Many of today’s industries benefit from automated conveyor systems. From food processing and packaging to recycling and material handling, automation is key to productivity and efficiency. Not only do these systems cut labor costs, but they also improve turnaround times and can even improve safety.
If you’ve never stopped to consider all of the ways that automation can help your business grow, it’s time. Check out all of the ways that automated conveyor systems help you become an innovative and efficient workplace.
Cut Down the Time It Takes to Complete a Work Order
How fast can your workers move? Even the fastest person can’t beat an automated conveyor. While equipment varies, the average speed for most handling conveyors is about 65 feet per minute. You’re not going to find a worker who can walk that distance while carrying heavy or bulky items carefully. Plus, a conveyor carries multiple items at a time, while a person can only carry a few items. Conveyors move more items faster, which completes work orders faster.
Expand Your Capacity
Conveyor systems that are vertical also leave room for additional equipment. Expand your plant’s capacity without having to add to your existing production area or warehouse space. Your new conveyor system grows up rather than out. With more equipment, you make more money. Additional revenues help you with R&D, and those new products you develop could change the future.
Think about all of the advancements in technology over the decades. All of that started with small ideas that grew as funding for research, development, and testing became available. You could be that next innovator with more capacity and equipment.
Let’s say your plant currently manufactures and packages whey-based baby formulas. If you had extra space, you could add another line for a plant-based baby formula. You’d meet a growing market while still meeting the needs of your current customer base.
Heighten Safety Throughout Your Plant
Automated conveyor solutions don’t need a lot of floor space. That’s actually one of the biggest benefits. Install them nearer the ceiling and open up the space below, which widens the aisles and makes it easier and safer for your forklift drivers to move around the warehouse or production area.
You also improve your worker’s safety with automated conveyors. They’re no longer having to move items from one machine to another or from one area in the plant to the next. When they move items by carrying them or using a hand truck, muscle strains are common workplace injuries.
Increase Your Plant’s Accuracy and Precision
Automated conveyors are programmed using computers. They’re coded to not make mistakes. There may be an unexpected breakdown, but it’s not a common occurrence. Most of the time, your automated conveyors work with your plant’s other equipment to move items along the production cycle, stack pallets automatically, box or package items, and get orders ready to ship.
As these conveyor systems run day and night without fail, accuracy improves. Think about the last time an employee made an error. It happens to the best of us, but it often means scrapping that production run and starting over. That process takes twice as long, uses twice the production supplies, and can cause backlogs with other work orders while finishing this first order correctly. Automation ensures you keep to your estimated production schedule and get the order completed correctly the first time.
If you pair automated conveyors with AI, you can have a comprehensive system that is able to use 2D to track an item on the conveyor, use a robotic arm to pick it up, and move that item to the next machine. You could take a wrapped candy bar, pick it up with the robotic arm, and move it to a box with other finished candy bars. While routine work of that nature can become repetitive and boring for a person, machines won’t care if they’re doing the same thing for hours on end.
Lower Utility Bills
While you can’t always cut back on lights and heat, some areas of your plant could have the thermostat turned down and lights can be kept off. Machines don’t need lights or heat in order to work.
In areas where your equipment or production line uses AI and automation, you can save money on those bills. Newer machines are more likely to be energy efficient compared to the equipment you’re replacing, too. That helps lower your utility bills, adding to the savings you’re going to get through reduced labor costs.
Reduce Your Labor Costs While Making Workers Happier
Reduced labor costs are another benefit of automated conveyor systems. The machines run as long as you need. They won’t get tired, and you don’t have to pay them overtime. With machines doing some of the work, your current employees no longer get forced to work overtime all weekend or take an extra shift throughout the week.
They’ll have more time with their families and friends, which makes them happier. You may still need a floor manager or technician to be on-call in case something goes wrong, but the chances that they’ll get a notification to head to work are low. You’ll also have the ability to ask workers to volunteer for these on-call duties instead of forcing them to work, which helps with employee satisfaction.
Another aspect of employee happiness involves the work they do. An employee with a very physical job is more likely to burn out, especially if the wages and benefits are not stellar. When the work responsibilities outweigh the pay and benefits, you’re going to have an issue with employee retention. If you automate as much as you can and set up programs to ensure employees learn how to use the equipment and technology safely, you’ll have happier workers.
Experience the Goals of Innovation
Stop and consider all of the ways an automated conveyor system could improve your turnaround times. You’d be surprised by how much of a difference it can make. While automated conveyor systems require an initial investment, the technology pays for itself over time by boosting production, efficiency, and labor costs.
Mitsubishi Solution’s automation innovations can help any manufacturing plant. We’ve designed solutions for the automotive industry and all areas of manufacturing, whether you are a bottling company or a packaging plant. Here are a few things to know about our automated conveyor systems.
- Cabinets are not needed for controllers as they can be mounted directly on the conveyor system.
- They’re designed to use minimal space.
- They improve energy use.
- Our smart machines can be monitored online using cloud services.
- The conveyors are designed to be quick and easy to connect to your equipment.
Are you ready to learn more from our experts? Mitsubishi Solutions has automation, robotics, and smart machines that ensure you stay ahead of the competition. Contact our sales engineers to discuss your company’s goals and learn more about the equipment and upgrades that help you achieve them.