Accuglide Conveyor: Common Repairs, Upgrades & Spare Parts
For many warehouses and distribution centers, operations would not be able to function efficiently without product accumulation. This is why many operations rely on accumulation conveyors in one (or multiple) stages throughout their facility.
One of the most popular accumulation conveyors, leveraged by order fulfillment facilities around the country, is the Accuglide Accumulation Conveyor. These conveyors are something of a workhorse for many facilities, capable of operating efficiently for decades under ideal circumstances. But just like other conveyors and equipment, they will eventually show signs of wear and tear making repairs and other considerations necessary.
Download Our Guide to Warehouse Automation Ebook
Below, we offer a deep-dive analysis of the Accuglide Accumulation Conveyor so that you can understand everything you need about this critical piece of equipment: Including it’s company history, the most common repairs the equipment sees and the spare parts you should always have on hand, and your paths for upgrade if you find that the conveyor simply isn’t operating the way you need it to operate.
A Brief History of the Accuglide Accumulation Conveyor
The Accuglide Accumulation Conveyor was originally developed by Alvey in the 1980s as a means of beverage distribution. Alvey eventually became a member of FKI Logistex, a newly-formed company comprised of Alvey, Buschman, RTS, Crisplant, White Systems, Mathews Conveyor, DAVCO, and SNE Systems.
In 2009, Intelligrated (now Honeywell Intelligrated) purchased the North American and South American operations of FKI Logistex, which continues to operate in Europe. This included the Alvey brand of conveyors, such as Accuglide.
Accuglide Accumulation Conveyors
The drivetrain upon which the Accuglide conveyor operates is relatively standard. It consists of a 40-volt motor and gear reduction, which drives a modified RC-50 chain and, in turn, a urethane pad that powers the rollers.
Accumulation is guided by an ultra-high molecular weight (UHMW) track, which is lifted and lowered from below by actuating diaphragms. Depending on the age of the conveyor, the zones that accumulate product are guided either by mechanical sensors or photo eyes, which are spaced approximately every three feet along the track to sense product. Older models typically rely upon mechanical sensing, while newer models rely on photo eyes.
Common Repairs for Accuglide Conveyors
As with any other conveyor, the components most prone to needing repair are those which see the most friction. For the Accuglide, these typically include:
- The track: While the UHMW track can last for decades, it is not uncommon for the drive chain to cut into it. If this damage is not corrected, it can eventually cause staggering damage to the machinery; therefore, it’s recommended that operations regularly audit the condition of their track to determine the state that it is in.
- The chain: As mentioned above, the Accuglide is driven by an RC-50 chain. Over time, this chain can rust, snap, or simply become damaged, effectively shutting down the conveyor until it is replaced.
- The urethane driver pad: The driver pad is probably the number one item which is replaced on the Accuglide, as it sees a lot of wear and tear during conveyance. Over time, it simply begins to wear down and crack.
- The pneumatic actuators: While not an everyday occurrence, these components may occasionally fail and need to be replaced.
The other part of the conveyor you should pay particular attention to is accumulation. Bad vales, bad solenoids, air leaks, faulty actuators or photo eyes can all cause major problems.
Spare Parts for Accuglide Conveyors
Knowing that key components of the Accuglide may be prone to breaking down over time, we generally recommend that order fulfillment operations follow a predictive and preventative spare parts management process. Doing so will mean that your facility always has critical spare parts on hand, empowering you to limit the damage and time lost to unplanned downtime.
For the Accuglide, the parts we recommend you always keep on hand include:
- Driver pad, as it is so prone to wear and tear.
- Chain, because while these can last for 10+ years, they are essential to the conveyor’s operation.
- Accumulation components, such as a spare photo eye, zone control module, and power supply
- Drivetrain component, such as a replacement motor, gearboxes, etc.
If you are looking for spare parts for your Accuglide conveyor, you can purchase those here.
Upgrade Options for the Accuglide Conveyor
The primary upgrade option available for Accuglide Conveyors is to make the switch from mechanical sensing to photo sensing.
In older Accuglide Conveyors, accumulation is guided by mechanical sensing. While this can work fine for larger and consistent packages, in operations which handle smaller, lighter, and more varied orders it is not uncommon for mechanical sensing to cause side-by-sides, product breakage, and other exceptions during sortation.
Upgrading your Accuglide Conveyor with ZoneFlex allows you to replace these mechanical sensors with a combination of photo eyes and solenoids, improving the effectiveness of the conveyor and bringing it in line with the current realities of your business.
It is also possible to upgrade your Accuglide for additional functionality by introducing new controls, weigh scales, or other ancillary equipment to get more life out of your system.
Identifying Your Best Path Forward
If your operation is currently leveraging an aging Accuglide Conveyor for product accumulation, it can admittedly be difficult to know exactly what makes the most sense for your business: Continued maintenance and repair, upgrade, or replacement.
Ultimately, the answer to this question will boil down to your operation’s unique logistics and financial reality. That being said, a skilled and trusted systems integrator can help you conduct a warehouse and materials handling audit in order to determine the path that makes most sense for you.
At Conveyco, our skilled technicians are experts at not only evaluating the equipment, but also in performing both routine maintenance and upkeep as well as full upgrades. They can also help you identify other potential solutions to your order fulfillment challenges. Ready to get started? Schedule a free consultation today.