Five Conveyor Uptime Tips for Operators

Dec. 4, 2012
The main responsibility for conveyor maintenance may belong to techs, but operators can contribute mightily to equipment well being.

When conveyor systems break down, the costs add up quickly, especially during peak seasons. According to a new white paper from Intelligrated,  “How to Maintain Your Conveyor System Like a Pro,” if one minute of downtime stops 350 cases from going out, and a case is worth $40, that one minute of downtime could cost a company $14,000 in lost opportunities.

The authors state that well-trained operators and maintenance technicians can reduce the risk of conveyor downtime by executing a preventive maintenance plan. But while the main responsibility fora PM plan is on the maintenance crews, a certain amount of responsibility for equipment care and management must be assigned tosystem operators. The paper offers the following suggestions:

Train. You’llnot only ensure that equipment is being used properly, you’llalso increase the number of eyes and ears capable of noticing discreet clues that indicate a problem.

Communicate. Talk to operators daily to see if anything out of the ordinary is happening with your system. Ask about any package or throughput changes, particularly during peak season.

Slow down. When possible, operators should run conveyor systems as slow as throughput requirements allow. Constantly operating at full speed can result in premature equipment wear.

Report damage immediately. Many times, maintenance is not notified until a system component is completely broken and the operation is compromised.

Plan for emergencies and breakdowns. Practice a contingency plan so everyone is well prepared in case of a conveyor breakdown or loss of power.

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