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The Dos and Don’ts of Reusing Conveyor


While allure of a shiny new conveyor system is self-evident, it’s not always practical — or affordable. Sometimes, you will be given the option to retool and reuse conveyor you already have. You can save a lot of time and money by getting more out of your old conveyor. Here are some practical things to do and not do if you find yourself reusing conveyor.


Do: Keep the conveyor assembled.

The worst thing that could happen during the process of reusing conveyor is to dissemble multiple pieces of conveyor and then not be able to figure out what goes with what when you put it back together. Whether that’s because you lost a piece here or there, you’re not familiar with the assembly process all together or simply don’t remember what goes with what, it is critical that you try to limit as much as possible how often you pull apart conveyor when you’re reusing it. Instead, focus on finding ways to transport and reinstall your conveyor sections in a method that allows keeping as many segments together as possible. This is especially convenient when you’re working with complex conveyor assemblies like line-shaft or follower-driven v-belt.


Don’t: Get rid of things not used in the new system.

It’s highly unlikely that every single piece of existing conveyor will be used in your new system. Otherwise, why would you need a new system? However, just because you’re not using that conveyor does not mean that it will be useless long term. Any and all unused conveyor has the potential to be stripped for replacement or spare parts. Frames, rollers, belts, pulleys, almost anything that you have in one unused piece of conveyor can be repurposed for the same or a similar piece in your new system.


Do: Put a label on everything.

Prep work for this process is extremely important. That being said, no matter how much prep you do, once the conveyor pieces are off the floor, into trucks and back onto the floor, things are going to be confusing for your installers. The most reliable and surefire way for you to minimize this confusion and maximize the likelihood that your new system is assembled correctly is by putting a label on everything. These labels serve as visual distinctions for your installers so can quickly see the difference between sections of conveyor that are being split up, kept together, stripped for parts or taken to the dump.


Don’t: Delete CAD files — ever.

Anyone who has worked on a material handling project before knows that CAD files are the lifeblood of a successful execution. Unfortunately, finding CAD files for old systems can be difficult depending on how your company handles its archives. When you are able to find old CAD files for an existing system, your job of reusing that existing conveyor in a new format becomes much easier as you can simply rearrange all the existing parts in AutoCAD. This allows you to accurately space system components, confirm conveyor flows and compare systems side-by-side.


Do: Refurbish conveyor when possible.

It is the nature of reused conveyor that some pieces will be… well… used. One of the benefits of going through the labor-intensive but cost-saving process of reusing your conveyor is that you can refurbish it while the system is being transported. When possible, having a smaller group of maintenance technicians working in tandem with the uninstall/install teams to do a comprehensive review of each conveyor piece as they’re being unloaded and installed at the new location. This will allow you to fix errors in the system and identify problem areas with your old conveyor before they become a sticking point in the new system. Having the conveyor already in downtime makes it easier to do this preventative maintenance than when the system is fully assembled and running.



CCS Specializes in MDR Conveyor solutions. We offer run-on-demand MDR Conveyor, MDR Spirals, Mobile MDR Conveyor and MDR Pallet Conveyor. If you’re interested in learning more about any of these types of conveyor, please contact Joel Thomas by email at joelthomas@cartercontrols.com or by phone at 240-815-1835.


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