The Benefits of Investing in High-Performance Conveyor Chain for Your Operation

The Benefits of Investing in High-Performance Conveyor Chains for Your Operation

In any industry of mass production, efficiency and durability are of utmost importance. To those looking from the outside-in, the manufacturing space is more complex than many imagine. Harvard Business Review illustrates this well: “Most Americans believe factory work is mechanical, snapping together plastic parts or assembling electronic devices. No thinking required; just put in these four screws 2,400 times a day… Many of the jobs in the most advanced semiconductor-manufacturing plants are as complex as a lunar-landing mission… Producing biologics involves enough biochemistry, chemical engineering, and cell biology to make a graduate student wince.”

Manufacturers exploring efficiency from the inside-out understand that high-quality, reliable equipment – from conveyor systems to conveyor chain – is crucial. Purchasing high-quality, excellent systems is absolutely worth the investment. Below, we explore a few of the many benefits high-performance conveyor chains provide any operation.

High-Performance Conveyor Chain is Durable

As the name implies, a high-performance conveyor chain performs excellently in a variety of harsh, demanding environments, including those with long runs and sharp turns. A high-performance chain is built to function reliably every time for a long time. In The Competitive Edge: Research Priorities for U.S. Manufacturing, the importance of making substantial investments for reliable equipment is insightfully discussed:

Substantial capital investments, in the form of facilities and equipment, are required for manufacturing almost all goods of economic significance. The productivity of these investments is a fundamental element of competition among companies and nations. Events that slow or interrupt the manufacturing process or degrade the product impair the competitiveness of a manufacturing enterprise. The term equipment reliability and maintenance (ERM) encompasses not only equipment, such as machines, tools, and fixtures, but also the technical, operational, and management activities, ranging from equipment specifications to daily operation and maintenance, required to sustain the performance of manufacturing equipment throughout its useful life.

High-Performance Conveyor Chain is Versatile

A high-performance conveyor chain is suitable for use in multiple types of overhead conveyor applications, both heavy duty and lighter systems. A high-performance chain can be implemented in OveR-Way, patented Twin-Track, and lighter systems using Zig-Zag or Inverted Paintline. A high-performance conveyor chain is both versatile and consistent, enhancing each overhead application explored briefly below with reliability:

OveR-Way Heavy-Duty Over and Under Conveyor

This system is the ideal solution for paint finishing applications, WIP buffer & retrieval, assembly line systems, and long load handling. The OveR-Way Conveyor utilizes the same components as every Richards-Wilcox chain conveyor – trustworthy and reliable. OveR-Way conveyor systems are built to withstand the rigor of a variety of applications; utilizing a high-performance conveyor chain, these systems can also endure rigorous environments. OveR-Way systems boast impressive lifting capacity. Single Over-way carriers support loads up to 1,000 pounds, while Tandem carriers hoist up to 2,000 pounds. Using OveR-Way Heavy-Duty conveyor systems and a high-performance chain, equipment can do all the heavy lifting.

Twin-Trak Side-By-Side Conveyor

Strengthened with a high-performance conveyor chain, Twin-Trak systems bring unlimited power to limited spaces, designed for paint finishing systems, WIP buffer storage & retrieval, progressive assembly, extrusion material handling, and typical curing applications. Twin-Trak systems stand apart due to the ease of switching into and out of the main line of travel with greater frequency than other power and free conveyor designs.

Zig-Zag Enclosed Track Conveyor

The Zig-Zag system is the result of a century of innovation, an effective, efficient system. This conveyor utilizes standard components built for long life. The Zig-Zag conveyor is simple and modular, and easily installed in a wide variety of locations, including manufacturing floors, auto-body shops, receiving areas, etc. Thus, the list of potential applications is nearly endless. A few include paint finishing systems, WIP buffer systems, investment casting, progressive assembly, trash conveyors, tote handling, die cast rack storage, empty carton return, planting rack storage, silver can delivery, and robotic interface.

Richards-Wilcox Conveyor High-Performance Conveyor Chain

Richards-Wilcox Conveyor’s high-performance conveyor chain is designed with countless benefits in mind. A unique caged bearing design is one such customization that changes the nature of a conveyor chain. The bearing design results in longer chain life, smoother operation, quieter operation, less downtime, and greater reliability. When used with inverted track or specialty carriers, e-Chain is an excellent option. e-Chain can be utilized for clean applications, when sanitation is prioritized, such as merchandise distribution and fulfillment.

