Belted MDR Maintenance Made Easy
October 10, 2019
Conveyor systems are the critical arteries of distribution center (DC) operations, responsible for transporting materials from one process or location to the next. Without them, processes can shut down, leading to unexpected delays in order fulfillment and inefficient use of labor. These delays can mean the difference between disappointing customers and winning repeat business or taking a loss, rather than making a profit.
That’s why conveyor maintenance is not something to be taken for granted. Operators need to be able to strike a delicate balance between keeping operations up and running and potentially disrupting throughput targets. The always-on nature of the digital economy means these systems must operate when needed. But like any piece of equipment, proper maintenance is necessary to keep it running smoothly and efficiently during critical peaks.
The changing nature of shipping also dictates an evolving job description for DC conveyor systems, with rising polybag volumes posing a new set of challenges compared to traditional rigid cartons. All of these factors make belted motor-driven roller (MDR) conveyors an increasingly popular choice for handling polybags.
Tightening the belt
Maintaining belted conveyor sections requires more than just care for rollers and sensors; operators must also perform service on the belts and access them to work on other components, adding complexity and time.
But what does this look like in practice, and how long can DC operators expect their conveyor system to be down? An experienced maintenance resource typically needs 30 to 60 minutes to access a belt section and replace even a single roller. But if there’s an issue with the belt itself, this becomes a multi-step process. Typically, maintenance teams must order a replacement belt section, cut it, and then re-weld it using specialized tools. If the technician makes an error during the process, the recourse is to start over, cut, and weld the belt again.
Of course, all of this complexity takes time — a resource most e-commerce operations find increasingly scarce.
Clearing the maintenance hurdle
The full-width belt MDR conveyor from Honeywell Intelligrated offers a maintenance-friendly solution to address the realities facing today’s e-commerce DCs. Its cartridge-style design allows technicians to simply remove an individual section and install a replacement in about one minute. See for yourself.
With just a few common tools, crews can install a new cartridge without having to take down an entire conveyor line.
This changes the maintenance dynamic considerably. Now, technicians can perform maintenance work away from the floor, without the stress of conveyor downtime dependent on the speed of their work. This helps ensure superior quality while keeping downtime to an absolute minimum. The self-contained cartridge design also offers safety advantages, reducing nips and catch points, and eliminating the additional gap fillers that would otherwise be necessary to service strip belts.
Honeywell Intelligrated Lifecycle Support Services backs our full-width belt MDR conveyor with award-winning service. In the event of an urgent issue or even a routine service question, the company offers U.S.-based customer service and support, available 24/7/365.
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