Since its introduction in the early 20th century, the overhead conveyor has revolutionized several industries. These conveyors use an arrangement of overhead monorail systems to move products connected to the monorail from one point to another, thus allowing for seamless transitions between various process operations. This automated transportation of goods and materials minimizes human labor and, as a result, significantly reduces time, as well as cost.
Overhead conveyors offer numerous advantages. Specifically, they free up valuable floor space, thereby maximizing facility floorplan layouts and increasing plant efficiency and flexibility.
Richards-Wilcox’s Zig-Zag overhead conveyor can be used in almost any industry that requires items to be transported around facilities as part of their daily operations. They are ideal for a number of applications ranging from simple, in-line systems to complex storage retrieval systems.
Although the applications for Zig-Zag monorail conveyors can be plentiful, some of their most common industrial applications are:
- Manufacturing – Overhead conveyors are an essential element in manufacturing automation. Assisting in a broad variety of processes ranging from assembly to fabrication and packaging, Zig-Zag conveyors aid the movement of parts or components – particularly heavy or bulky items – from one phase of the manufacturing cycle to another automatically.
- Warehouses & Distribution Centers – In the warehouse and distribution industry, sorting, tracking, and packaging large amounts of items are essential to daily operations. Overhead conveyors often deliver the empty cartons or totes to the picking modules while maximizing floor space, thereby allowing workers to focus on specific tasks with minimal obstructions at ground level.
- Automotive repair – Because automotive parts are often cumbersome, manual transportation can be impractical in the repair industry. As an alternative, Zig-Zag overhead conveyors are the ideal automotive parts conveyor for rapidly and consistently transporting car parts and bodies from one repair or assembly process to another. For instance, a car part can be moved from the stamping process straight to painting in an automated and seamless fashion.
- Paint finishing and detailing – Zig-Zag conveyors are also useful solutions for handling products during painting and detailing operations. Since the monorails are installed overhead to increase available floor area, painters have ample working space to work with bulky and complex shapes.
- Garment industry – Correctional institutions, hospitals, dry cleaning facilities, and hotels all make use of overhead conveyors to easily store and retrieve garments or textiles. By utilizing overhead space, multiple levels of clothing storage increase storage capacity. Enclosed monorail systems can also be used for highly efficient and automated employee uniform retrieval systems.
- Food & beverage – Process automation in the food and beverage industry is crucial as increasing consumer demand and fierce competition necessitates faster and more efficient production. Conveyors move food products between various processes ranging from manufacturing to packaging with minimal human intervention and increased efficiency. The use of conveyors and the reduction of manual handling are also essential for meeting strict safety and sanitary regulations.
The versatility of Zig-Zag monorail systems also makes them suitable for other applications such as:
- Inventory storage
- Plating rack storage
- Die-cast rack storage
Installing a Zig-Zag Overhead Monorail System
Richards-Wilcox Conveyor Zig-Zag overhead monorail systems offer several benefits over conventional conveyor systems. The standard modular construction of the monorails is designed to be durable and reliable while providing essential flexibility and customization for a broad range of applications.
To learn more about how Zig-Zag monorail systems can address your conveying need or to discuss the specifics of our installation process, please contact our technical support team for more information.