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Towline Conveyor Systems Boost Productivity and Profits

towline conveyor systemsTowline Conveyor Systems Help Increase Productivity and Profits

Towline Conveyor Systems help keep non-productive time to a minimum is the key to improving towline efficiency. One way is to maximize production by using a continuous creeping chain.

Towline conveyor systems can move work pieces in three different ways:

  1. Continuous creeping
  2. Indexing via PLC timer or operator release
  3. Non-synchronous with operator-released stops

In continuous creeping operation, the chain and carts never stop and the operators work on the product while the cart passes by at a very slow speed. The efficiency of the towline conveyor systems, in either index and dwell or non-synchronous operation, allows the chain to move at a high-speed between stations, causing operators to wait while the product is in motion between stops.

For example, assume 12 minutes of work per station with stations 12’ on center. In the continuous creeping mode, assume the chain would travel at 1’ per minute so the operator would complete work in 12 minutes (1 FPM x 12 feet). However, in either of the other modes, assume a chain speed of 30 FPM (too fast to work on but safe around operators) for 12 feet and then 12 minutes of work per piece. In this instance, the total cycle time per station is 24 seconds to index, plus 12 minutes of work time, equaling 12.4 minutes of total cycle time. While .4 minutes doesn’t sound like much, it adds up very quickly!

Keeping towline conveyor systems non-productive time to a minimum is key to improving towline efficiency


Example: One towline customer implemented a continuous creeping installation. The equipment they sold was at $20,000 per unit. With the increased 3% production capacity, this customer produced an additional 1413 units annually. This translated into $28,258,065 in additional revenue by changing from an indexing vs. continuous creeping application. This is beyond the difference between manual and automated towline operations.

SI Systems provides a wide range of Lo-Tow Towline in-floor conveyor systems that include unique Gap-Track™ jam-free operating technology, field proven extended life, remote dial in controls support, integrated NFF (No Fault Forward) assembly systems, zero-pit 6 inch trench technology, Rejuvenation & Retrofit (R&R) program and over 50 years of experience. Visit or email: for more information


towline conveyor systems
Ed Romaine
Ed Romaine
Romaine has spent over 30 years involved with organizations looking to optimize their distribution, manufacturing, and warehousing operations. Focusing on customer’s processes, systems and business model, Romaine has helped dozens of organizations improve profitability by reducing labor, floor space, errors and inventory while improving accuracy, inventory turns and cut-off times.Within the industry trade association, MHI, Romaine has taken numerous leadership positions over his 18 year membership including: Chairman of the Automated Storage & Retrieval (AS/RS) Group, Chairman of the Order Fulfillment Council of America, Chairman of the Warehouse Execution Systems Group and was one of the originators of the Carousel and VLM Product Section Group.Romaine is a frequent editorial and information contributor to hundreds of publications, blogs and online publications and has been a speaker at dozens of Supply Chain, Logistics, Lean and Facility organizations and functions.

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