Published by: SI Systems

Towline Conveyor Dependability and FAQs

Part 2

Towline FAQs
Towline FAQs

Towline Conveyor Dependability and Frequently Asked Questions (part two) is designed to inform organizations looking to acquire the best conveyance system for their unique applications.

Understanding the differences in towline conveyor systems, their applications and design requirements is vital to a successful system. SI Systems, as the towline industry leader is often asked to make suggestions and recommendations to obtain maximum performance and best value.

Here is SI Systems second installment of common FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) topics which can help guide your engineering path to success.

4. Towline Conveyor Dependability?

Towline Conveyor Dependability is an understatement. Yes, towlines are one of the most dependable conveyors available.  In fact, SI has had towlines in services or 40+ years!  The USPS uses towline in many of its distribution centers because of its reliability.  In these applications, the towlines basically run 24/7 year round delivering carts of mail throughout the facility.  It is typical that a system like this will run for 20+ years without significant maintenance.  In comparison, the average life cycle of AGC/AGV vehicles is estimated at only 7 years maximum before replacement or major rebuild is necessary.  Without doubt, towlines are built for the long haul!

5.  Isn’t Towline Conveyor Complicated?

No, they are not.  In fact, quite the opposite: one of the biggest attributes of a towline is its simplicity.  For a typical multi-cart system, there will be one motor, one reducer, and one controller, all easily maintainable with common hand tools and resources.  In comparison, AGC/AGV technology will have one motor, one reducer, and one controller per vehicle plus additional technology for wireless communication, guidance, and a myriad of other technology just to travel from point to point.  Of course, maintaining a fleet of AGC/AGV vehicles requires highly specialized tools and resources.  The simplicity of the basic towline design provides for reliable operation, easy maintenance, and the best possible ROI over its lifetime.

6.  What About Towline Conveyor Controls?

The beauty of towline is that SI Systems mixes simple hardware with sophisticated state-of-the-art controls.  The use of VFDs allow significant speed ranges of the towline chain.  Applying encoders allows the PLC controller to track the carts and loads inch-by-inch as they travel the path.  SI has recently developed an assembly tool call No Fault Forward (NFF) which prohibit non-conforming work from proceeding to downstream assembly stations, flagging assembly issues as they occur to increase throughput, decrease rework, and minimize downtime.  By applying the most current electronics to the towline hardware, SI provides the most reliable and adaptable conveyance available on the market.

As the industry leader in towline conveyor technology, SI Systems manufacturers multiple chain, track and drive options to optimize every organization’s exact application needs and requirements.

About SI Systems

SI Systems has been providing world class automated material handling and software systems to organizations for their fulfillment, distribution center, warehouse, manufacturing and assembly operations for over 55 years. Having manufactured towline conveyor systems since 1965, SI Systems has one of the largest installation bases of towline conveyor systems. The entire Lo-Tow® product line of towlines is focused on longevity and performance, which translates into a fast return on investment and low cost of ownership.

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