6 Reasons Why Accumulation Is Appropriate for Material Handling Operations

Today, the material handling and processing industry relies on automation. As one of many advances seen over the years, it provides numerous benefits. That includes saving time, increasing productivity, and reducing costs. As part of automation, accumulation has become a tremendously popular solution for various types of systems, such as a retractable conveyor.

Accumulation is not just recommended for a material handling conveyor but critical for overall operations.

What Is the Accumulation Solution Used With Package Handling Conveyors?

So, what does the accumulation solution consist of? With this, products stop or accumulate on material handling conveyor systems as they move from one station to another. This pause gives other equipment or components of conveyor transfer systems time to become available. Once that happens, the accumulation conveyor sends a signal to again move the products to their next destination along the line.

Key Benefits of Accumulation for Package Handling Conveyors

Considering an accumulation conveyor stops products from moving, you might think that’s detrimental to production. Below are six prime examples that prove the opposite. As you look over these, you’ll realize just how beneficial accumulation is to companies that utilize transfer conveyors.

1. Maximizes Throughput

To start with, adopting the accumulation system is an excellent way to maximize product throughput. Keep in mind that the length of time it takes to process packages varies from one warehouse or production company to another. So, if a company doesn’t use the accumulation solution for a material handling conveyor, additional equipment or processes downstream cause the automation system to pause until they can catch up.

In comparison, an accumulation conveyor serves as a buffer. In other words, it holds products in place, giving the downstream machines or processes the necessary time to complete their tasks. So how does that help? Well, all the upstream processes of transfer conveyors continue operating. As a result, the downstream systems aren’t just sitting idly by until it’s their turn to get to work.

Ultimately, this creates two incredible benefits. First, it increases production. Second, it lowers the cost of labor.

2. Reduces or Prevents Product Damage

Any company that uses a material handling equipment conveyor, whether a retractable conveyor or something else, can’t afford to have products damaged. If that occurs frequently, customers won’t trust that company to handle their packages. A lack of client trust is detrimental to any business.

With a traditional conveyor system, pressure builds whenever products stack up. In most cases, that damages the lighter and fragile containers. The other issue is that if tapered wall notes back up on a non-accumulation material handling conveyor, there’s the risk of them buckling and then falling over the guards. Not only is there a huge mess on the floor, but that mess also creates a potential safety hazard for workers.

3. Ensures Product Sequencing

It’s common for material handling conveyor systems to process packages of varying sizes. However, when using a traditional system as opposed to an accumulation conveyor, that leads to the smaller cartons collecting side-by-side. That creates a sequencing issue, which leads to the scanner misreading.

With a misread, the scanner fails to divert packages at the sorter station. That’s when jams occur along the curves on a material handling conveyor. The difference is that an accumulation conveyor, which is a zero-pressure system, prevents smaller packages from collecting side-by-side. So, none of the other problems occur.

4. Protects Conveyor Systems

If a material handling equipment conveyor sustains damage, a company’s entire operations could come to a halt. That would prove disastrous in many ways. As mentioned earlier, when using a non-accumulation system, a tremendous amount of pressure builds up.

Once levels go beyond a certain point, there’s a serious risk of packages getting damaged. At the same time, there’s also a risk of damage to the transfer conveyors. That includes the entire system, including guards, reducers, starters, motors, belts, and more. The good thing about zero-pressure conveyor transfer systems is they eliminate damage to both packages and conveyors. 

An accumulation conveyor’s unique design includes a sleep mode per se. With that, the system automatically stops operating if it doesn’t sense a package or after a specific amount of time. Another advantage of this is that there’s less wear and tear on the equipment and rollers. This also decreases the amount of energy consumption, which saves the company money.

5. Improves Merge Control

Another remarkable feature of an accumulation conveyor system is its intelligent photo eyes. With that, adapting to merge control becomes incredibly easy. In simple terms, this feature prevents packages from colliding as they make their way down the line. 

6. Increases Operator Safety and Productivity

Using a conventional conveyor system, operators must monitor and regulate processes manually. For one thing, that slows down production. For another, it puts operators at greater risk. SpanTech conveyors are a great example of an accumulation system. With this, you can choose from several innovative designs that increase both operator safety and productivity.

A Trusted Source for Package Handling Conveyors

To enjoy all the benefits of the accumulation system, contact a reputed conveyor manufacturing company. Along with SpanTech conveyors, They offer many additional top-of-the-line conveyor systems, including a retractable conveyor. A representative will gladly answer your questions and provide you with a free quote for any of the products they sell.

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