Furthermore, Richards-Wilcox Conveyor’s high-performance conveyor chain is made with high-quality components, resulting in lower replacement frequency. Reduced system drag increases system life. The chain is more ergonomic and easier on manufacturers and plant workers. The system demands less expensive maintenance and, ultimately, lower total system costs.

The system is built to improve efficiencies, lower overhead cost, and provide reliability for your operation. Below, we explore how Richards-Wilcox Conveyor’s equipment has impacted real companies.

Case Study

Premier Citrus Packers

Major international fruit producer, Premier Citrus Packers handle 2 million boxes of produce annually. Essentially, the market depends on them. The plant contacted Richards-Wilcox Conveyor with an old, outdated conveyor system that caused problems. Neither the Florida-based fruit plant nor the global market could afford the downtime caused by an inefficient conveyor operation. Grocery chains globally relied on Premier Citrus Packers distribution, packaged under a wide variety of private labels.

The Premier Citrus Packers line relies on both an overhead system and a belt conveyor. The overhead system supplies boxes to line workers, while the belt conveyor delivers fruit to packing stations. For the entire facility to operate, both conveyors must be properly working. When the Packers contacted Richards-Wilcox, both conveyors were worn-out – the system broke down constantly.

Utilizing Richards-Wilcox Conveyor systems, Premier Citrus Packers can depend on their equipment. The conveyor is built to last, stronger, more adaptable, and ready for the future. The international fruit producers now experience less downtime, higher productivity, and greater yield.

Richards-Wilcox Conveyor

Richards-Wilcox Conveyor builds conveyor systems engineered for evolution. Our systems are flexible, modular, and designed to keep pace with the radically changing world. We help industries keep on track for the future. If you are interested in upgrading your efficiency and durability, get in touch today at (888) 852-1020 or via our online contact form.

2 Advantages of a Overhead Trolley System

2 Advantages of a Overhead Trolley System

As the world changes, industries are forced to incorporate equipment designed for adaption and built for the future. Efficiency, quality, and quantity are simultaneously demanded by companies and consumers alike. In the face of extraordinary demand, selecting equipment strategically is crucial. Conveyor systems are a piece of equipment often found in the warehouse and manufacturing plants behind dozens of industries – and a specific variation can provide the efficiency required to meet and exceed demands.

Below, we explore two key advantages of utilizing a trolley conveyor system in a modern, efficient industrial setting.

What Are Trolley Conveyor Systems?

Trolley conveyor systems take many forms; however, overhead conveyor systems are most common. Simply put, overhead conveyor systems are a continuous chain or cable loop, suspended from a track. At times, carriers are attached to augment various processes. Overhead trolleys are often categorized into several different types, including manual systems, push systems, and power and free conveyors.

2 Advantages of Trolley Conveyor Systems

Overhead Trolley Systems Use Space Efficiently

As their name implies, overhead trolley conveyor systems are installed out of the way, above ground-level operations. Efficient use of space is absolutely crucial for locations with limited space.

The Twin-Trak Side-by-Side Conveyor system provides unlimited power while using space efficiently. A small factory may have limited ground level and overhead space. The Side-by-Side system is built with a dual-track for optimal volume and efficiency. Freed space can be used for other equipment. The Twin-Trak also stores work-in-process projects overhead. When needed, each piece of a project can be called down in the exact quantity and order required. However, when in disuse, the projects are stored out of the way.

Overhead Trolley Conveyor Systems Are Flexible

Most overhead conveyor systems are designed with intense, complex environments in mind. Trolley systems transport huge and varied loads at high temperatures. Often, the equipment is developed for sensitive, highly contaminated applications. The Over-Way Heavy Duty Over and Under Conveyor system is built to withstand the rigor of a variety of applications.

2 Advantages of a Overhead Trolley System

As a general task, overhead trolley systems are often used in painting systems, transporting parts through the cleaning, coating, drying, and cooling processes. Overhead trolleys find their way into a variety of industrial settings as well, playing crucial roles in transporting products among manufacturing applications. For example, trolleys may provide new supplies of cases or cartons. A trolley system may be utilized for carrying thousands of pounds of equipment. The Over-Way transports loads up to 1,000 pounds.

