A question we are sometimes asked at UniTrak is, how do you calculate the cost of a conveyor? The general answer is that the pricing our customers receive is based on the needs and scope of their project. In this blog, we examine the factors that determine a bulk solids conveyor cost and provide some insight to the factors that drive pricing.
At UniTrak, we offer our customers four main conveying equipment lines: TipTrak™ continuous bucket elevators, Powderflight aeromechanical conveyors, UniFlex flexible screw conveyors, and KleanTrak sanitary belt conveyors. Despite the differences in equipment types, there are some shared similarities that help determine pricing.
Bulk solids conveyor cost: pricing factors
Common inputs we work with at UniTrak to determine our bulk solids conveyor cost include the following:
- The conveyor capacity. Conveyor capacity is a determinant of cost. As a general rule, as capacity increases, cost rises. For example, TipTrak™ S-2 bucket elevators employ 2-litre capacity buckets, while S-5 units use 5-litre capacity buckets, which have a higher cost.
- The conveyor’s physical size, dimensions, and construction. The physical size of a conveyor determines the amount of material and components that must be used in its construction. For aeromechanical and flexible screw conveyors, this relates mainly to the tube lengths and diameters, as well as the flexible screw’s auger length, and rope length and number of disks in the aeromechanical. For bucket elevators, physical size relates to the lengths of the infeed, vertical, and discharge sections of the elevator, which determines the amount of material to be used, both for frame construction and drive assembly (see below). In addition, bucket elevator pricing varies with the construction type – whether the unit is of open tube, fully enclosed, or fully sealed construction.
- The drive motor size and type. Conveyor drive motors used by UniTrak are generally categorized by size (horsepower rating) and type (i.e., standard duty service, severe service, explosion proof, washdown duty, etc.). The cost of a drive motor varies by size and type.
- Drive assembly type and components. For continuous bucket elevators, the length of the drive assembly and the number of buckets needed is a key costing factor. In addition, because UniTrak offers the TipTrak™ rubber beltchain in a variety of application-specific rubbers, cost may vary depending upon the type of rubber required.
- Flow aids required. Depending upon the material being moved, a conveyor may require flow aids to ensure a consistent and problem-free flow of material through the conveyor. For bucket elevators, these flow aids may consist of vibratory feeders installed at the conveyor infeed, or discharge aids to ensure that buckets are completely emptied.
- Machine controls. Equipment cost can vary depending upon the sophistication of machine controls desired by the customer. Basic control units will cost less than more complex controls, such as those that support programmable options, data logging, logic zones, plug-and-play installation, etc.
- Optional accessories desired by the customer. UniTrak offers a range of equipment options, ranging from explosion-proof to Clean-in-Place systems. These options are usually priced separately in project proposals.
The above summarizes some of the key factors that customers can consider as drivers of bulk solids conveyor cost. While the final price is always determined by each customer’s project scope and needs, these factors are important contributors to equipment pricing.
If you are seeking a bulk solids conveyor, UniTrak will be pleased to review and propose on your needs. To find out more about the equipment solutions we offer, please contact our sales team directly.