Buying a conveyor system can significantly increase efficiency, boosting both productivity and products, but there are pitfalls that you must try to avoid.
Wrong material choice
When choosing your vacuum conveyor or any other type of industrial machinery, you need to consider the materials you are handling. Every material is obviously different and so previous experiences may not necessarily be applicable if a new product is being handled, and even materials which seem to be almost identical can often behave very differently. This is why it can be a big mistake to fail to fully understand the materials you want to convey, including the freedom of flow, behaviour when packaging under pressure and any flammable, corrosive or abrasive characteristics.
Lack of environmental understanding
The safety of the area around your vacuum conveyor should never be ignored. Critical considerations should include fire prevention, noise limits and air quality standards affecting workers. Environmental factors to think about should also include sources of ignition, corrosive vapour, potential flammability, humidity levels, vibration, temperature, and pressure or vacuum. Ensure you fully understand worker safety requirements in a production environment and that conveyor workstations are properly designed, by reading HSE guidelines, available at http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/geis4.htm.
Ignoring duty cycle
If you are looking at Vacuum Conveyors, and the duty is low, it may be tempting to look at budget options, but you must consider the costs associated with potential downtime. Therefore, it is vital to not only think about a single vacuum conveyor, but also its role in your complete process system.
Forgotten performance indicators
Do not forget additional performance indicators that may affect the rate of your conveyor system, such as packaging and segregation of materials, and consider the quality requirements of your particular operation before making your choice from the wide range of vacuum conveyors available on the market.
It’s easy to focus completely on one particular issue without considering potential downfalls and variables. Of course, you should focus on the particular characteristics you need and your particular process concerns, but try to ensure that you don’t end up with a one-dimensional solution that does not offer you the versatility and adaptability that you actually need. It’s also important to gather input from all affected areas of your operation, to ensure that all needs are actually met.