Automated Hytrol Conveyor System Redesign for Verizon Billing and Distribution Center in Cary NC
Industry: Verizon services billing and distribution center.
Challenge: Need for increased clientele leads to a need for a more efficient and automation process.
Solution: Custom-built, automation conveyor system designed to make efficient use of space while increasing output speed with more control over merge points.
Result: New automated conveyor system exceeds goal of 13 million mailings per month.
Equipment: Hytrol 190-E24EZ Zero Pressure Accumulation Conveyor, Hytrol ARB Merge Belt, Ryson Spiral Conveyor
Challenge: Expansion Drives the Need for Increased Efficiency & Speed
Ivar Lonon is a Cary, North Carolina based systems engineer and project manager with Advanced Equipment Company (AEC) who has been helping companies solve material handling challenges since 1983. He excels at finding the right solution for his clients’ needs and budget.
So when Durham, North Carolina’s CSLT-Billing, a Verizon operation, needed to expand, they went to AEC and Lonon. Verizon needed to put out 13 million bills and letters monthly, but they had simple powered belt and gravity equipment that just couldn’t move the totes efficiently from the second-floor housing the 10 inserters to the first floor where the mail totes were being sleeved and strapped.
“The original system that Verizon had from another supplier did not perform as expected. It was not capable of merging the multiple bill printing lines into the main takeaway conveyor,” Lonon says.
The conveyor they originally had taking the mail totes from the second to the first floor was also not performing as desired, so Verizon looked to AEC to provide a cost-effective solution.
AEC removed every piece of the original conveyor and did a complete rebuild. Lonon handled the consulting, engineering, and project management for what would be a turnkey project.
Solution: Increased Control Over Merge Points with Hytrol 190-E24EZ Zero Pressure Accumulation Conveyor
“They needed a solution more well-suited for their operation,” Lonon explains.
To solve Verizon’s challenges, AEC installed Hytrol 190-E24EZ zero pressure accumulation conveyor along with Hytrol ARB merge belt at the main trunk line. The zero-pressure accumulation conveyor meant easier control of the merge points, and that both sides of the operation were able to use one conveyor feeding into a Ryson Spiral Conveyor.
Hytrol Conveyor Provides Flexibility, Safe and Quiet Operation
The Hytrol conveyor was the best solution in this scenario because employees who worked close by noted the equipment is safer and is, importantly, quieter than other systems.
Scalable System Easily Upgrades for Future Modifications
What’s more, the Hytrol conveyor provides great flexibility. This came in handy most recently when Verizon upgraded their bill printing equipment, which necessitated a new conveyor layout provided and implemented by AEC.
Going Through the Roof – Literally – with Ryson Spiral Conveyor
Interestingly, because of doorway restrictions, AEC had to temporarily remove the roof to install the Ryson Spiral Conveyor.
You might wonder why Verizon and AEC made such a decision, but the reasons for choosing a spiral conveyor were simple: A vertical lift module couldn’t provide adequate throughput rates, and there wasn’t enough space for a decline conveyor. And because the spiral ships fully assembled, the roof was the only way in.
Although the situation created some challenges, AEC and Verizon agreed it was a better option than knocking out a block wall.
“It was the best option we had,” Lonon recalls. “Ryson told me we were the first to install one of their spirals through a roof,” he says.
Hytrol PLC Provides Smart Automation
Another system upgrade for Verizon was a programmable logic controller (PLC) to automate the operation. Previously, the gravity system simply relied on, well, gravity. As a result, it was not unusual for totes to end up crashing onto the floor if there weren’t enough employees working at the end of the line.
Today, Verizon enjoys the benefits of an efficient, reliable, and cost-effective material handling solution. The 13 million paper bills and letters travel from the inserters to the sorting area via a fully automated system, saving both money and time, reducing errors, and dramatically improving productivity.
Material Handling Specialist, Ivar Lonon’s background as an applications engineer gives him a unique perspective when looking at options or recommendations for equipment or potential solutions.
He specializes in conveyor systems for palletizing and robotic work cell sortation and accumulations, distribution centers, and conveyors to integrate packaging equipment, as well as mobile aisle pallet rack systems, automatic storage and retrieval systems, ergonomic lift and position equipment and heavy material lifts for floor-to-floor applications and mezzanines.
It’s his goal to draw on more than 30 years of experience to deliver unique, cost-saving solutions.
Give Ivar a call at 919-880-3117