Conveyor Systems: The Backbone of Warehouse Automation
When considering advancement within modern factories and warehouses, AGVs, mobile robotics and shuttle systems with USPs of modularity, flexibility and scalability steal the headlines. In this blog, Talos Automation takes a deeper dive into conveyor systems: the unsung hero and arguably the glue that has held many factory/warehouse processes together for decades.
The significance of automated conveyor systems
Imagine a bustling warehouse, humming with activity, with workers industriously moving packages from one place to another. Now, picture a warehouse equipped with automated conveyor systems. The difference is striking. Conveyor systems are the arteries that keep a modern warehouse going and up with customer demand, the main benefits being efficiency, cost savings and speed.
Automated conveyor systems can operate on a 24/7 basis, tirelessly transporting goods from one end of the warehouse to another. This relentless efficiency eliminates the need for human intervention in routine material handling tasks, enabling warehouse staff to focus on more complex and value-added responsibilities.
By automating the movement of goods, conveyor systems significantly reduce the labour costs associated with manual handling and transportation. This, of course, saves money, and also mitigates the risk of workplace injuries.
Conveyors are designed for speed and accuracy. They can move a wide range of items, from small packages to heavy loads, at a consistent pace. This speed is crucial in meeting customer demand and ensuring prompt order fulfilment.
Conveyor technology evolution
Conveyor systems have come a long way since their inception. Early systems were rudimentary, consisting of basic rollers and belts. Today, they incorporate cutting-edge technology and are highly customisable, built to suit the unique needs of each warehouse.
Thanks to innovations in robotics, sensor technology and data analytics, conveyor technology has never been more advanced. Conveyors are now seamlessly integrated with robots, allowing for automated picking and item sorting. This combination enhances efficiency and reduces human intervention even further. Conveyor systems are also becoming ‘smarter’ with the integration of sensors and real-time data analysis, which enables predictive maintenance, reducing unplanned downtime. Finally, modern conveyor systems are highly modular, making it easier for warehouses to adapt to changing needs and layouts. This scalability is essential in an era where flexibility is key.
Did you know..?
- The global conveyor system market was valued at $9.4b in 2022 and is expected to continue growing at a CAGR of around 6% to reach $12.7b in 2027.
- Belt speed can be 500ft – 1,000ft per minute for high-tonnage conveyors, but most conveyors operate at much slower speeds of 50ft – 100ft per minute.
- The longest conveyor belt in the world is located in the Western Sahara. It’s over 60 miles long and is visible from space!
Looking to the future
Since the late 18th Century, automated conveyor systems have evolved from simple mechanical devices to sophisticated, data-driven systems that power our extensive, modern supply chains. As technology continues to advance, we can expect conveyor systems to remain the backbone of the warehouse and at the forefront of its logistics, driving efficiency, reducing costs, and ensuring the rapid flow of goods in the ever-increasingly demanding world of e-commerce.
However, the challenge now effecting businesses is the repair and maintenance of these systems. For every advance in technology, many more skilled workers need to be sourced, trained and deployed around the world to keep these systems working smoothly and safely, the expense of which can prove prohibitive for smaller organisations and those in out-of-the-way locations.
Do you need help sourcing skilled automation labour? Get in contact with us today and one of our specialist consultants will be in touch to discuss your challenges and which of our talent sourcing solutions could be right for you.