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How Conveyors Can Go Green!

In 2018 there is no "right" way to go green. Different companies are approaching the green initiatives challenge of going green in their own ways, one way of which is making simple changes to the way conveyors are installed and used in an industrial setting

For companies, “going green” means doing business in such a way as to be environmentally friendly rather than causing harm to the environment. A simple example would be installing energy-efficient bulbs that switch off automatically when nobody is at the workplace, or to set up an in-house recycling system.

Some Important Facts About Going Green!

  • Cost Attached – Perhaps the biggest concern with going green are the costs associated with it. Energy-efficient systems will always cost more than their non-energy-efficient counterparts. A business needs to look at this additional cost and balance it out against the benefits that come with it.
  • Material Handling – In the material handling business, going green means focusing on reducing the amount of energy that is consumed by conveyors and other equipment while still maintaining the same work efficiency. Further, the systems should have a positive impact on the people as well as the environment in which they are being operated.
  • Noise – Another aspect of going green is to reduce the amount of noise that is generated, since excessive noise leads to noise pollution. In addition to that, a noisy operation implies inefficiency, which circles back to increased energy consumption.

Eco-Friendly Conveyor Systems

In the manufacturing and material handling business, conveyors are the lifeline of the business. That normally means that they are also part of the system which consumes the most energy. This is where eco-friendly conveyors come into the picture.

Facts About Eco Friendly Conveyors

  • These are conveyors that are designed and built to be energy-efficient, from the ground up.
  • Organizations that are serious about being eco-friendly will have to replace their existing conveyor systems to get the full eco-friendly benefits.
  • An eco-friendly system comes with a narrow conveyor belt by design. This reduces energy consumption while keeping the efficiency similar to standard sized conveyors.
  • Eco-friendly conveyor types produce little or no noise during operation.
  • Eco-friendly conveyor systems are designed to keep maintenance time and costs low.

Here Are Ways To Be More Energy Efficient

  • Energy-Efficient Motors – The first step towards modifying your existing conveyor system would be to replace its existing motors with those that are energy-efficient. This simple change can reduce energy bills by almost 5%, which adds up to lower costs and higher eco-benefits over time.
  • Automatic Sleep Controls – There are times when the conveyor is running but isn’t actually ‘conveying’ anything. Automatic sleep controls, also known as Warehouse Control Systems, can turn off the motors when they sense that nothing is on the belts. If the belts were monitored by workers, there could always be human error or negligence coming into play, which leads to energy loss. Automatic systems prevent this loss.
  • Regenerative Energy – There are motors that come with the ability to capture spent energy. Energy thus captured is moved on to other equipment and it can also be fed back to the main grid. Ultra capacitors are usually part of such systems.
  • Variable Speed Drives – Installation of variable speed drives is another way of enhancing existing conveyor systems and making them more energy-efficient. Single speed drives are typically running either too fast or too slow, leading to energy loss.
  • Motor Driven Rollers – Motor driven rollers are an alternative to conveyor technologies, especially at junction points where transfers as well as mergers commonly occur. Of course, they are expensive but they consume lower energy and increase the overall efficiency of the system. Going for an all-motor driven roller conveyor is cost prohibitive, but you could also opt for a hybrid system that is more cost-effective.
  • Saving the environment and “going green” is a responsibility that must be shared by every business. That is where modifying existing systems or overhauling them entirely becomes part of the picture. Either of these options may seem like an added cost with no immediate financial returns.,However, appreciation of the larger environmental picture and reduced consumption will make for a worthwhile investment in the long run!

Information courtesy of Compactor Management Company

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