Modular conveyor systems offer endless possibilities for configurations, particularly when an applications engineer is using Glide-Line’s IMPACT! configurator for the layout. When you’re in need of some inspiration to solve your customer’s challenging process needs, look no further. Here is a collection of unique modular assembly conveyor layouts, pallet conveyor automation systems layouts, and flexible conveyor system layouts we’ve seen benefit from our configurable conveyors.
Unique ways to move product through a process
A vertical bypass solution saves space and time in the manufacturing process. When our client’s customer required a process to be performed on each individual product, the typical solution would be to build a bypass around the workstation to keep the products moving upstream while the process was performed. Instead, we built an open center pallet elevator with a second bypass conveyor. This way, the product would rise up in an elevator to have a process done above the trunk line. Within that same elevator, another pallet can keep product moving through the elevator at the trunk line. While one was being processed, the product could keep moving to additional elevators along the conveyor.
In another application, transferring a slug of four to five pallets at once was 400% more efficient when a manufacturer implemented our Glide-Line 360. We were able to transfer the entire slug in one motion to another conveyor, as opposed to an individual movement for each pallet. Our solution saved significant time in the manufacturing process.
Minimizing slippage and eliminating backpressure through a zero backpressure conveyor system like Glide-Line's Zero Contact Zoned Conveyor can eliminate thousands of dollars or more in wasted damaged products. In one example, a client’s customer needed to convey specialty refrigerator doors through an assembly process. These highly polished stainless steel doors required incredibly smooth handling to avoid dents or scratches. We placed the doors directly on a soft belt surface, and by controlling zone to zone movement with the Glide-Line's Zero Contact Zoned Conveyor, were able to significantly reduce the amount of damaged product annually because there was no relative belt to product movement. The belt never moved separately underneath each door.
Stand-out ways to access work pieces within a conveyor process
Recently, we were faced with an application where a robot needed to pick a part up directly out of a pallet elevator to save space. We were able to modify the way our vertical transport unit is designed to easily raise the pallet up to a height where the robot could grab the product, make it accessible for the robotic tool and the design engineer saved space and design efforts.
In another example, we designed a system with the input of our client’s application engineer to move a relatively large product on a 5 ft x 5 ft pallet around a whole conveyor system and give their team easy access to the product as it moved. The process required a number of lift and transfer units and multi-strand conveyors – a total of four – working simultaneously. Because of the way our conveyors are designed, the large size requirement didn’t need customization; we simply configured a standard conveyor to meet the size. This meant no additional cost, lead time, or delivery time impacted the client’s final conveyor installation.
Outside-the-norm ways to add and assemble conveyor parts
Our IMPACT! configurator is entirely unique to the industry and was created to allow applications engineers to easily and fluidly design, change, budget for, and create conveyor systems for their automation customers. Why? It works directly within the Excel (and even SOLIDWORKS if you use it) environment; as you’re building your models, you have the ability to manipulate the models - if something is the wrong length, width, or height, you can change it on the fly. Instead of taking fifteen minutes going to the manufacturer’s website, downloading the specs, dropping it into a design, and mating it manually, it’s all done instantly. Learn more in our series of videos about IMPACT!.
Best applications for unique assembly conveyor layouts
We’ve found our unique assembly conveyor layouts can be used in nearly any industry, but some industries require unique solutions more frequently. If you’re an applications engineer working with a client in one of these industries, consider stepping outside the norm and exploring a more creative way to build automation conveyor systems.
The automation industry frequently reinvents ways to accomplish manufacturing processes, and as such, is often a perfect fit for unique and flexible conveyor layouts.
Panel manufacturers (glass, sheet metal, plastic), such as those for the solar industry, find that our conveying solutions for precision products are a great fit for their needs.
Large panel product manufacturers, for workpieces like garage doors, often choose our multi-strand conveyors due to the flexibility of sizes offered.
Flexible conveyor systems are the perfect solution for challenging manufacturing processes. Customizing some conveyor systems can be cost prohibitive and time intensive, but a flexible system like Glide-Line’s 360, Zero Contact Zoned Conveyor, or multi-strand conveyors amount to millions of standard configurations perfectly suited to meet your exact needs.
Read more in our ebook, Ultimate Guide to Creating a Flexible Automation Conveyor Application Solution.