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How to Keep Your Conveyor Systems Up and Running


A Conveyor System, along with its sorters, lift gates, transfers and other parts, is like the vascular system of a warehouse. Losing just one critical artery brings product grinding to a halt and can be devastating to the entire supply chain. In today’s tough economic environment — full of uncertainty, decreasing or nonexistent CAPEX budgets and a lack of labor supply — many businesses are faced with a difficult decision: keep deteriorating conveyor systems operating, or shell out the money required to upgrade to a new system.

Almost every business would love for the second option to be viable for them. Who would hate to have a shiny, state-of-the-art conveyor line, energy efficient and quiet, equipped with all the latest tech? Sounds great, right? Realistically, this is not an option for a lot of companies, especially now with all the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. If your company is in this position and is currently relying on an aging conveyor system, keeping it up and running should be priority number one to ensure the supply chain keeps rolling. Here are three simple strategies that will help you get more out of your conveyor system. 


Hire a Maintenance Technician

One of the most common mistakes companies make is either not hiring a dedicated maintenance technician or underpaying one. Good maintenance technicians are capable of identifying small problems before they spiral out of control and become too big to fix. In the end it boils down to paying someone to manage the system or having it fail and needing a new one. Seems like a simple decision, but you’d be surprised how many companies choose to skimp on maintenance budgets. Would you rather spend money on unhappy customers and miss out on sales when your system goes down, or spend money on a great maintenance technician who’s going to ensure orders get out?


Preventative Care, Preventative Care, Preventative Care

I'll say it one more time for good measure — Preventative Care. If you only fix things when they break, you’re most likely going to spend a lot of time (and a lot more time than you need) fixing things that are broken. All material handling equipment needs steady preventative maintenance, including conveyor. Just like a car, if you follow the recommended service schedule and you’ll get more use out of it. Fail to perform the necessary service on the car, you’ll end up on the side of the road more often than not. A good conveyor supplier will have a comprehensive preventative maintenance plan. If you follow this, you’re well on your way to ensuring maximum uptime for your system.


Stay Ahead of Obsolete Equipment and Parts

Conveyor tech is constantly changing, and it’s not uncommon to find that parts of your system are out-of-date and no longer manufactured. At the end of the day, the CAPEX budget doesn’t always allow for replacing entire systems. That being said, it’s critical that companies keep what parts of their systems they can as up to date as possible and/or stock up on parts that are going to be discontinued. For example, if you know that a particular type of conveyor is no longer being manufactured and you can’t afford to buy new conveyor, creating a backlog of spare parts for that particular conveyor can be a cheaper solution to keep your system running while your company prepares to replace it in its entirety.


If you’re considering an upgrade or want to learn more about what conveyor systems are available, CCS could be the right fit for your company. Please reach out to Jason Noble at jasonnoble@cartercontrols.com or 301-698-9660 x250 for more information.

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