AEC In The News

FMH Telescopic Conveyor System to Improve Performance at the Loading Dock

Best Conveyor Solutions for E-Commerce

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

We’ve all read about how e-Commerce has changed the rules of retail. But did you know e-Commerce has altered the most basic of all warehouse automation fundamentals – the conveyor?

Polybags & Padded Envelopes

Gone are the days when the corrugated box was king. New kids on the block include floppy polybags and soft-shelled padded envelopes. Not only is the lack of rigidity dramatically different, but now most e-Commerce parcels are smaller and more lightweight. And their irregular shape and floppy nature means the corners and seams of polybags can snag going around corners of conveyor systems not designed to accommodate this type of packaging.

Traditional conveyors with powered rollers spaced well apart are not well-suited for these new package types, so conveyors for e-Commerce need to be designed differently.  E-Commerce systems utilize continuous belted conveyor which best facilitates the transfer of bags and poly packages as well as custom accumulation conveyor for metering product flow within high-speed order fulfillment operations.

Another common challenge, transitions from one conveyor segment to another.  E-Commerce conveyors often use a small vertical drop (a “waterfall”) rather than a perfectly level transition to handle the unique transportation needs of polybags and padded envelopes.

Low-Voltage Conveyors

The rise of online shopping has placed a premium on agility. Retailers and logistics providers want to be able to reconfigure for their quickly evolving needs.

Mitch Smith, vice president of business development with Hytrol makes some cogent points.

“We all knew e-Commerce would continue to grow, but with Covid-19, that pace of growth has accelerated quicker than expected,” says Smith.

“In this environment, the ability to quickly implement systems and streamline projects has become more important. The reason Hytrol E24 low-voltage conveyor systems meet these needs is that they are generally smaller conveyors, and they’re quicker to install from a mechanical perspective. Electrically, they go in pretty fast, and we’ve also learned over the years that they are easy to reconfigure.”

Loading & Unloading Trucks with Conveyors

E-commerce parcels and cartons are less likely to be palletized, and more often loosely loaded into trucks or vans. The inefficient and time-consuming consequence is multiple and frequent short trips by workers.

Telescoping conveyors bring the belt to the truck and eliminate most of the walking and carrying. When loading and unloading, such a conveyor can be extended into the truck so the motions are short and easy to put packages onto – or take them off of – the conveyor. The work gets done faster and associates become less tired. It may even be possible to use one person to do the job instead of two.

Not all use cases can cost-justify a separate telescoping conveyor for each dock. The solution is a portable conveyor that can be moved from one dock to another.

Take the Next Step

This only scratches the surface of the myriad ways that the choice of conveyor system impacts the productivity of your e-Commerce operations.  Contact an AEC conveyor specialist today to discuss your unique application.

Request Consultation

Since 1960, Advanced Equipment Company has been providing our services to the Carolinas and throughout the United States.

We look forward to hearing from you and how we can help you with productivity-boosting innovations in automation, material handling, and storage applications.

Tell us about your project. We’ll get back to you within 24 business hours.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.