The Eyes Have It: Converting to Photo Eye Sensor Accumulation
|Bryan Gionet – Author|
Systems Support Manager
The rush to converting Mechanical Sensor Accumulation to Photo Eye Sensor Accumulation
It has been almost 15 years since accumulation conveyor equipped with mechanical sensors, went the way of the typewriter and carbon paper, and were replaced by photoeye sensors for Photoeye Accumulation. Once the cost of photoeye sensors became comparable to its mechanical older brother, manufacturers stopped producing accumulators with mechanical sensors. Mechanical sensors, because they touch the product, cause cartons to turn, slow down, become side-by-side with another carton, and stop in the middle of the conveyor. These events cause jams, no reads, and additional labor to fix the aforementioned problems on the conveyor system.
Free Guide: Top Order Fulfillment KPI Indicators
These conveyor problems inflict additional costs on your operation every year. If you think these problems are not expensive, follow this formula to calculate the additional cost per year caused by a poor handling conveyor.
Labor Cost per 15 Minutes for Each Position
|Customer Service Rep||+ $4.32|
|Labor Cost Per Incident||$17.39|
Incident Labor Cost Summary
|Labor Cost per Incident||$17.39|
|Average Product Sell Price||+ $8.00|
|Total Cost per Incident||$25.39|
|Incidents per Year||x ?|
|Annual Cost of Mishandling||$?.??|
The estimate above is conservative if the damaged orders to be shipped are incomplete, also known as “shorts”, and/or an incident causes system down time. If this is the case, you should add any penalties incurred per “short”, if your customer is a retailer and the labor costs incurred when the system is down. For businesses like Direct to Consumer, add your customer acquisition cost to each damaged carton before multiplying by the annual number of cartons damaged.
You will find the costs of mishandling incidents add up quickly. There are kits available to convert your mechanical sensors to photoeye sensors. They never touch the carton and eliminate all the handling incidents caused by mechanical sensors. There are no moving parts to wear out or replace like springs, linkage, or rollers. You may start running into issues, since some manufacturers no longer make the mechanical sensor components.
Here are the most common questions about converting Mechanical Accumulators to Photoeye Accumulation and how this can save you money in the long run.
Q. Can I convert any one of my mechanical sensor accumulators to Photoeye Accumulation?
A. Yes, you can convert belt driven accumulation, chain driven accumulation, even cable driven accumulation and this is true for all manufacturers conveyors.
Q. How much down time will converting to Photoeye Accumulation Sensors take?
A. This can be performed with little downtime, or during planned downtime. All of the photo eye kits can be mounted on the conveyor as it runs. Cutting over the new air lines and energizing the power supply can be done between shifts. Mechanical sensors can be disengaged by removing the spring on the sensor roller bracket and then later replaced with standard 1.9” carrier rollers.
Q. When should I expect to see a decrease in downtime and increase in cost savings?
A. It depends on how many zones need to be converted and how long it will take to install them. We have a solution that is easy to implement and will save operating costs the first month after installation is complete. Converting will save you time and money in the long run. You will not have to focus on fixing jammed totes from your accumulation line or deal with incomplete orders.
Converting to photoeye accumulation will save you thousands of dollars in the long run. Conveyco Technologies offers conversion kits for most manufacturers’ accumulators. Please contact us if you’d like to learn more.