Invest in Automation for Improved Productivity
With 2022 on the horizon, now is a good time to explore material handling solutions. While the pandemic continues to stubbornly impact countries around the world — including production facilities and supply chains — companies have long since starting shifting from adaptive behaviors toward permanent changes to embrace what’s to come.
The effects of the pandemic on global manufacturing have been well documented as production delays, shutdowns, and more have caused many organizations to examine their production environment. That includes both the equipment used to implement automation improvements and the processes engaged to manage it. One way to address production levels in the face of the changes forced upon the sector in the last 18 months is through material handling equipment.
There are numerous ways for you to invest in solutions — depending on your industry and existing capabilities — that will yield substantial returns in both more effective use of factory and warehouse labor and through long-term cost savings and greater production output. But where do you begin?
Examine any area of your production where you may have some dissatisfaction with existing material handling equipment or that needs greater automation. For example, you may have a strong production line with several types of integrated automated systems, but when components or materials exit that system they must still be handled manually. Maybe you need workers to transport components from one phase to another.
These seemingly small steps can add up to lost time and added expense. In addition, by further adding automated material handling solutions you can free up labor to focus their energies and times elsewhere. Both can and will affect your bottom line.
Today, we’ll explore several options for automated material handling equipment that your business should use to increase productivity.
The Feedall Difference: Unsure about where to start? Visit our Find-A-Feedall page to get suggestions from our expert team about potential solutions.
5 Material Handling Solutions to Consider
Material handling can be automated at every stage of production, including by dealing with bulk materials, feeding components or parts into the production, and with conveying systems to transfer material from one stage to another.
Let’s look at a few solutions in each of these categories.
Bulk Material Solutions
The options here include machinery to perform a variety of tasks all dealing with handling large segments of material or components. You can set up automated solutions for accumulating parts during, or at the end of production. You can elevate parts between machines where loading or dumping occurs above the previous state. You can more effectively meter parts between different phases.
Bulk material handling solutions come in many forms. One example includes tub and box dumpers, which can rotate a loaded hopper to the required discharge height or dump angle and come with sideloading capabilities and discharge valves.
Another option that can find use at different stages of your production line is part accumulation tables or unscrambling tables. These mechanisms enable the collation and accumulation of products from conveyor lines and discharge them in a single-file line while creating a buffer zone for low-speed lines.
Many industries require automated feeders to supply parts from one phase of production to another, but not all feeders offer the same functionality that you might need in your specific environment. With variables like part design, size, volume, and the next stage to consider, a custom solution may be needed. A customized feeder allows you to determine the loading of parts that works most appropriately for your facility, team, and production demands.
For example, automatic bar feeders are the industrial automation solution for the quick and consistent feeding of bar- or tube-shaped parts. With several configurations available depending on your production needs, you can install small-diameter feeders for a wide variety of parts to magazine-style bar feeders for more efficient loading.
Conveyors are essential automated material handling solutions. Often dubbed the circulatory system of a production environment, conveyor systems move critical components from one part of the facility to another, ensuring that each station and stage have what it needs to function. But as with bulk handling and feeder automation, conveyors should be customized to achieve your specific production goals.
Forging cooling conveyors deliver in heavy industrial applications where parts are forged or coated and must be allowed to cool or dry as part of the production process. Because this process is controlled and automated, the parts will never be sent on to the next stage before they’re ready and never be left to dry too long (as may be the case with a dry room).
Meanwhile, thru-feed conveyors bring complete feeding and exit capabilities for an array of machine tools and processes, such as centerless grinding, thread rolling, belt finishing, and assembly. Your conveyor system should provide the part handling, speed, and other capabilities needed to ensure a seamless operation.
The Feedall Difference: Learn more about the options and customizations available with our conveyor systems here.
Trust Feedall for Your Material Handling Solutions
If you’re considering upgrading or adding to your production line with new automated material handling solutions, Feedall is the partner to help you reach your goals. We specialize in the engineering, manufacturing, and integration of cost-effective equipment for many industries and applications. Whatever your equipment needs may be, our team offers complete cradle-to-grave services and support that include custom engineering, building your designs, fabrication support, replacement parts, field support, and low-cost monthly financing.
Ready to learn more about our capabilities, request a quote, or talk with an expert from our engineering team? Connect with us today.