Four Strategies from Ultimation Industries that Help Address Growing E-Commerce Demand by Extending the Life of Existing Conveyor Systems

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Simple updates can extend the life and improve the functionality of older conveyor systems

With e-commerce projected to nearly double by 2026, warehouse and distribution center managers can quickly meet some of the demand by using replacement parts that give new life to existing material handling systems, according to Ultimation Industries. Ultimation is the leading direct-to-consumer conveyor manufacturer and serves the automotive, food processing, vertical farming, heavy equipment, warehousing, fulfillment and delivery segments.

“An existing conveyor system often represents a substantial investment for a business,” says Kali Cresent, general manager. “As technology changes and wear-and-tear take their toll, updates to conveyor systems may be a better option than replacing them. Updates can extend their lives and upgrade their functions."

Companies should consider the following four strategies when evaluating existing conveyor systems:

  • Convert. Motor-Driven Rollers (MDRs) are the dominant type of conveyor system used today. Warehouses and distribution centers rely on these conveyors for fast, smooth package movement. Importantly, sensors and controls ensure packages don’t get damaged by crushing against each other. Legacy Chain-Driven Live Roller or Belt-Driven Live Roller conveyor systems can achieve the benefits of MDR technology with a simple conversion. This conversion requires the installation of 24-volt DC power motorized rollers within the old, pre-existing conveyor frames. Depending on the conveying application, the technician can add different controls and accessories to get even more benefits out of their old systems. Some of these benefits include lower energy use and a quieter operation. Also, MDRs use zero pressure accumulation, which means loads move or stop as needed, eliminating bottlenecks or damage when products touch on the conveyor.
  • Retrofit. Operators can add MDR functionality to existing gravity roller conveyor systems with a simple retrofit kit. Each kit is custom-tailored according to the requirements of the customer's current gravity roller conveyor system. Ultimation customizes the kit to include all necessary components for the conveyors. This includes motor driven rollers, gravity idler rollers, drive belts, motor control cards, cabling, and a power supply box. The retrofit kits are a simple, cost effective 'snap-in' conversion format. Installation is easy, making it simple for end-user maintenance or engineering teams to handle. In addition, if the system needs repairs in the future, the modular components can be easily replaced by in-house teams, reducing downtime.
  • Add On. Extending existing material handling systems is another good option for meeting increased e-commerce demand. One such option is a beam trolley. Simple to plan, install and use on existing I-beams, beam trolleys are an easy, affordable way to move products. There are a number of other low-cost, flexible conveyor options for material handling available from the Ultimation online store. Used alone or in tandem with existing conveyors, they can help with the material handling burden.
  • Maintain. Replacing broken or worn-out conveyor components can breathe new life into an old system. Ultimation offers a full range of replacement parts including motors, motor controllers, belts, and ready-to-run conveyors through its online store. Many conveyors and parts can ship the same day.

"A well-planned conveyor system can help an organization improve efficiency and reduce costs," says Cresent. "Sometimes that requires designing something from scratch, but in other situations existing conveyor systems only need an update with a few, simple upgrades."

In addition to the conveyor system components, businesses that purchase components for a quick update also can get needed technical support through the Ultimation team. “Our e-commerce customers can access our team members for phone consultations, as well as take advantage of training, product manuals and other support materials,” says Cresent.

Ultimation is one of the leading manufacturers of MDR conveyor systems. The company uses the two key brands in the industry in its products -- Itoh Denki and Interroll.

About Ultimation

Ultimation Industries, LLC is the leading direct-to-consumer conveyor manufacturer serving the automotive, food processing, vertical farming, heavy equipment, warehousing, fulfillment and delivery industries. The company offers a line of proprietary automation systems and is also the largest integrator of Jervis Webb Conveyor Systems. Ultimation’s e-commerce channel sells Ultimation, Interroll, Itoh Denki, Jervis Webb, and a wide range of other conveyor equipment. Ultimation was recognized in 2020 and 2022 as one of Inc. 5000’s fastest growing private companies in America. Ultimation was also named a 2022 Michigan 50 Companies to Watch by Michigan Celebrates Small Business. Visit https://www.ultimationinc.com/ for the latest product information and news about Ultimation.

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For further information please contact: Nancy Sarpolis 248-219-5651

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Nancy Sarpolis