Options range from flexible, temporary solutions to easy-to-install systems for increased capacity
ROSEVILLE, Mich. (Oct. 12, 2022) – Warehouse and distribution centers preparing for the predicted 12-14% growth in e-commerce sales this holiday season have a number of low-cost, flexible conveyor options to ease the material handling burden, according to Ultimation Industries. Ultimation is the leading direct-to-consumer conveyor manufacturer serving the automotive, food processing, vertical farming, heavy equipment, warehousing, fulfillment and delivery industries.
“Expanding the material handling capacity of a warehouse or distribution center to meet seasonal demand doesn’t have to be a difficult, time-consuming or costly experience,” said Richard Canny, president of Ultimation. “Durable options ranging from a few hundred dollars to $5,000 can be ordered now and be up and running as peak package season begins.”
Below are examples of easy-to-implement conveyor solutions and their approximate costs (*not including tax or shipping):
- Galvanized flow rails. Turn virtually any surface into a rolling/gliding surface for light to heavy loads by building your own flow rack conveyor system. Available in 5- and 10-foot sections, this type of system uses rollers set on 6-inch centers on each side to smoothly convey pallets, cartons or other containers. These rails can also be used on pick-up truck and trailer beds. (Approximate cost: $30-150* per rail, depending on rail material, length, skate wheel type)
- Expandable skate wheel conveyors. As the name suggests, these conveyors expand from 3 to 12 feet long. Skate wheels in plastic or metal allow materials to roll along the top of the conveyor. Their ability to expand and contract creates a simple solution for moving products more efficiently and with little effort. They are commonly used at the end of another extendable conveyor system to connect to a truck or van, or shipping docks. Expandable skate wheel conveyors can be set up and moved by one person. (Approximate cost: <$800* depending on length)
- Gravity roller with stand. – A gravity roller conveyor uses the force of gravity to move a load on rollers across the upper surface. They are one of the simplest and most affordable types of material handling systems. They are great for warehouses, production facilities, or distribution centers. Because they are light, gravity roller conveyors can be used in either temporary or permanent situations. Roller curve units are available for maneuvering corners. (Approximate cost: $70-300* depending on length/size, stand, rollers and other variables)
- Motor-Driven Roller (MDR) conveyor system. Modern powered roller conveyor systems use motorized rollers mounted within the conveyor frames to move packages, tote bins, pallets, tires and other items. They’re compact in size, quiet and safe with 24-volt DC power. Motorized roller conveyors are a great choice for energy efficiency, low noise and easy maintenance. Warehouses and distribution centers rely on these conveyors for fast, smooth package movement. Powered roller conveyors using MDR rollers not only move the product from location ‘A’ to location ‘B,’ they also provide buffering or accumulation of product. Sensors and controls ensure packages don’t get damaged by crushing against each other. Straight sections of MDR conveyor from Ultimation can be ordered in ready-to-run modules. (Approximate cost: Varies by configuration, but many available for <$2,000*)
- Beam trolleys. Simple to plan, install and use on existing I-beams, these trolleys are an easy, affordable way to move products from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’. Because of this versatility, uses range from home workshops to assembly plant applications. Beam trolleys are available from 250- to 4,000-pound capacity. (Approximate cost: $51-500*, depending on capacity)
“While these are great options for the upcoming holiday season, they are also good alternatives throughout the year as companies experience growth or want to improve efficiencies,” said Canny.
He added that Ultimation also offers replacement parts including a range of motors, motor controllers, belts and ready-to-run conveyors through their online store to keep conveyor systems rolling during the busy holiday season.