What makes overhead trolley conveyor systems different from a conveyor belt system? Quite simply, flexibility. Trolley systems can transport unique products, odd-shaped parts, and other items difficult to transport on a traditional belt system.

Richards-Wilcox Conveyor

At Richards-Wilcox Conveyor, we are accustomed to the demand for innovation – meeting and succeeding expectations. This is why we provide conveyor solutions designed to keep pace with a radically changing world. Each system we produce is modular, flexible, and adaptable. We have the right overhead trolley system for your applications.

To learn more about our conveyor solutions, contact us today at (888) 852-1020 or via our online contact form.

5 Key Benefits of Conveyor System Design Simulation

Without a doubt, conveyor systems can provide a number of benefits to a wide range of industries. From carefully assembling equipment to welding parts together, from temporarily storing goods to ensuring their proper distribution to delivery trucks, conveyors carry out a host of valuable tasks. They maintain continuous workflows that substantially increase workplace productivity, while sharply reducing the need for manual handling and the incidence of human error. Better still, conveyors perform these functions in a provably cost-effective manner, as these systems in the long term consume significantly fewer resources than competing methods of handling materials. For many businesses, a well-managed conveyor system is the best possible means of assembling, treating, and/or transporting materials efficiently.

Even so, setting up a conveyor system is not a task to be undertaken lightly. Installation costs can be substantial and can be impacted by unanticipated design changes that necessitate rebuilding the system in part or entirely.  Therefore, preparation is fundamental. But how can company owners properly ferret out design problems in advance? How can they ensure that the installation process will result in a conveyor system they can depend on? The answer lies in conveyor simulation.

What Is Conveyor Simulation?

Conveyor simulation is a computer-generated model that displays the ins and outs of a proposed conveyor system. This allows the user to see exactly where the various components of a system would fit into existing space. It’s important to understand that these models are far from fixed, schematic diagrams; the simulation software is designed to imitate the workflow produced by a functioning conveyor. To that end, the software shows the conveyor system in motion, allowing the user to see graphical representations of products being moved through the various workstations in real time and in three dimensions. In addition, the user can also see the conveyor from multiple angles for detailed analysis. It’s even possible to “zoom in” for a closer look.

Conveyor computer simulation may be used either to design a new system from scratch or to explore proposed modifications in an existing system.

Benefits of Conveyor Simulation

So, how does conveyor simulation help you decide if a conveyor system design will meet your company’s requirements? Simulation provides a number of key benefits, which we’ll explore below.

  • Calculate Production Rates Conveyors are highly effective in transporting products from one workstation to another in a speedy fashion—exactly how speedy depends on a variety of factors that can be difficult to calculate without putting the system into action. Figuring out how quickly products can be sent through the system is vastly important, however, as it relates closely to the profitability of the business.  Fortunately, conveyor simulation allows these all-important calculations to be proven needing to build a real live functioning conveyor system.
  • Calculate Manpower Needs When compared with traditional production methods, conveyors minimize the number of personnel needed to manage workflows. For example, conveyors generally make it unnecessary to keep forklift drivers on hand to transport materials from one end of the facility to another. Nonetheless, these systems require a certain number of workers to manage the various workstations. With a good simulation program, it’s possible to figure out exactly how many workers are needed to run the system. This optimizes staffing capacity.
  • Detect Conveyor Problems in Advance Sometimes a conveyor system design will “look good on paper” but not yield optimum productivity. There are a number of hidden problems that may not be revealed until considerable amounts of money have been spent. For instance, one all-too-common conveyor problem is “bottlenecking,” where too many Work In Process products end up crowded into a particular area of the system; a bottleneck will considerably slow down the workflow and impede production. Therefore, a conveyor engineer must detect design problems like this well before the time comes to construct the physical system. Luckily, this is entirely possible with a conveyor simulation program.
  • Demonstrate Effectiveness of the System As we have said, installing a conveyor system involves an expenditure of significant amounts of time and resources. Those responsible for “signing off” on a new system will naturally look for reassurance that the project is worth the expense. By showing a simulation of the proposed conveyor system, the team responsible for its implementation can demonstrate the integrity and efficiency of the design.
  • Avoid Unneeded Expenditures All the benefits listed above connect to the bottom line: Conveyor simulation lets businesses save money. With a proper simulation program, a business has access to a cost-effective way to improve workflow efficiency, identify problems in a conveyor system, try out new production ideas, and dispense with wasteful trial-and-error assembly and disassembly of equipment. An ounce of prevention beats a pound of cure—that old adage applies to conveyor assembly as well as anything. R-W Conveyor invites their clients to explore Richards-Wilcox computer simulation for the finest in conveyor system design planning. They are available to help you save money and map out a first-rate conveyor system for your company. 

