Critical Steps in Your Conveyor System Design – Part 2

In this second installment of a four-part blog series on conveyor system design and applications, we’re shifting our focus from the importance of knowing your product – truly capturing all product specs in order to build a productive conveyor system – to the significance of your order profile in the design of your conveyor system.

Order Profile Graphic3Your Order Profile is an Aggregate of:

  • Orders per day
  • Line items per order
  • Units per SKU
  • Order type – each pick, carton or full pallet

It May Also Include:

  • Weight per piece or carton
  • Variability of volume throughout the day
  • Shipment method – LTL, FedEx or UPS
  • Destination variables

You are looking for the velocity of product movement through the facility, the number SKUs available and batch quantities picked for shipping.


Conveyor System ExamplesThe Order Profile Will Help Determine:

  • Which conveyor types best fit your application – motorized or gravity conveyor, or a combination of the two? Belt, roller, or both?
  • Types of conveyor lines
  • Optimal storage mediums – pallet rack, carton flow, pick modules, pallet flow, etc.

Armed with the order profile and detailed product information, your conveyor system begins to take shape.  Systems will likely include a transportation conveyor to move boxes, pallets and cartons from point A to B; a sortation conveyor to divert product from the conveyor to chutes, lanes, packing stations, totes; and an accumulation conveyor to collect the product prior to final weighing, scanning and sorting.

Custom Conveyor Designs for Order Profle

What this conglomeration of elements might look like is unique to each customer’s order profile. For example:

  1. Small piece selection – in this case, individual products might be picked from carton flow to tote or carton and placed on a shoulder gravity conveyor. When the tote or carton is complete, it is placed on the takeaway conveyor for palletizing or shipping.
  2. Pick module split or full carton picks — A pick module integrates many storage solutions inside a multi-level work platform for efficient order fulfillment. A spiral conveyor can be used to merge multiple pick module lines to one accumulating conveyor.
  3. E-commerce parcel shipments – E-commerce orders are typically small, high-volume orders consisting of single cartons or packs. In this example, a conveyor extension will be needed from the dock to the truck for manual loading.
  4. Boxed and ready to ship – Sortation conveyors move product at high speeds while gently diverting packages from the sorter to the takeaway lanes; invaluable in the pharma, food/beverage, apparel, book industries, for example.
  5. Heavy carton picks – Food processing and automotive are well-suited for powered roller conveyors to allow for accumulation where you need storage on the conveyor.

These are just a few examples of different conveying options that can be used to customize your conveying system to connect customer demand and order fulfillment most efficiently and cost-effectively.

Let us help you define your order profile for the best custom-designed conveyor solution for your operation.

Contact E-Distribution to arrange a system design consult. or (866) 690-4585.