CASE STUDY: How conveyor systems led to increased productivity in an FMCG company

Conveyors are like the lungs of the industrial system. They move products from one place to another, and they do so efficiently. Yet accurately moving products through a conveyor system is a tricky business, requiring precision and planning.

How ancient workers and engineers managed to move heavy stones from one place to another repeatedly, to construct gigantic structures like the pyramids of Egypt will always be a marvel. It took sledges, rollers, a lot of muscle and long hours of work, and sometimes years, to get things done back then.
In the manufacturing industry today, conveyor systems are so crucial that a minor malfunction can bring an entire production line to a grinding halt. That is because it is a complex process that mostly requires moving things around from one point to another. Many processes involving the transportation of bulky and heavy materials are done with the assistance of conveyor systems today. From airport baggage carousels to checkout points at supermarkets, conveyor systems serve different purposes in almost every industry.  It is thus correct to say conveyors are like lungs to the industrial system. 
 

Challenge

A malfunctioning conveyor system can cause entire operations to run behind schedule, resulting in loss of time, money, and productivity. Many times, conveyor systems can begin to show signs 
of wear and tear, lose traction due to high-volume activity, become stiff with rust, or get corroded 
from exposure. 
 
For this reason, engineers need properly calibrated, automated systems that can deliver their cargo with minimal human intervention so that they can concentrate on their work without being distracted or slowed down. To help drive higher output and increased productivity in the production 
lines, RPM designs and customizes automated systems for clients across various industries. 
 
Some of such clients include a fast-growing conglomerate in Lagos with a budding automobile 
assembly plant, manufacturing facilities specialized in manufacturing medical consumables and 
supplies, and an FMCG facility.  
 
The challenge identified at one of these facilities was the handling and packaging of finished goods. It became apparent that a new conveyor system was necessary for the finished goods packaging area due to the critical nature of the business and the rapidly growing demand. The 
brief was to design and fabricate a new conveyor system that would optimize production at 
much higher rates than currently obtainable. 

Solution

Our mission at RPM is to help industries succeed. In this case, was to develop the best conveyor system for an FMCG company.  
 
After putting all the detailed requirements and intricacies into consideration, we determined how 
much this system would cost if it operated at capacity, which was nearly ten times the cost of a 
traditional conveyor system. We compared this system with three other comparable systems (all 
of which were more expensive than our original design) and found that our system was less 
expensive overall.  
 
Our task was to make this finished goods packaging process as seamless as possible, with little human involvement. We designed, fabricated, and installed a system of conveyors that 
addressed the challenge identified as presented by the client and upgraded by the RPM design 
team. 
 
We built a conveyor system that ran on a 24-volt motorized Nord drive. Each drive controls a 
zone within the conveyor system allowing for dynamic zoning and Zero Pressure Accumulation 
(ZPA). The zones will only run when the product or box is present, making the 24v drives about 
70% more energy efficient than the conventional AC motor.  
 
From transportation mode to ZPA, we built a low noise and space-saving construction with throughput levels of 2.5m/s, the maximum uptime in day-to-day operations. This reduced 
complexity in the planning phase, faster project commissioning, lower operating expenses, and 
optimal reliability paired with global availability.   

The Result

With the project scope clearly defined, RPM focused on delivering the very best and state-of-the-art conveyor systems to her client in a short time and within the project budget. 

 Today, this facility runs on a network of RPM-designed conveyor systems, made up of elevating 
and curved conveyors with varying speed controls, steel structural materials from China, Nord 
Drive Systems Geared motors from Germany, Megadyne PVC Conveyor Belts from Italy, SKF 
Bearings from Sweden, and Rollers from RPM’s Fabrication and Machining unit. 
 
Feedback from the client:  
 
Overall equipment effectiveness. 
Higher customer satisfaction 
160% ROI generated in 6 months. 
 
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