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4 Signs It's Time to Replace That Outdated Conveyor System

Sky Hernandez | 30 April 2019

Conveyor systems can last a long time, depending on the wear and tear from the product.  However, customers tend to stretch this out so that it becomes so old and worn out that it starts costing them more money than it’s worth.  In an effort to be most effective with time and money, we have put together some considerations to keep customers from wasting these finite resources.

Here are the tell-tale signs that it is time to replace your conveyor system:

1. Spare parts become rare

Eventually manufacturers phase out equipment and spare parts, making it difficult to acquire the right components come maintenance time.  Sometimes the parts are still available but because they are so uncommon, manufacturers have steep premiums or lead times that are hard to justify.

2. Excessive maintenance and repairs

Frequent unscheduled maintenance issues can become silent, large expenses.  Many repeat issues can start to arise outside of preventative maintenance, such as replacing seized rollers, clanking chains, pre-mature belt failures, etc.

3. You’re missing out on improved technology

Lack of current technologies could be hitting you with opportunity cost.  Since the industry keeps improving every day, there are increasingly more efficient ways to do things that provide long-term savings of time and money.  Such technology improvements might include simpler accumulation, higher power efficiency, better logic, smarter devices, simpler software, autonomous robots, goods to person, etc.

4. Changing markets require new processes

Markets are always changing, and your current market might be requiring different products or order profiles which require a different means of distribution.  Trying to ignore the change and limp along with the old configuration may have opportunity costs that exceed the cost of the right system.  One significant way this can impact operations is if orders need to be consolidated differently due to freight changes, shipping regulations, product changes, etc. The old system might require inefficient processing on the line, using more man power or slower processing if it is not re-tailored to meet these needs.

Do some of these issues sound familiar? If so, it might be time to see how you could benefit from an updated conveyor system. Contact us to see what options are available to best suit your individual needs.

Author: Sky Hernandez

Sky is a Project Engineer with Bastian Solutions located in the Grand Rapids regional office and has over 4 year of material handling experience as well as 2 years of manufacturing experience.  Sky attended the University of Toledo where he received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering.  As a Project Engineer, Sky has shown proven success in system design and project management for warehousing, distribution, and manufacturing operations.  His expertise includes process optimization, CAD design, Six Sigma methodologies, and knowledge of a wide variety of material handling equipment.

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