How Modular Conveyors Support Lean Methodology and Outcomes

Packaging Machine
material handling conveyor

In modern manufacturing, the eight wastes of lean touch every aspect of production, including time where the transfer conveyor, retractable conveyor and other modular aspects of the modern material handling conveyor systems are crucial. These machines play a crucial role in:Groundbreaking manufacturing processes where automation is vital to meeting clients and markets demanding short timeframes and at less cost.

While the eight wastes of lean serve a broad purpose across manufacturing environments, they are also an ideal fit for the different aspects of material handling conveyor systems, where these eight wastes include:

  •  Transportation
  • Inventory
  • Motion
  • Waiting
  •  Overproduction
  • Over-processing
  • Defects

Most manufacturing processes require parts and products to be moved from one place to another by material handling conveyor systems. By limiting waste in these areas through proper and strategic use of modular conveyor components like the transfer conveyor and the retractable conveyor, manufacturing industries and production facilities:

  •  Support smooth and efficient production flows
  •  Make industries more competitive
  •  Minimize the manufacturing cost by eliminating the industrial waste
  • Increase the productivity of an organization

In a lean manufacturing system, manufacturing multiple products in one line or cell requires flexible systems that manufacturers can easily reconfigure. Achieving new product velocity is a competitive advantage, so you want manufacturing systems that can adapt quickly to engineering changes and new model introductions. Unfortunately, large legacy conveyor systems can’t be moved around easily.

The ability to connect process steps and increase efficiency across a simple or complex conveyor system reduces product travel time and distance. This is where product orientation and transfer needs play a big part in smooth productions flows and high throughput. The transfer conveyor becomes a key component in making this possible.

The primary goal of a lean manufacturing environment is to eliminate system and process waste. That’s why modern manufacturers favor modular conveyor systems and high degrees of automation to create efficiencies.

Automation such as a transfer conveyor or retractable conveyor reduces manual waste by eliminating the need for human intervention on the conveyor line at specific process junctures. By adding this type of automation to a material handling conveyor system, you free employees for higher order work, increase production speed and efficiency and potentially reduce possible injuries.

Lean operations require flexibility, and modern material handling conveyor systems are often modular, which makes them flexible and more easily updatable in the field. When you install a flexible and modular conveyor, you can customize it for your operation. Automated systems with transfer conveyor components can help with quality control of product to help route product for inspection or elimination of scrap.

Material handling conveyor systems must meet an endless list of needs across industries and sectors. This level of customization makes it imperative to begin with a modular conveyor system design that can accommodate cost constraints through standardization of parts while meeting customization needs through broad modular designs that can meet individual manufacturing needs and collective Lean principals.

To learn how Conovey and SpanTech can deliver modular conveyor system designs that maximize lean efficiency principles that can make your environment more competitive, visit our SpanTech Conveyors page.

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