Here at Shelf Space we have direct experience when it comes to the design, supply and Installation of Gravity & Powered Conveyor Systems, Spiral Conveyors and Vertical Conveyor Elevators. Usually supplied as a key element within one of our many 'Turn Key' projects for the movement of customers stock (usually with a plastic container) from point A to point B on the same floor using Powered Conveyor or the moving of stock between floors (usually between mezzanine floor levels) using Spiral Conveyors or if space is of a premium then with Vertical Conveyor Elevators. These systems can move product in each direction. For example stock moving up onto a mezzanine floor and the picked orders coming down from upper levels and being transferred to a packing area.
This specific customer needed to move product in plastic totes from the ground floor up onto the first floor mezzanine level and bring down picked order from the first floor back down to ground level.
They chose two spiral conveyors so during busy periods they could use both spirals to take up replenished stock to be put away and bring down completed picked orders. Each spiral conveyor had a small section of powered conveyor which acts like a buffer so the plastic totes could accumulate awaiting collection by the warehouse staff. The system would detect when the powered roller sections were full either at the top level of at ground level and shut down. As a box was removed then the system would start up and carry on moving totes up or down all the time the buffer conveyor was clear. A timer was added to switch off the spiral conveyor if no boxes had been moved up or down during a given time frame.
The system was designed to be reversible. Simply run the conveyor to clear all boxes from the system, then stop the slatted belt and run the system in the opposite direction, simple as that.
A spiral conveyor is ideal when space is of a premium as the footprint is very small. Please note this type of spiral elevator can only be used for single floor transfers. For multi floor transfer of goods then take a look at our Vertical Elevator range of products that we have supplied.
We supplied a large multi-tiered mezzanine floor with the lower floor being a pick and pack operation and the first and second floors where mainly used for the storage of thousands of plastic tote boxes. Integrated within the two tiered mezzanine floor where two vertical elevators were used to bring down completed (picked) orders from the first or second floor and transfer the boxes down to ground level and then powered conveyor would convey the boxes to multiple packing stations ready for packing and despatch. Another vertical elevator would transfer the new stock up to either floor one or two for stock replenishment and 'put away'.
Each machine was designed and manufactured in Holland and Installed by the manufacturers own Installation team. The running speed of the machine is determined by the amount of boxes per hour need to go up or down. The machine runs constantly with pronged platforms continually moving up between the floors in a big loop. When a box is ready to be collected by the vertical elevator a small powered section of conveyor drives the box on to a static platform and as the moving prongs move up through the static platform the box is collected and depending on which floor the box is on, it will be taken up and over the top of the machine and deposited at either the top floor, middle or ground floor. The movement of the boxes laterally on either of the three floor levels is by powered conveyor.
To reduce the time spent by the warehouse staff walking between the shelving and the drop off / pick up points of the plastic tote boxes we designed long lengths or powered conveyor on the ground floor , first and second mezzanine floor levels. The idea being simple, to reduce the time the warehouse staff have between when an order is complete and in its box to the time that completed order is on the powered conveyor and is being sent down to packing. The line shaft conveyor was positioned along the complete length of the shelving at the end. Walk to the end of the shelving and deposit your box and off it goes on its way to the ground floor and to be packed.
Another big challenge was what to do with the empty plastic totes after they have been emptied at the packing stations. Well this was overcome by installing a return powered conveyor system that was installed directly under the incoming box conveyor. Top level incoming and the bottom level conveyor empty returns. The totes were sent back to the 'UP' vertical elevator and deposited on either the first or second floor . The control system works out which level need empty boxes and delivers a constant replenishment of them as required.The whole system works together to provide a constant flow of goods going up and empty boxes and full completed orders coming down.