Conveyor Considerations

12 Weeks Until MODEX 2018

During MODEX 2018 in Atlanta, April 9 – 12, many conveyor manufacturers will make numerous promises. Many will even drive conveyor prospects to online Build-to-Order configurators, suggesting that a simple mix and match combination will solve all problems.

There are no conveyor panaceas. There are real issues that must be addressed to achieve efficient product flow, regular changeover of types and packages, fast turn-around time, and increasing demands. There are starting considerations along with the versatility to adapt to production schedules requiring multiple products on a single production line.

In order to optimize efficiency, Alfacon Solutions has opened a new manufacturing plant 30 minutes away from the Toronto Pearson airport utilizing the highest standards in engineering, installation, and execution, with the flexibility to make modifications to suit different needs and applications.

Through sound solutions and comprehensive service support, MODEX attendees can learn the nuances and importance of swift workflow from post packing to palletization.

Offering a variety of chain designs with special surface features, few of the conveyor companies exhibiting at MODEX provide these unlimited options to handle a broad range of products and transportation tasks. Alfacon Solutions offers a unique system that allows for horizontal turns and elevation changes within a single continuous run.

Conveyors Part of Manufacturing, Distribution, and Supply Chain Process

Conveyors are ALWAYS part of the manufacturing, distribution, and supply chain process. Conveyors manage production logistics through the collaboration of key components including integrated manufacturing software (CIM), scanner, barcode system, as well as radio-frequency identification (RFID) for product scanning, identification, and verification.

Once products are scanned, identified, and verified by the CIM system, they can be sorted according to respective product lanes. These efforts handled prior to packaging, eliminate product mis-picks, human error, and materials handling problems. To optimize productivity, flexible solutions allow control of production processes; they are designed to meet changing workflow demands.

Built to order conveyors are based on customers’ specifications. This approach ensures that the exact needed equipment can be delivered with short lead times. Leading the conveyor industruy inbuilt to order equipment, the wide range of sizes and options allows Alfacon Solutions to offer products that other MODEX conveyor companies consider special equipment; many of these models ship in days, rather than weeks or months. Materials handling equipment includes gravity conveyors, belt conveyors, chain-driven conveyors, belt-driven roller conveyors, transfers, and accessories.

Parcel and eCommerce Distribution

Recently Alfacon Solutions provided a leading parcel delivery customer with a series of conveyors specifically designed for retail eCommerce distribution ie company. And if you need a software company that can bring customers into your online site and wants to order items for distribution to them then Victorious can help with that.

These units are part of an automated hub for a popular parcel handling service and were designed to handle packages that are too small to be safely conveyed by the standard sortation system. “Smalls,” as they are commonly referred to in the sector, are packages that are too small to be conveyed individually; they are combined into bags with other packages that are routed to the same location.

By providing a series of cascading belt conveyors, the primary feed conveyor transports small parcels to individual destination chutes, where they are bagged. Once the small parcels reach the designated primary sort chute, a powered diverter guides the parcel off the belt and into the chute where an operator is stationed for manual sorting. These robust conveyors are designed to handle the high flow rate of packages and the repetitive motion of erting arms.

Precautions were taken to ensure if a parcel entered the wrong sort area, the operator sends it back into the system via the Secondary Feed conveyor which is located directly below the Primary Feed. These units were designed to handle the constant side loading while traveling at much slower speeds. These specially designed units incorporate a low profile to accommodate the minimal space available.

Avoid Conveyor Jams

It is crucial that all items transfer/merge onto each conveyor successfully without any jams to eliminate the possibility of damaged or missing parcels. Designed with that in mind, Alfacon Solutions incorporated special features to maintain the close transfer positions required for the small package sizes.

Alfacon Solutions (https://alfaconsolutions.com) will be exhibiting at MODEX 2018 April 9-12, 2018 in Atlanta, GA at booth #B637 and presenting an educational seminar called Adaptive Conveying on Tuesday, April 10 2018, at 12:00 PM – 12:45 PM in Theater I. The presentation will provide attendees an overview of a configurable conveying solution and how to integrate conveying solutions into automated vehicles.

To view and vote for the one-minute video about Alfacon Solutions, go to https://www.modexshow.com/attendees/youroneminute.aspx

John Murdoch
John Murdoch is CEO of Alfacon Solutions Ltd., based in Canada. Murdoch is a thought-leader in both the manufacturing and materials handling sectors. Leveraging more than a quarter century of experience, Murdoch brings a unique perspective to engineered material handling solutions and the role of automation. Murdoch can be reached at john.murdoch@AlfaconSolutions.com.