- Engineered Solutions
Today more than ever, industrial automation plays an important role in keeping manufacturing sustainable in Australia. In order to stay competitive, industries are always looking to improve effectiveness in their operations. Thanks to innovation, there is a lot of great technology on the market to provide smart and automated solutions to manufacturers.
“The spotlight in most cases is on big machinery being the heart of production. However, what often gets forgotten is the complex artery of conveyor lines that transport products and packaging in a controlled way from one machinery to the next. Without conveyor systems, machines alone are not enough to efficiently automate factory floors.” – Steve Alcorn, FlexCAM Managing Director.
Conveyor systems are often complex in their design and construction due to the large scales and integration with machinery. When they are designed with production processes, space constraints and operational requirements in mind they play a huge role in industrial automation.
Well thought out design will eliminate product flow issues which can seriously impact machine operating efficiency resulting in valuable product loss and downtime. This can be especially costly on high throughput and volume production lines.
The modular aspect of innovative conveyors enables engineers to design and commission systems that meet any budget requirement and the conditions of even the most complicated and demanding production environments. Standardised solutions also allow businesses to stage their capital expenditure when upgrading their factory automation.
It’s important to remember that machines work at different rates. The role of conveyors is to allow machinery to perform at its best by conveying and feeding products or packaging in a controlled manner between machines. By optimising input and output, conveyor systems ensure machines operate at their ideal capacity maximising capital investment for manufacturers.
Conveyor systems must be able to absorb overfeed from one machine to the next, which can take up a lot of valuable floor space creating difficult working conditions. Cramped factory floors present many issues for operation teams from safety concerns to costly product change overs and capacity restraints.
“By utilising the height and ceiling space of a factory, we can reclaim valuable floor space for manufacturers avoiding the need of costly footprint expansion. The installation of overhead conveyors significantly improves operator safety. One of the main reasons, our clients want to elevate their production is to create clear passage space for forklifts to separate heavy equipment from pedestrians.” says Steve Alcorn.
Elevating solutions such as incline conveyors, spiral elevators and wedge conveyors allow manufacturers to lift production off the floor offering extra capacity and improved accessibility for operators. Standardised interfaces to the upstream and downstream equipment make elevating solutions not only space efficient but also accommodating for a full range of products. In addition, smart accumulating solutions can accommodate a lot of conveyor length into a small footprint without overcrowding the factory floor.