View more of our conveyor simulations online by visiting our YouTube channel: RW Conveyor Systems

What to Ask When Designing a Conveyor System for Finishing Applications

Conveyor Systems for Finishing Applications

Productive facilities rely on effective conveyor systems for finishing applications to keep their lines running smoothly. Richards-Wilcox Conveyor Systems offers a number of conveyor systems that combine customizable features with cost efficiency. The option you select depends on the finishing applications in which your facility specializes. Below, we’ve put together a handy guide to help you determine the best paint line conveyor system for your facility’s needs.

What Is Your Material-Handling Objective?

The first factor to consider when designing your conveyor system is your handling objective. As you look at the available options, measure the exact specifications of the parts that the system will carry, including their shape, size, and weight.  This information will determine the types and capabilities of equipment needed, including attachments, load bars, and carriers.

The proper selection also relies on an accurate accounting of volume and deadlines as well as how they affect your production rate. Certain conveyor systems handle different speeds, and your production rates will also determine the amount of buffer storage space to incorporate in your conveyor design plan.

Which Finishing Application Will Your Conveyor System Handle?

The next aspect to consider is which finishing application your products require. Finishing options come in two categories: dry (powder coating) processes and wet processes. Each process has its own finishing application options that can vary widely, from ovens and washers to spray booths and degreasers.

Powder coating operates via an electrostatic dry finishing process. This process electrically charges and sprays pigment and resin particles onto electrically grounded parts. Powder coating conveyor systems provide a lasting, quality finish.

Wet processes use electrical currents in a technique known as electrophoretic deposition, or E-coating. This process uses an electrically charged liquid-based solution bath to deposit particles onto the product. Parts with crevices or irregular shapes particularly benefit from this process.

Additional wet processes include dip and spray systems, both of which typically use overhead conveyor systems. Dip line finishing uses dip tanks filled with any number of different solutions, into which operators dip their products to evenly apply finish. Sometimes, tanks contain cleaning solutions or chemicals to help prepare an item for its final coating.

Wet spray appears in a large number of applications and can work on almost any product. Paint line conveyor systems apply paint or varnish to a variety of media including metals, woods, and plastics.

Which Conveyor System Is Best for Your Finishing Application?

After you’ve completed documenting your material specifications and have chosen a finishing process, it is time to determine the best conveyor system for your facility’s needs. Several considerations, such as warehouse space and amount of finishing materials, govern this choice. Most products are finished better with overhead conveyor systems, but other parts might require inverted floor-mounted conveyor systems.

Overhead and inverted systems include monorail conveyor systems and power & free conveyor systems.

  • Monorails use a single rail and endless chain system and the entire chain runs at a constant speed. Although they’re simple and cost-effective, they offer little flexibility for process change.
  • Power & free conveyor systems incorporate two rails and a trolley. This allows the system unlimited flexibility, that allows stopping at key locations (e.g., robots, load, unload), carrier accumulation areas and diverting to multiple locations.

How Can Richards-Wilcox Conveyor Systems Help?

No matter the project, Richards-Wilcox Conveyor Systems will help you choose the best conveyor system for your facility. Whether you need a simple spray finish or a complex system that accommodates regular change, we’ll design an efficient and flexible system that will meet your needs.

With over 100 years of experience, we have a reputation for designing and implementing superior conveyor systems for finishing applications.

Contact Us Today

Richards-Wilcox Conveyor Systems offers consulting and engineering services for the most basic to the most complex systems.  Contact us today to request a quote.