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Case Study: American Greetings Reduces Maintenance, Noise Levels

May 3, 2016

Conveyor system in Arkansas

American Greetings, the largest greeting card company in the world, with a mission that includes the desire to make the world “a more thoughtful and caring place,” had an issue with its aging conveyor system. The company creates a variety of greeting cards and other products in its massive Osceola, Arkansas facility (which has more than 10 miles of conveyors and occupies a space around the size of 57 football fields).

The plant runs 24 hours, so finding a way to upgrade without reducing production was a challenge.

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3 Ways Conveyors Boost Flexibility

February 2, 2016

overhead, multi-tier conveyor system
From throughput requirements to building expansions, you want to be ready for your company’s future. Sometimes these changes take place over longer periods of time, and sometimes they’re lightning-fast—your products and throughput can change from season to season based on shifting customer demands, market conditions, explosive growth, and other factors outside your control.

Sometimes conveyors are incorrectly called inflexible since they are often installed on a floor level, but their benefits can ultimately create greater versatility by optimizing an operation and creating more efficient material flow. Let’s look at 3 ways conveyors increase operational flexibility: Read the rest of this entry »

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How Conveyors Improve Lean Operations

November 12, 2015

lean-manufacturing

In Lean Manufacturing, less is more.

A Lean operation’s ultimate goal is to eliminate waste in a system, which it achieves by creating flexibility and disposing of overproduction. Lean environments sometimes shy away from using powered conveyors in their operations, but when correctly applied, automation propels Lean Manufacturing goals—not hinders them. It’s the “secret sauce” of excellent lean manufacturing and warehousing operations.

In a true Lean environment, the customer is paramount. In other words, you need to consider what the customer wants to pay for at every point in your production. The automated solutions of today can help your Lean Manufacturing operation in three significant ways. Read the rest of this entry »

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New Videos: Spiral Conveyors

September 15, 2015
spiral conveyor applications

A video overview of vertical conveying solutions

An excellent way to move products vertically in a distribution environment is through spiral conveyors. You can move materials between levels (pick modules, mezzanines, multi-story buildings) using several methods, but when it comes to carton or tote loads that are so common in order picking applications, the choice tends to be between spiral conveyors, incline conveyors, and package handling lifts.

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Video: 24-Volt Roller Conveyors “Simplify Everything”

July 24, 2014

When you look at your next live roller conveyor system, it’s smart to look at new advances. Hytrol’s e24 conveyor is one of the most important new product introductions in many years. It’s difficult to understate how this conveyor can enhance operations, but here is a quick summary of the advantages.

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A Different Sort of Sorter

December 2, 2011

Sortation systems in distribution is application driven – typically we are talking about order fulfillment (retail, wave pre-sorting, inbound putaway sorts), shipping (end of line carrier sortation, ship to stores), and returns. Traditional sweep sorters, cross-belt, narrow slat & shoe, or belt sorters are often thought of as “for the big guys” in large operations. SpanTech’s new TranSorter is  different, and it’s rolling out at Modex 2012. A sneak peek video below:

The TranSorter is built for hard to sort items, such as fragile items that require different handling. It’s good for ultra-lightweight items, poly bags, etc.  It’s scalable, flexible, and affordable due to truly modular design, a world of layout possibilities, and competitive pricing. It can also deploy quickly, with 6-8 week delivery times and a couple days installation time. If you’re planning to attend Modex, check it out.

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5 Ways to Avoid Costly Conveyor Breakdowns

December 17, 2010

:Power roller conveyor

Conveyors are exceptional in their productivity enhancement for manufacturing and distribution operations, but they need attention – and not just from your maintenance group. Everyone involved with them should be aware of the safety and performance issues involved. Here are five practices for happy conveying…

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Conveyor systems: Total Cost of Ownership

September 28, 2010

conveyor system

Conveyors, like any capital investment have multiple costs. The amount on your invoice is hardly the last time you’ll pay for that conveyor. If a conveyor is correctly specified and designed for future use, significant cost savings can be realized.

The three costs a conveyor system carries:

  • Initial costs – the easiest to understand and quantify. This is the cost of equipment, installation, and controls.
  • Operational costs – electrical usage  & pneumatics usage
  • Maintenance costs – Spare parts, replacement parts, & labor costs

All of these costs are spread over the conveyor’s useful life, so a formula that might best express what your conveyor will cost is: TCO (total cost of ownership) = IC (initial cost) + OC (operational costs) + MC (maintenance costs)/ useful life of the system.

Higher initial costs may be recouped in lower maintenance and operational costs over time if the right decisions are made when the equipment is specified and ordered. The initial cost savings can be eaten up by higher operating and maintenance costs, but neither of those is as expensive as a system that cannot do the job it was deployed to do. Long term costs can easily outstrip the initial costs. What are the real, long term costs and what can you do to control them?

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More Conveyor White Papers Published

October 27, 2009

conveyor white papers

We just finished adding 3 new Conveyor White Papers, including helpful information on Critical Product and Load Orientation, a Picking, Packing and Loading Application Matrix, and Sortation System Controls Comparisons table. All of these documents are PDF files, and all of them open in new windows. They’re all single-page, designed for quick downloading and reading. We will be adding more of these as they’re produced, so check back often.

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Online conveyor calculators added to the Cisco-Eagle website

June 9, 2009

Cisco-Eagle online conveyor calculators 

As part of our goal to provide you with more information and tools about the products we offer, we have added four new online conveyor calculators to the website. These calculators will help you to find the right conveyor for the job.

Let’s take a look at each calculator, and what they can do for you.

  • Incline Calculator. This calculator will provide you with dimensions for an incline conveyor. You can answer questions such as “Will an incline conveyor fit in the space I have?”, or “Given a specific angle of incline, how long will the conveyor need to be?” With incline conveyors there are four basic dimensions and the incline angle to consider. If you know three of the dimensions or the angle, the calculator will provide the missing dimensions or angle.
  • Box Tumbling Calculator. The taller the carton, container, or box you wish to move on an incline, the more prone it is to tumble. If you enter the dimensions of the product, the calculator will provide the maximum angle of incline before it will tumble back down the conveyor.
  • Skewed Roller Calculator. If you need to align a package to the right or left side of the conveyor one method is to skew the rollers by moving one end of the rollers over by one notch in the frame. This calculator will tell you the length the package will need to travel across skewed rollers to move the package the required distance to one side.
  • Minimum Curve Width Calculator. As a package is being conveyed through a curve it can become jammed between guardrails if the curve is not wide enough. This calculator will help you find the minimum width required to move that package through the curve without jamming.

There is still more to consider in the proper design of conveyor, and these calculators address some of the issues. Contact us if you need more assistance with a complete design for your requirement.

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