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Your First ZiPline Conveyor and the Basics of Owning It

Nate Richter | 08 November 2016

Your First ZiPline Conveyor: What Do You Know? Do You Need Things? Let's Find Out!

The Unwrapping

You are now the proud owner of a ZiPline conveyor, and maybe you are starting to wonder what exactly the next step is. Possibly this is the first conveyor you have ever purchased to which I will be the first to say congratulations on taking the efficiency of your operations seriously and making a bold step to transition to an automated facility. This is likely a little scary, a little exciting, and a little costly compared to previous modes of operation, but don’t worry, you’re in good hands. If this isn’t your first conveyor, then you likely already have your sleeves rolled up (and steel toe boots on) and are ready to begin installing this bad boy. Unfortunately, ZiPline conveyor is not like that RC car that you got for your 8th birthday with the sweet flame decals and raised suspension. You know, that one your brother drove down the stairs and got you in trouble for putting a hole in the dry wall… It’s also not quite like the IKEA nightstand that you put together with an Allen wrench and the Lego-style directions. This is a piece of CEMA industrial equipment that is in the final stages of becoming ISO:9001 certified, at the time of this blog's release. I’m not saying that it’s going to be incredibly or impossibly difficult, but this is going to require you to not only read the instructions, but to be precise. Most importantly, it is going to require you to be SAFE. This is serious equipment and there are dangers with moving parts and electrical components that can injure you if not handled properly. By adding equipment to your facility, it is important to note that you are now culpable for OSHA regulations you may not have been before this purchase and should take some time to look into standards including but not limited to 1926.555, 1917.48, and 1918.64. I add that information not to serve as a disclaimer for us, but to help assure that you and your personnel are safe.

The Installing

So, what is the next step? Right. The next step then is to make sure you have everything you need. Presumably you have your conveyor with you, so take a minute to look at what ZiPline conveyor model you have. If it ends in DC, such as BRBDC or RZPDC for example, then you are going to need a power supply, which is a blue boxy thing. If you didn’t get one of those, then call Bastian Solutions, and let’s get one of those shipped out to you ASAP. There are a couple different options for power supplies, but based on what you bought, the product sizes/weights, and the application, our team will be more than capable of sizing the power supply(s) to fit your needs. If your ZiPline model ends in AC, like BSBAC or RLVAC for instance, then you are likely going to need a licensed electrician. Like I said before, these are technical pieces of industrial equipment, so a couple AAA batteries aren’t going to cut it. Next, I would encourage you to take a look at the manual. There is a lot of information in there to walk you through troubleshooting issues, assist you with some of the accessories you may or may not have ordered, and provide you steps for installation. I know that it can be a little daunting and a lot boring, but remember that some nerdy employee had to write all those manuals. If he can write them and survive, then clearly you can make it through reading it. (I know because I’m that nerdy employee who got hired to write them)… You can find the latest ZiPline manuals on our website. The installation process is described in more detail, but the main points are to ensure that the conveyor is SQUARE and LEVEL. It is very difficult to ensure that a conveyor will operate normally if it is not installed properly from the beginning. This is especially pertinent with AC belted conveyors. It may be beneficial to use a lift table set to the proper height if your installation team is small and/or not equipped with a fork lift. In fact, we offer multiple options of lift tables on our ecommerce site if you need one.

The Final Step

Once the conveyor is installed, powered up, and everything is working fine; is it time to sit back and watch your organization make money? Kind of. The problem with mechanical things is that they wear down and eventually break. This may seem like some sort of scam as your previous manual labor rarely broke from wear, but don’t worry, we have a solution. Spare Parts. Every ZiPline conveyor model has a list of parts that are “wear items” and are recommended to be purchased preemptively. These wear items include pieces such as MDRs, control cards, AC motors, photoeyes, rollers, belts, bearings, and bands. As a basic rule of thumb, we recommend that 10% of the total quantity of each of these parts in your “system,” no matter how small or large, be purchased as a spare part. This helps facilitate getting your operations up and moving again soon after a zone or conveyor goes down. Certain items, like AC motors, have lengthy lead times which makes it critical that you have an extra on hand in case of required maintenance. We are more than happy to work with you to determine what spare parts make the most sense to have in stock for your particular needs.

The Summary

So you just bought your first ZiPline conveyor and aren’t sure what you need to know? Just know that:
  • Our manuals are available online.
  • Proper installation is critical.
  • We REALLY want you to be safe.
  • Spare parts are available upon request (and recommended).
  • We’ve got your back.
  • You can do this.

Author: Nate Richter


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