Belt-driven live roller conveyors are a popular choice for warehousing and distribution because they are durable and economical. When it comes to transporting boxes, totes, and pallets down the conveyor line, live rollers are a critical lifeline of these operations. So when any kind of maintenance needs to be done on these conveyors, it is top priority to get it done quickly and correctly.
One of the most critical maintenance fixes an operation with conveyors will face is conveyor belt repair. And for some reason, belts never tear in a convenient spot. Chances are, your crew will be grabbing the scissor lift and venturing up next to those stacked conveyors with your splice press to get the job done.
With a conservative estimate of downtime being about $1650 per minute, every minute counts when a belt goes down. So the current process of splicing a belt in one hour could cost you upwards of $99,000. Think of that … one belt, one stoppage, almost $100K. Plus, your equipment has several different components that have to be located and put together to even get the job done, so you may even add more time and more lost money.
A lesson in best practices
The maintenance crew at a large distribution center in the U.S. had to shut down to splice a belt during a critical sortation. When they retrieved the splicing equipment, they found that it was damaged and needed to be fixed before splicing the belt. Working quickly, the team found a solution and the belt was up and running in two hours – one hour to fix the tool and one hour to splice the belt. The production supervisor found this unacceptable and decided that this instance was the final straw in a long line of problems with this splicing method.
While discussing the issue with his colleagues at other distribution centers, the supervisor learned that a splice press designed specifically for use with thermoplastic belts was coming to market soon. After placing a few calls, they were able to get a demonstration of the new Novitool® Aero® 325 Splice Press from Flexco. Offered with narrow belt templates, the Aero 325 was more durable than the current offering with integrated controls for programming straight into the press.
As if the robust design was not enough, the Aero 325 was considerably faster than the current splicing tools they were using. Instead of the hour-long splice time they were used to, the Aero 325 finished in less than 20 minutes. The real test came when the crew was introduced to the new splice press. Flexco representatives were more than happy to come straight to the site to train the crew on press operations. The maintenance manager was pleased to see that recipes could be programmed straight into the press controller for consistent, repeatable splices from any maintenance team members.
After training, the maintenance crew got a hold of the press to use in real downtime conditions and were pleased with its performance. They found that the 110V option was key to its portability because it could be plugged in anywhere along the conveyor line. The wheeled transport case also made it easy to move around and store properly when not in use. And the speedy splices continued as the crew logged splice times from 18-22 minutes, meaning they had 2/3 more time for other maintenance jobs.
You don’t need a problem to find a solution
The production supervisor waited until all the little issues with his splicing method became a big problem during a critical sort. You don’t have to wait until a big problem causes you thousands of dollars in downtime to look at other splicing methods. The Aero 325 Splice Press may be the solution for a problem you never knew you had … before it happens. Find out more about it here or schedule a virtual demonstration with our application specialists by clicking here.
Authored by: Michelle Graves, Product Manager
Graves manages the overall global business, market plans, technical support, and activities associated with the light-duty belting market for the Novitool® product line, including new product development, market analysis, and global strategy. Graves holds a bachelor’s degree from Albion College as well as a master’s degree from Grand Valley State University.