Standard vs. Custom Conveyors

Nov 2, 2023 | Conveyor Systems | 0 comments

Both standard and custom conveyor systems come with distinct pros and cons. A deep understanding of your production line’s specific needs is essential. To select a solution that not only meets your current demands but also adapts to future operational changes, a comprehensive evaluation of the applications, benefits, and limitations of each system is necessary.

Understanding Standard Conveyor Systems

Standard conveyor systems, often referred to as “off-the-shelf” solutions, are characterized by their straightforward designs and predetermined dimensions. These systems are readily available, facilitating quick assembly and installation. While they may not boast the most robust structure, they adequately serve environments with basic and well-defined requirements.

Applications, Benefits & Limitations 

Standard conveyors are the ideal choice for simple product lines that don’t require a high level of customization. For instance, standard conveyors can offer a straightforward, efficient solution in a production line that handles uniformly sized boxes or packages, and the production process is linear and devoid of complex sorting or merging requirements.

A significant advantage of standard conveyors is their affordability coupled with quick availability. These systems are often ready to ship, presenting a favorable option for businesses with budget constraints and urgent requirements.

However, standard conveyors do have some limitations. Their restricted customization options may cater poorly to the needs of custom machines and might fall short in handling a diverse range of products, limiting their applicability to simpler product lines.

Exploring Custom Conveyor Systems

Custom conveyor systems stand apart because they offer solutions meticulously designed to meet specific business needs. These systems are structurally sound, providing a robust solution for complex tasks and stepping in where standard conveyors fall short. They offer a level of customization that caters to unique products and complex applications, including handling materials that standard conveyors find challenging.

Take, for instance, muffler assembly lines. Here, the diversity in muffler sizes necessitates a system that can adapt to varying dimensions. Custom conveyors rise to this challenge, automating the handling process that standard conveyors cannot match. They can be designed to grip mufflers at multiple points, ensuring stability and precision as they transport them to different assembly points. This not only speeds up the production process but also minimizes the risk of errors, enhancing the overall quality of the output.

The applications extend far beyond the automotive industry. In sectors ranging from food processing to pharmaceutical manufacturing, custom conveyors play an important role. They can be designed to maintain stringent hygiene standards, handle delicate products with care, or facilitate the rapid movement of goods along the production line.

These systems can also be integrated with advanced technologies to offer features such as real-time tracking and automated sorting, bringing intelligence to your conveyor system that can be a game-changer in optimizing workflow and productivity.


Challenges of Custom Conveyor Systems 

Despite the numerous benefits, custom systems are not without challenges.

A custom conveyor’s initial investment is generally higher than standard systems due to the specialized design and integration tailored to meet specific operational demands. This higher upfront cost demands businesses to have a clear projection of the long-term ROI, ensuring that the investment is justified in the grand scheme of operational efficiency and productivity enhancements.

Also, to fully leverage the potential of a custom system, a deep-seated understanding and expertise in system design are indispensable. This expertise goes beyond integrating the conveyor system with existing processes and systems; it encompasses a deep comprehension of the dynamics involved, which might present a steep learning curve for businesses new to complex conveyor setups. This knowledge is vital during the installation phase and extends into the operational stage, where grasping the finer nuances can significantly enhance efficiency and output.

Another consideration is that the development and implementation timeline for custom systems is generally longer, given the meticulous planning and testing involved to meet all specified requirements.

Despite these challenges, it is often observed that the bespoke solutions offered by custom systems become invaluable assets.


Making the Right Choice: Considerations for Your Business

At Power Pack Conveyor Company, we bring a deep understanding of the interplay between automation and conveyor systems. Our extensive experience collaborating with system integrators and OEMs across various industries equips us with a thorough knowledge of your challenges and goals.

Whether exploring new territories or optimizing existing processes, our solutions help you leverage custom conveyor systems’ benefits. We are here to guide you every step of the way, helping you navigate the complex landscape of conveyor systems with solutions that resonate with your business ethos.

We invite you to explore the potential of custom conveyor solutions tailored to meet your unique needs.


About the Author

Dan Farrar is the CEO of Power Pack Conveyor Company, a pioneering industrial conveyor manufacturer since 1929. Power Pack Conveyor Company specializes in designing, engineering, and manufacturing conveyors, conveyor components, and turn-key systems for OEMs, System Integrators, and Distributors.

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