Tip #1: Match the supplier to your challenge.
Suppliers of bulk material conveying equipment have wide divergences in their experience and capabilities for solving material handling challenges. The right supplier will provide the right solution for your particular challenge. A good supplier will take the time to understand your particular material handling challenge, and will propose a business-oriented, as opposed to a hardware-oriented, solution.
A good supplier will:
- Evaluate your particular needs in detail and assess what has to be done to keep product and value flowing out to your customer without unnecessary interruption or delay.
- Understand the properties and characteristics of the material you will be conveying, and how the material behaves once in the conveyor. Good suppliers will have the know-how and proven track record for successfully moving the material you need to convey; if there is any uncertainty about how your material will behave in their equipment, a good supplier will always recommend a product test under controlled conditions to ensure they provide an effective equipment solution.
- Be able to provide an integrated solution, where equipment hardware and controls are effectively married into a total solution that addresses your challenge and operating environment. Good suppliers go beyond mere equipment provision, and provide a full range of services, including those for installation and commissioning, servicing, training, and replacement parts provisioning.
Tip #2: Choose a supplier who can address both your current and future needs.
Too often, suppliers are chosen because they happen to offer the best one-off solution in response to an RFQ. However, it is often better to select a supplier with the capabilities to support your operation as it evolves and grows. This will involve examining the range of equipment solutions that a given supplier can provide, as well as the supplier’s capability to adapt and tailor their equipment in response to your changing needs.
Tip #3: Avoid trading-off quality for price.
Quality and reliability in bulk material conveying equipment is not free! While low-priced or heavily discounted equipment is often appealing from a purely economic perspective, buying this category of equipment may be false economy. High-quality equipment that has proven reliability and performance will always be the better investment in terms of keeping your operation running with minimal downtime and interruption.
Tip #4: Choose a supplier that offers the best ROI.
Quality and reliability are important, but they are not the only drivers of equipment ROI. Other factors to consider when evaluating equipment ROI include improved throughput, yield and production efficiency, savings in floor-space and footprint, and savings in labour costs by automating tasks that may previously have been done manually by workers.
Tip #5: Don’t forget about safety.
Best-in-class manufacturers often have the highest OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) rates and the lowest incidence of accidents and injuries. These manufacturers understand the need to have operations that are both efficient and safe. Good equipment safety comes from good designs that ensure safe operation, while reducing the risks associated with conveying hazardous, or potentially hazardous, materials.
At UniTrak, we understand the needs of buyers of bulk material conveying equipment. For over 45 years, we have supplied quality equipment that has proven itself in facilities and plants the world over. If you are in the market to purchase bulk material conveying equipment, we would welcome the opportunity to partner with you. For further information on how we can support your equipment needs, please contact our sales department.