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Cost-Wasting Challenges with Indexing Conveyors & How to Solve Them

Posted by Kevin Mauger | Monday, April 13, 2020

Indexing pallets or products along an assembly line has traditionally been accomplished by a series of pneumatic stops that pop up and create physical barriers along the line. This method may work for many of your clients, but not all. The traditional “pop-up” barrier conveyors can cause product damage thanks to hard stops without smooth deceleration or additional control techniques. They can also be dangerous for operators and generally clunky. 


Some have tried to get around these challenges by creating a zoned conveyor. However, there are two main money-wasting expenses when it comes to typical zoned indexing conveyors. For your clients looking for a smoother, safer (for your people), and more elegant solution, the Glide-Line Zero Contact Zoned Conveyor solves both money-wasting cost challenges. 



1The expense of extra dollars


you’re looking at a steep monetary investment into a typical zoned indexing conveyorThe easiest to measure, it’s clear why most zoned indexing solutions cost more money. The typical zoned indexing conveyor operates by breaking up long runs of single conveyors into many drives (one per zone). The drive is usually the most expensive component of a conveyor. Multiply that cost by extra drives for each conveyor run, particularly when you include extra motor starters (or VFDs), extra sensors, extra wiring, and extra I/O in the panel. In the end, you’re looking at a steep monetary investment into a typical zoned indexing conveyor. 


Extra control devices also cost more money. If you develop a multi-zone indexing solution based upon multiple stops with a single drive, these stops all need to be controlled. That means paying for extra control devices for each drive. The additional components add to not only the bottom line, but also add to energy needs and other operation and maintenance costs. 


Glide-Line has developed an elegant solution to prevent these wasted dollars: the Zero Contact Zoned Conveyor. It’s a pre-engineered solution that comes with an inherent driver card and built-in logic, making it operational right out of the box. Being pre-engineered, made in volume, and maximized, this is a huge cost-saver, especially when it comes to controls. Zero Contact Zoned Conveyor - 1, traditional indexing conveyor - 0.


Related Video - How the Zero Contact Zoned Conveyor Prevents Product Damage While Accumulating


2The expense of effort


Another expense inherent with traditional zoned indexing conveyors is the expense of designing a system with so many additional electronics. Adding those components costs time and money thanks to incorporating components you don’t generally see in a conveyor system. 


The great thing about the Zero Contact Zoned Conveyor is that the majority of the legwork is already done for your clients - they just need to apply the solution to their specific operations and it’s ready to go without any additional effort. Additionally, the Zero Contact Zoned Conveyor system utilizes independent drives with integrated control solutions, making it easy to design an indexing system that doesn’t require tons of extra equipment or time to set up. That brings our score to Zero Contact Zoned Conveyor - 2, traditional indexing conveyor - 0.


Benefits of the Zero Contact Zoned Conveyor

  • Easy installation — Our Zero Contact Zoned Conveyor Logic controls only require a power source for the motors
  • Zero programming for basic indexing/accumulation operations — Only need to connect zone to zone with an RJ25 cable for automatic zoned indexing and queuing with no contact
  • Robust — Zero Contact Zoned Conveyor motors literally consist of a single moving part with a 300,000 hour bearing life
  • Cost-effective — reduced requirements for your control system, lower cost electronics and simpler motors 
  • Manual control option — Use the Local I/O to override automatic logic

Download the ebook, Indexing and Positioning: How to Reduce Damage, Have Smooth Motion, & Secure Your Product on the Conveyor Line today for a look at how the Zero Contact Zoned Conveyor can solve additional challenges for your clients!


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Topics: Solutions for Applications Engineers, Conveyor System Designs, Flexible Conveyor Solutions

Written by Kevin Mauger

Kevin Mauger started working for the parent company of Glide-Line the day after college and bought the company 12 years into his career when it was at an all-time low. The company has multiplied in volume 5X since and is growing at 20%+ year over year. Personally, his entire life is based upon spending time with his family, figuring out a way to get out deep sea fishing, and supporting his Philadelphia Eagles. His vision for Glide-Line is to make it the world’s most flexible multi-strand conveyor solution with tools for customers allowing instantaneous response and control of their own destiny along with the fastest deliveries in the industry.

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Glide-Line offers the most versatile multi-strand panel and pallet-handling solution available for the assembly automation industry.

We solve problems that other conveyor systems manufacturers won’t. We developed Glide-Line from the ground up with a few key, driving factors in mind. First, our conveyors had to be robust and reliable. Second, they would be simple – easy to maintain and service. Finally, we insisted on flexible configurability, creating an efficient, hassle-free customer experience. We’ve built the most versatile multi-strand panel and pallet-handling solution available for the assembly automation industry.

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