The production line is the line of machinery at your factory or office where materials move through a process, completing the production. For example, a bottling line would have a bottle from the start – when it is empty – go all the way till it’s filled with its contents, labelled and packed into a box.
If your existing production line is manual, then you are probably thinking of automating it. Alternatively, you already have an automated line and are looking to expand. In either of these scenarios, you will need to consider a few things, like:
The conveyor is like a huge metal snake that travels through your work floor. One of the main reasons to use conveyors is to improve efficiency. If the conveyor design is bad, it will lead to two negative effects.
First, it will occupy too much space without really achieving anything, and second, it will go against the entire idea of improving efficiency with conveyor installation. This is why the conveyor design should be such that it makes the most of available floor space without compromising on existing productivity.
Equipment safety is almost always a multiplier of training and understanding. If your equipment is easy to use, your employees will be able to use it safely, which is why, you should choose equipment that has intuitive controls, with a lot of visual clues on how to operate it. Along with the ease of usage, it must also have built in features to detect when something goes wrong.
Automated equipment for a production line normally involves huge machines that have a lot of moving mechanics in them. Think of all those parts that make a mechanical clock work – it’s something like that.
When something has so many moving parts, it’s bound to break down and have a short life, which is why you should choose equipment that comes with a long service life. Asking the manufacturer for proof of longevity and collecting past customer references is a good idea.
Conveyors and other production line gadgets are like any other machinery and need constant attention. This includes keeping them clean, since dust can rust metal parts as well as corrode plastic/rubber parts in them, which reduces the life span and output efficiency too.
In order to keep that from happening, the equipment should be easy to clean, and not react adversely when cleaning agents are used. An additional consideration for cleaning is resistance to water. If your production operation requires regular cleaning, ensure that the equipment is designed to work with that.
Budget is something that plays a huge role when investing in new machinery of any kind. The design, safety and all the other features that were discussed till now will come to nothing if the chosen equipment is out of your budget. When looking at options, you would be better off doing a long-term cost/benefit calculation.
To use an example, suppose a conveyor costs 100 dollars and has a lifespan of 5 years. Over the next 5 years, think of all the savings you would enjoy as a result of this conveyor. If those savings exceed the value of the conveyor itself, you should go for it. If necessary, adjust your budget to the equipment’s price if the savings are truly worth it
Along with looking at existing requirements, you should also think of possible future additions to the production line equipment you buy. You might consider adding on to a conveyor’s existing length, extending it to reach multiple levels or to handle more weight.
Any of these scenarios might arise in the near and far future, so adding on other equipment or accessories to the machinery you buy is always a possibility. This is why, when designing and buying any equipment for your production line today, think of future modifications too.
It is not without reason that the conveyor is referred to as the circulation system of the factory or office. Installing new machinery or expanding any in an existing production line will always be an important business decision, one which you should make after carefully considering the factors listed above.
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Compactor Management Company (former Northern California Compactors, Inc.) offers installation and support services for waste recycling equipment such as trash compactors, balers, shredders & conveyor systems. Established in 1981, it offers waste management solutions across the United States.