Industrial – A Case Study

The Situation:

Pack Air was contacted by a small engine manufacturer because they were not happy with the strength of the conveyors and related equipment that they were purchasing from other suppliers. They invited us to visit their manufacturing facility to see first hand the environment where the new equipment would be operating.

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The Challenge:

There was an extreme duty requirement for the equipment in question, and the new manufacturing line needed to be installed and functioning right out of the box. Naturally, the customer was a little concerned about contracting a supplier they had not worked with before for such a large and important project.

We approached this project in a way similar to how we approach every project. We reviewed the customer’s manufacturing techniques, discussed operational parameters with the engineering team, watched the current equipment during a product run, and interviewed the line operators to understand the concerns of the people tasked with making the line produce. We then talked with the maintenance department to get their input about which areas give them the most trouble.

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The Solution:

Pack Air took all of that information back to our plant and put our project team together. Members of our engineering, fabrication, and assembly departments worked together to design a heavy-duty conveyor that would not only meet the requirements of our customer, but exceed their expectations.

We designed a heavy-duty conveyor system using 1/4″ thick steel side frames, 3/4″ thick steel wearstrips, 6″ structural channel supports, and large diameter drive shafting. The equipment was modular in design and included stand-alone drive / idle sections for ease of service and installation. To convince our new customer that we were the right company for the job, we built a standalone 20-foot test section complete with drive and idle. We then contacted our customer and offered to deliver the test unit to their site and let their team review / abuse the equipment. The test started before our delivery driver even left the customer’s factory.

We built the equipment in a modular design but shipped the unit to the customer fully assembled. The customer was concerned about lifting the new conveyor with the overhead crane and summoned a forklift driver to assist. Our driver warned the forklift operator that our truck was not rated to handle the additional load of their forklift, but the forklift driver proceeded to drive onto our truck anyway.

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The forklift’s weight sent our flatbed frame to the dock floor, pushing the truck tires over the wheel chocks, and the truck began to roll out of the dock area. The forklift dropped to the dock floor, with the test conveyor landing next to it. Thankfully no one was injured.

A quick inspection from the Pack Air employee and the customer’s maintenance and engineering departments declared that the conveyor was unscathed. The customer promptly plugged in and turned on the new conveyor for testing. He commented that there was nothing that the test could do to the equipment that would be harder on it then what just happened on the loading dock.

 

The Results:

Our new heavy-duty conveyor passed customer scrutiny with flying colors. We won the original bid to not only supply the assembly line conveyors for this project, but also the vertical lift equipment (elevators), pallet return line conveyors, parts washer, stainless steel conveyors, and tool and wiring support structures. We went on to supply conveyors for the customer’s new assembly lines over the years.

When this customer started two new manufacturing facilities they again called on us to not only supply the new assembly-line equipment, but to also reconfigure the existing 10-year-old equipment. We are proud to say that the original assembly-line equipment supplied in 1986 is still running today, right alongside the new equipment we supply this customer. Pack Air has built its reputation on a solid promise to our customers – we will supply the highest quality equipment for the money in the industry.