Source: Juice Flair/Shutterstock.com
Conveyor belts have been around since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, and they’re still solving problems today. Automotive manufacturers, resellers and distributors often use conveyor belts to move their products from one point to another. It’s often the fastest, safest way to handle merchandise in an industry rife with potential hazards.
Learn more about the benefits of using conveyor belts in the automotive industry, so you can find the right system for your facility.
Why Use a Conveyor System?
Manufacturing facilities across all industries rely on conveyor belts for their ability to move products through the supply chain. Workers can place items on the belt. They will then move automatically toward the loading dock. No pushing or pulling required.
Using conveyor belt systems helps you better predict how long it will take your employees to reach the loading dock or fulfill an order. The machine should be able to move these items in a matter of seconds, so you can get these orders out the door as fast as possible.
Most conveyor belts use a motor. Others are run by gravity. Staff should be able to turn off the belt as needed throughout the day. In some cases, the conveyor belt may even aid in the manufacturing process. Robotic arms and human workers alike can make adjustments and add supplies to the original product as it passes by, just like an assembly line.
Source: Juice Flair/Shutterstock.com
Studies show the most common injuries in the automotive industry are sprains/strains (39 percent), lacerations (22 percent) and contusions (15 percent). These kinds of injuries are avoidable. Every injury will hurt your bottom line and your reputation as an employer. Your team may need to take time off from work, forcing you to find a replacement.
No one wants to bend down or pick up containers by hand all day. Forklifts can be useful, but they require regular maintenance. Forklifts can also lead to accidents in the workplace. Help your team stay safe on the job with a conveyor system.
How to Choose the Right Conveyor System for Your Facility
There are lots of different ways to utilize a conveyor belt in the automotive industry. Some use them for stocking and manufacturing, while others use them for sorting and product picking.
Start by analyzing what kinds of products you’re planning on putting on the belt. Will you place the item right on the belt or place it inside a container first?
Make sure the belt is wide enough to support these items. If you sell or process lots of different kinds of SKUs, you may need to invest in more than one kind of belt. There are lots of different belts and conveyors to choose from.
Consider the sheer weight of your products as well. Check the weight limitations to make sure you’re not putting this equipment in harm’s way.
The conveyor belt should run through the central areas of your warehouse. Every worker using the system should have fast access to the belt. Your team might also need to adjust the speed, depending on the task at hand, so look for a system with user-friendly controls.
Source: Maciej Bledowski/Shutterstock.com
Try to keep your costs low by using the same type of container every time. Metal bins are perfect for moving small metal parts and supplies around on a conveyor belt, including bolts, nuts, screws, connectors and plugs. These bins can hold large quantities of these items with a sealed door, so nothing gets lost along the way.
It’s best to use a pallet container when moving larger goods on a conveyor belt, such as shocks, pads, fabric, upholstery and rubber. These containers fit right onto a pallet, so your team can quickly prepare them for shipment. They are also collapsible, so your team can fold them up and tuck them away when they’re not in use.
Learn what is palletizing, so you can optimize this process without putting your inventory at risk.
Chances are your facility could benefit from a conveyor belt in more ways than one. Research the latest systems on the market today to find the right equipment for your facility. Why move something by hand when a machine can do it for you?