Conveyor System

5 Considerations when designing a process system

Colin Fairweather, CEO, Facet Engineering

When designing a process or conveyor system, there are a number of key considerations that must be considered in order to ensure that the system effectively meets the key requirements of the client and product.

Within any product handling system, there is a starting point and an end point. Typically, a conveyor system needs to be integrated into existing infrastructure, and work with other conveyors already in place. A conveyor system involves a number of processes including product infeed or intake, moving through various transfer points and processes, offloading, bagging and storage.

The entire process that must be followed within a production line or process facility needs to be identified and defined first, before any system design can take place.

1. UNDERSTAND THE PRODUCT

The most important consideration in the design of a conveyor system is the product to be conveyed. In bulk handling applications, this will include:

  • the bulk density of the material,
  • its angle of repose and,
  • the physical characteristics of the material (dry, sticky, abrasive, free-flowing, lumpy, powdery).

For unit handling conveyor systems, product details including:

  • the container dimensions, size, weight is critical for determining what conveyor will be most effective.
  • The nature of the product also determines the handling parameters around spillage, abrasion, wear on machinery.
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2. DETERMINE THE REQUIRED OUTPUT PROCESS CAPACITY

A key determinant in the design of a conveyor system is how much of a product needs to be moved over a certain distance or over a particular time frame. For bulk handling, this is typically measured in tonnes or kilograms per hour. For unit handling systems this would be measured in units per hour.

3. ASSESS THE OPERATING CONDITIONS

The operating environment greatly impacts the design of a conveyor system. Whether product needs to be stored and conveyed indoors or outdoors will affect the features of the conveyors. The environment also includes the area in which the conveyor system will be located, whether the product needs to be moved up an incline or decline, any health and safety requirements, dust generation during handling and processing and as well as any limitations of the existing infrastructure or floor space.

4. PRODUCT INTAKE AND OFFLOADING

A critical component of a conveyor system is how the product is introduced at the beginning, as well as how produce is extracted at the end of the process. Some handling systems require manual intake and others are completely automated. The required handling capacity will also influence the way product is fed into the system.

5. SERVICE AND MAINTENANCE REQUIREMENTS

Maintenance and servicing requirements are a vital consideration of conveyor system design. Conveyor systems are comprised of many moving parts and consumables that will require replacing and repair over the course of its working lifespan. Good conveyor design will always include easy access to components that need to be replaced, and ensuring minimal downtime when servicing needs to be done.

Facet Engineering specializes in the design and manufacture of conveyor systems to suit a wide range of product applications and handling requirements. We servicing many all industries and sectors of the market. From individual conveyors to complete turnkey conveyor systems, we can do it all, and we pride ourselves on being able to solve just about any handling or conveying challenge.

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