Conveyor systems are at the heart of industry 4.0 in manufacturing environments in many ways. This is true because all forms of automation, optimization efficiency, and production throughput are foundational to this new paradigm of manufacturing. To compete in the developing 4.0 manufacturing world, a conveyor company must create solutions that can integrate into these complex environments.
As a key piece of material handling equipment, conveyors must work flawlessly and in harmony with countless other material handling solutions that make up modern manufacturing. The collective importance of these solutions in Industry 4.0 can be seen in their projected growth of US$190.3 billion by 2025in the global market.
That Forecast statistic only hints at the conveyor’s importance in modern manufacturing where leading conveyor companies create bespoke solutions for these environments. The conveyor is the connective bridge on the factory floor, so it must work smoothly and continuously to prevent logistical bottlenecks in production. While automation technologies drive fast, safe, and efficient production lines conveyors drive automation.
How Conveyors Support Automation
Automation technologies like Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, RFID, and robotics among other technologies improve throughput, tracking, and efficiencies in industry 4.0 manufacturing. All these technologies rely on production and packaging assembly line data transfers and communication to keep things moving through the manufacturing environment.
Most manufacturing processes rely on conveyors to complete their process of data communication and transfer to keep production moving. Conveyor manufacturers in Canada and across North America know this to be true from food and beverage to virtually every other manufacturing and packaging sector.
Smart factories must find the right conveyor system that integrates within complex smart automation systems. Manufacturers can see this when viewed through the lens of sensors, controls, RFID, and other communication and data transfer devices where they are the backbone of industry 4.0.
For example, conveyors must perform flawlessly to meet production line demands by syncing up with robotic and motion control systems to maximize output. In this environment, no conveyor company can meet those needs with outdated mechanical and pneumatic-powered conveyors.
Today’s leading conveyor companies embracing smart manufacturing have moved to all-electric actuators that are more reliable, energy-efficient, and quiet. These conveyor systems are designed for easy integration with high volume, automated production.
These environments require conveyors to directly or indirectly assist data gathering technologies for production and tracking. They do this by sorting, merging, and accumulating product so it reaches automated devices at the right time and in the right way. They also play a major part in gathering information as part of tracking overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) and key performance indicators (KPI).
Energy Efficiency, Electric Actuation, and Predictive Maintenance
As system layouts and product assemblies become more complex, engineers and production managers are expecting customized conveyor solutions to meet specific needs. That can mean combining specific conveyor profiles, guard rails systems, and media that are coupled with different pallet types and conveyor modules.
The latest conveyor design trends sync with industry 4.0 needs via solutions that feature improved 24-volt motors, belts, and gearboxes. The ActiveMover linear-motor-based conveyor system is a leading example that enables greater speeds, acceleration, and precision.
Competition makes Industry 4.0 a must for every manufacturing environment. So every conveyor company will have to create solutions that meet those needs or be relegated to a smaller and smaller market. Uptime and cost/production efficiency is the goal for leading conveyor manufacturers in Canada and the US. To learn how Conovey Systems is meeting the growing needs of today’s manufacturers, Conovey.