Conveyors were perhaps made famous by Henry Ford, who used them even in his earliest assembly lines. However, they predate the Model T by perhaps as much as 200 years. While their earliest history is lost to time, conveyors have become a staple of material handling because of their efficiency, affordability, and versatility.
Part of PeakLogix’s mission is to provide its clients with customized solutions that use top-of-the-line, state-of-the-art products. And for something as vital to the material handling industry as conveyors, we know it’s especially important for our clients that we partner with leading manufacturers.
We recently sat down with Boyce Bonham, Chief Engineer with Hytrol Conveyor Company, to get his thoughts on the industry, and the things Hytrol does right to help it stand out from its competition.
Innovating the implementation approach
Like most industries, material handling installations and upgrades are largely done on a case-by-case basis. A client has a need for a system, they get bids on the job, and the project begins with some background work.
At Hytrol, that process is too limiting. They aspire instead to move the industry forward by making collaborations between clients and partners, before designing solutions – a philosophy also shared by our team at PeakLogix. With a partner-centric business philosophy, Hytrol and PeakLogix can help their clients with more than the installation of a piece of equipment – they can create a system that will help their clients’ future business, as they grow.
One successful example of this approach is the recent integration of Hytrol’s EZLogic® technology into the fulfillment process for a global furniture manufacturer. While gaining space in their floorplan, the company increased their throughput, achieved better carton flow and, perhaps most importantly, were better able to control the timing and even the need for future expansions of their building.
Innovating with lean manufacturing
Core to Hytrol’s success in the industry is a commitment to lean manufacturing principles. Importantly, this isn’t the philosophy of “doing more with less” embraced by so many companies following the recession of 2008. Rather, lean manufacturing is a never-ending attempt to improve while cutting waste – without sacrificing anything that adds value to the company or its clients.
Driven by its commitment to add value, Hytrol goes beyond the industry’s best practices to meet its clients’ needs in three key areas:
- Quality: Hytrol designs and manufactures their products from raw materials, allowing them to meet extreme demands with unmatched lead times while also giving them full control over the quality of their product, from beginning to end.
- Training: Customers are encouraged to send their maintenance staff to Hytrol’s headquarters to attend in-depth maintenance classes.
- Support: Beyond maintenance classes, Hytrol offers unparalleled support to its customers. Because they manufacture their own product, for example, if a client suddenly has a need to replace a damaged part, Hytrol is able to literally hammer it out on demand.
Innovating product lines
Hytrol offers all the standard equipment expected from a conveyor manufacturer – including belt conveyors, live rollers, pallet and parcel handling, control products, and accessories. But, in terms of its product line, Bonham feels Hytrol sets itself apart in three key ways:
- EZLogic®: Hytrol’s Electronic Zero Pressure Accumulation (EZLogic®) is the control system that makes the conveyor “smart” – telling it when to start and stop moving, and enabling its integration into almost any assembly line.
- E24®: E24® is Hytrol’s line of 24 volt pancake motors. Replacing motor-driven rollers, they move the motor outside the roller tube while still powering conveyor zones. By eliminating the gearing inside the tube, these pancake motors improve the efficiency of the system, create a quieter work environment, and provide increased flexibility in a number of ways.
- Assortment of sortation conveyors: The diversity of sortation conveyors Hytrol offers means they can manufacture the right sortation to achieve any throughput requirement their clients need, including high speed/high rate sorters, narrow belt sorters, pushers, dynamic plows, and more.
Hytrol and PeakLogix have built their brands doing more than installing machinery into factories and warehouses. They’re committed to building partnerships and to learning the goals their clients have for tomorrow. With this knowledge, they are able to ensure that the systems that are integrated today will help their clients grow for years to come.