Large warehouses rely on conveyor systems to move materials efficiently across their massive square footage. When you have a conveyor system that suits your teams and workflow, you cut down on wasted time, enhance productivity, and create faster, more reliable operations. However, no two warehouses are alike. Every business requires a different solution to get the job done. Before you choose the type of equipment to bring to your center, be sure to consult this list of what to consider when choosing a warehouse conveyor system.
What Needs To Move Through Your Warehouse?
When looking at your options for conveyor systems, the first thing you must do is think about what will ride along these conveyors. Do you need to transport individual goods or small cartons? Perhaps you have larger boxes or totes moving throughout your warehouse. Maybe you even need to move entire pallets across your workflow.
Having a clear idea about what you need to transport with your conveyor system will help you come up with the necessary requirements and equipment specifications. For example, fragile goods require flat conveyors and minimal inclines and declines to move safely through your warehouse. Similarly, large, heavy products like totes and pallets will get stuck on steep, straight inclines. More gradual inclines—like spiral-style conveyors—will have better success moving these materials.
Put Your Workload First
Your conveyor system should serve your current workflow and operations, not the other way around. To find a solution that fits and improves upon what you already do, consider what your workload needs. Are you looking for smoother transitions between order fulfillment stations? Do you need denser and more accessible storage to keep products moving efficiently through your warehouse? Are accumulation buffers essential for eliminating downtime and improving productivity? Once you have these requirements in mind, you’ll be able to choose a conveyor system that offers these features and enhances your current operations.
Account for Your Warehouse Environment
Every warehouse is unique. That’s why a successful conveyor system accounts for the specific conditions and dimensions of your warehouse. Does your conveyor system need to span multiple stories? Do you need automation that continues to perform well in humid conditions? Specifications like these can be the difference between frustrating downtime and efficient success.
Temperature is a major warehouse condition to keep in mind. If your building often runs hot or cold—or the temperature changes drastically with the seasons—you need a conveyor system that can keep up with the changes. Similarly, think about humidity, dampness, and dust. While these factors might not be significant enough to affect your employees, they can damage your equipment if you’re not careful. Knowing your operating environment will help you install and protect your conveyor system in a way that prevents damage and keeps it running smoothly over time.
Look Beyond Your Current Workload
It makes sense to match your conveyor system to your current needs. You have precise and up-to-date statistics on inventory, product flow, and current output. However, this information will only get you so far when outfitting your warehouse with a long-lasting conveyor solution. If your conveyor system can handle your current workload, but not much more, it won’t serve you for very long.
That’s why long-term business goals are a crucial part of what to consider when choosing a warehouse conveyor system. Look ahead at how you want your business to grow. The right conveyor system will support your workflow now and give you scalability to accomplish those goals in the upcoming months and years.
Different Types of Conveyor Systems
Now that you have these key considerations in mind and have an idea of the basic requirements for your conveyor system, it’s time to think about the different systems available. Various conveyor solutions serve different purposes, allowing you to choose the equipment that will best suit the specific needs of your warehouse. Here are just a few of the most common systems to choose from:
Carton and Tote Conveyor
If you need to streamline the movement of totes through your warehouse, a carton and tote conveyor system might be the right solution for you. Moving bins by hand is slower and creates a much higher risk of safety hazards and traffic jams on the floor. This, in turn, leads to slow processing times and more mistakes with order accuracy. Moreover, carton and tote conveyors free up manpower to focus on more value-added tasks.
Tote conveyors are also great for avoiding accumulation issues by routing, diverting, and stopping products as needed. If you’re looking for streamlined tote transport that brings more accuracy and less wasted employee effort to your warehouse, a carton and tote conveyor might be the perfect solution.
Moving whole pallets throughout your warehouse can consume a lot of time and effort if you’re not careful. Simplify your workflow with a pallet conveyor system. Pallet conveyors streamline pallet movement throughout the warehouse. These systems reduce floor traffic and allow for safe, secure, and optimized inventory movement. A comprehensive pallet conveyor system also reduces forklift traffic, which, in turn, clears your floor and lets your employees focus their efforts on other tasks.
Pallet conveyors can be powered or non-powered. The latter option uses gravity as a simple yet effective means of moving products around. For even greater versatility, you can install both powered and non-powered systems side by side for more control and flexibility within your warehouse.
If you’re looking for a solution that empowers your team to process a high volume of orders every day, pick modules might be the perfect system. By integrating the best of conveyor systems—including pallet storage, carton flow, and more—pick modules create a turnkey order processing solution. Pallet loads move along the conveyor to pallet breakdown stages, carton flow areas, and picking stations. The conveyor optimizes pallet and product movement from storage to shipment, empowering your teams to move efficiently and effectively throughout your workflow.
Pick modules work best when fully integrated with your warehouse. That’s why these conveyor systems come with specific features like accumulation control, heavy-duty racking, lighting systems, trash removal systems, and more. Customization and versatility are key to implementing a conveyor system that suits the unique needs of your warehouse.
At DAK Solutions, we know the right conveyor system can make all the difference. If you’re seeking warehouse conveyor automation systems that serve you and your specific business needs, speak to our experts today. We’ll help you explore different systems until you find the solution your warehouse has been looking for.