveyor system an industrial material transfer or handling application is nothing to be taken lightly. Conveyor systems are large, complex machines and as much care should be taken in selecting the right one as one would expect when buying a new car, or other major personal investment. And just like when buying a new car, there are some baseline questions you should ask when selecting a new conveyor.
These questions can be broken down into two main categories. The first is questions you need to ask yourself so that you know what information to have handy when you begin to shop around. The second is questions to ask the conveyor manufacturers and suppliers you talk to so that you know you’re getting your system from a company whose work you can trust.
Here’s a quick primer along with a handy infographic on what these questions usually look like, and how to select the right conveyor system for you.
Preparation: Questions to Ask Yourself
The first question you should ask yourself is, “What will this conveyor system be used for?” Knowing the application of the system is a necessary, if somewhat obvious, first step in determining the right one. Automated conveyors for food processing applications will have a very different set of requirements than those intended for robotics integration or to simply move small boxes down a packaging line.
Moving on to greater specifics, subsequent questions to have on-hand include such as the following:
- What material or materials will be transported? Will specialty belting be required? How wide will the belt need to be?
- How much space will the conveyor system occupy? How long does it need to be?
- How fast will the conveyor need to be? How much load will it need to accommodate? These are important ways to determine how strong a motor your system will need.
Depending on the details of your own application, you may need to ask other questions (or answer those asked by your preferred conveyor manufacturer or supplier).
Questions to Ask When Choosing a Conveyor Supplier
After you’ve established what you need, the next step is figuring out which companies are capable of supplying it, and which of those you think will offer the best product with the best return on your investment.
Depending on your needs, conveyor suppliers may offer you a pre-existing conveyor system design, or a custom solution. In either case, be sure to ask the following questions:
- Is the system modular? How difficult will future modifications be?
- How difficult will installation be? How much will it cost? How long will it take?
- What is involved in terms of maintenance? How easy will belt repairs or replacements be? Will specialized labor be involved? How easily can replacement parts be obtained?
- Has the supplier worked on similar systems in the past? Can they provide any references or case studies?
A reliable, trustworthy conveyor system supplier will be able and willing to help you with these questions and others that may be necessary depending on your specific needs.
If you’re in the market for a new conveyor system, or are getting ready to be, get in touch with the team at mk North America. A worldwide leader in modular conveyor systems, custom designs, and other specially engineered material handling solutions, mk North America will guide you through every step of the conveyor design and selection process. Call (860) 769-5500 or use this online form to learn more.