Key influences

11 October 2016

An industry review with Interroll Managing Director Chris Middleton, looking at some of the key influences in designing conveyors and components.

The world of intralogistics is undergoing radical change and automation is gaining even greater appeal.

Business processes and supply chains are becoming increasingly complex and customers more demanding. Therefore, anyone wishing to assert and develop their market position in the face of increasingly tough competition must organise their processes efficiently and keep their costs under control.

These challenges are faced not only by the traditional logistics sector and distribution centre operators, but also production and trading companies. Even the e-commerce sector, which continues to grow at a rapid pace, is being forced to develop handling and sortation processes that are as efficient, flexible and cost-effective as possible.

Conveyors offer a whole lot of benefits and different industries have seen the advantages of using them as, without them, the productivity and work force would be affected. Before conveyor systems, factory employees had to manually pick, carry and deliver the goods from one location to another, making the work demanding and tiring. Not to mention that the manual delivery and moving of goods resulted to low production rate.

Energy use

Actually, around 50 percent of the energy costs within the internal logistics for systems with a high degree of automation are spent on conveyor technology, warehousing and order picking.

More than two thirds of the remaining 50 percent of these energy costs is spent on heating and ventilating logistics buildings, and around another 15 percent on lighting. This means that conveyor technology, in terms of energy-saving alone, presents considerable potential for optimisation.

Interroll Drum Motors have been specifically designed for use in belt conveyors and associated material handling equipment. Their high efficiency – up to 83%, depending on the type of motor – benefits every application and system operator. They are simple to install and are designed to be space saving, ultra-hygienic, energy-efficient and maintenance-free.

Drum motors are perfectly suited for use in food and pharmaceutical industries with protection class IP66/IP69k meeting the highest hygienic requirements of the industries.

The optimum energy efficient solution must be the 24 volt technology-based, motor-driven conveyor RollerDrives from Interroll. Unlike traditional conveyor systems, where central drive motors provide the drive for complete lines, RollerDrive solutions are decentralised. The strengths of 24 volt technology also lend themselves to the modernisation of existing conveyor systems

Intelligent solutions 

Integration and interfacing of equipment can be time consuming when trying to undertake onsite. Therefore, Interroll has looked to simplify this at the design stage, by provides a range of solutions of controls to handle all challenges in material handling installations.

The use of flat ribbon cabling and easily configurable multi-control and conveyor controllers, ensures flexibility, quick installation and immediate start-up. The connection to the voltage supply and communication of the modules is ensured in the case of multi-control, with separate flat ribbon cables. The cables, which are identical to AS-i cabling, are quickly and securely connected to the modules using piercing technology.

The e-commerce sector, which continues to grow at a rapid pace, is being forced to develop handling and sortation processes that are as efficient, flexible and cost-effective as possible, and at the same time scalable for future growth. Interroll has had recent success with our cross belt sorter, who’s unique mechanical sort principle provides a cost effective solution, for both high and low throughput applications. Furthermore its simple robust design requires minimal maintenance and provides high availability.

Interroll is constantly reviewing and responding to the many challenges faced by today’s industries, as operators of material handling equipment increasingly want flexibility, options and future proofing. We recently responded with a new solution – to offer OEM’s and system integrators the Modular Conveyor Platform (MCP) that allows them to utilise all of Interroll’s most important component products in a virtually unlimited number of modular combinations to form a complete conveyor system.

Responding to their customers, new systems can be planned and implemented faster, and existing systems can be easily modified to meet changing demands. This means our business partners can react quickly and best serve the changing needs of end users in the factory, distribution centres or warehouses.

Interroll’s new conveyor platform reflects the growing importance of efficient material flow in today’s business world. With their new conveyor platform, Interroll has got it right: modularity and scalability all the way, with plug & play modules and standard components. The modules are mostly pre-assembled to simplify the process of installation on site.

Because they are based on open standards, the modules that make up the new platform are compatible with previous Interroll modules. Customers can therefore easily extend or change their existing systems by simply integrating new modules. This also guarantees full flexibility for existing customers.