State Of Conveying 2023 Report

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Cut Down on Moving Parts in Your Processing Facility – Forklifts vs Cable Conveying

Cable Conveying vs forklift

In the world of material transport, two dominant systems are currently competing for the upper hand – forklifts vs. cable conveying. Whether you will integrate the first or the latter into your operations should be made based on factors ranging from cost and efficiency to productivity and worker safety.

A Brief Overview of On-floor vs. Overhead Systems

In the logistics and material handling sectors, the orientation of transport systems plays a crucial role in determining overall efficiency. There are at least two main types of systems to move materials – on-floor and overhead. And there are several factors to consider when choosing a system for moving materials, including cost, efficiency, productivity, and worker well-being.

On-floor systems, led by forklifts, operate directly on the facility floor, maneuvering between aisles and storage areas. They are often chosen for their adaptability and direct approach but can consume valuable floor space.

On the other hand, overhead systems, like cable conveying, make the best use of vertical space above the ground. By avoiding ground-level obstacles and congestion, these systems streamline the transport process, potentially offering faster, more efficient material movement. The choice between these two often boils down to the specific needs of the facility, space availability, and the desired efficiency levels.

The Hidden Costs of Forklifts

On-floor movers would include forklifts, and while forklifts are often considered cost-effective, there are hidden costs to using them. They use more working space than an industrial conveyor belt for a warehouse (for instance) and require that areas must always be clear, meaning less space to hold products and materials. According to the National Safety Council, the average direct cost to a company for a forklift incident is $38,000, with $150,000 in indirect costs.

Safety Hazards of Forklifts

Forklifts potentially pose safety hazards for those driving them, including tip-overs. They can harm other workers and damage equipment and buildings in accidents. And heavy or unbalanced loads can fall from a forklift, posing major safety risks. According to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), forklifts are involved in more than 61,000 minor and 33,000 serious accidents per year. They also cause more than 100 deaths, according to the same source.

The Prevailing Misconception

Despite these problems, most places still use forklifts, even when there are many situations where conveyors are more advantageous. Historically, forklifts have been the go-to as bulk material handling equipment due to their versatility and immediate availability. Moreover, the initial investment in forklifts, both in terms of finances and training, makes establishments hesitant to transition, fearing the sunk costs. Yet, in many scenarios, a system such as a conveyor belt for food presents a more efficient, safer, and cost-effective alternative. Especially in environments where consistency, speed, and minimal manual intervention are paramount, the benefits of conveyors clearly outweigh those of forklifts.

 A man operating a forklift

The Advantages of Conveyors

To avoid accidents and human error, a belt conveyor system is the better choice. Conveyors can reliably transport materials safely and provide better plant ergonomics for employees. Another benefit of conveyors is installing them off the shop floor, eliminating congestion challenges. In the modern industrial landscape, the emphasis on safety and efficiency has never been greater. While forklifts come with the human element, leading to potential errors and mishaps, conveyors stand out as the epitome of reliability. Here’s why:

  • Conveyors, by design, minimize the chances of accidents. With automated pathways and controlled movements, they lack the unpredictability that often accompanies manual handling by forklifts. This ensures that materials are transported without any unforeseen incidents.
  • Human error is a variable that industries constantly grapple with. Conveyors, however, offer a consistent solution. Their mechanical nature ensures materials are transported with precision every single time.
  • One of the standout features of conveyors is their ability to be installed off the facility floor. This optimizes space, allowing for a more organized, efficient setup. Overhead conveyors, in particular, utilize vertical space, leaving the ground free for other operations.

In essence, the decision to transition to conveyors isn’t merely about material movement. It’s about reshaping the very dynamics of an industrial setup, prioritizing safety, efficiency, and employee well-being.

Introducing Cablevey Conveyors

Cablevey Conveyors’ cable and disc tubular drag conveyors ensure materials are moved without bumping, battering, stress, or friction – they’re gentle on your materials. Our conveyors can move products in any direction, including multi-directionally and vertically. And our modular design, combined with customization for your unique application, means fewer parts, higher reliability, and less maintenance, which keeps your downtime to a minimum.

A woman examining a product next to a conveyor belt

The Undeniable Superiority of Tubular Drag Conveyors

At the heart of the discourse on whether to continue using forklifts or transition to cable conveying is the potential of tubular drag conveyors. Unlike the traditional, on-ground operation of forklifts, which come with space limitations and safety concerns, tubular drag conveyors present a plethora of advantages. Their design ensures gentle, precise, and efficient material movement, minimizing the risk of product degradation.

Furthermore, their overhead installation capitalizes on vertical space, optimizing available floor area and avoiding congestion challenges. When stacked against forklifts, it becomes evident that the benefits of tubular drag conveyors are not just superficial. Instead, they allow you to transform and streamline your operations, setting it as the new standard in material handling solutions.

Two women next to a conveyor system

Forklifts vs. Cable Conveying – Choose Cablevey Conveyors for Efficiency

If you’re ready to transform your material handling processes and elevate your operational efficiency, there’s no time like the present. Dive into the future of material movement with Cablevey Conveyors. Discover the power and precision of our tubular drag conveyor systems. Reach out to Cablevey Conveyors today and let us craft a custom conveyor belt system as a solution tailored to your unique needs.

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