The global conveyor systems market size was USD 5.36 billion in 2020. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with conveyor systems witnessing a positive demand shock across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a declining growth of 2.6% in 2020. The market is projected to grow from USD 5.60 billion in 2021 to USD 7.62 billion by 2028 at a CAGR of 4.5% during the 2021-2028 period. The rise in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over. The growth of this market is driven by the handling of large volumes of goods in manufacturing and warehousing operations, as conveyor systems constitute a significant part of material handling systems. These systems are essential for the continuous transport of items from one area to another in many commercial and industrial facilities.
They help reduce overall production time and total labor costs significantly. Therefore, manufacturers in the market are focusing on the demand for automated material handling and movement in industries to make manufacturing processes more efficient.
Increasing E-commerce and Industry 4.0 are Driving Today’s Material Handling Boom E-commerce and industry 4.0 are transforming traditional supply chains, compelling companies to change the way they move, track, and store material using advanced technologies and automation. Manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, and logistics companies establish fulfillment centers and utilize all available warehouse space. For instance, Industrial Kinetics supplies a pair of dual-strand in-floor vehicle slat conveyors for a large vehicle manufacturer, which will convey around 385 tons of vehicles, 250 tons of conveyor chains, and about 635 tons of materials. The demand for intelligent mechanical handling equipment is fueled by the need for automating the complete manufacturing process.
Moreover, the growth of the e-commerce industry has also factored in the growth of the material handling process at distribution centers and warehouses. Hence, aiding in the continuous flow of materials from manufacturing units to distribution centers and warehouses.
For instance, in December 2020, Amazon.com, Inc., an e-commerce giant, announced plans for two fulfillment centers in San Antonio. Thereby resulting in the material handling process, hence, increasing the installation of conveyor systems.
Flat Belt Conveyors to Hold Largest Market Share
The global market is segmented based on type, further sub-segmented into roller conveyors, flat belt conveyors, wheel conveyors, vertical conveyors, & others.
Flat belt conveyors are the largest as these are endless, continuous belts used to convey products or materials in a constant motion. They are made from various materials such as rubbers, plastics, fabric, metal, & leather and are used to convey different types of products via different belt types, such as heavier loads requiring thicker & stronger belts.
Other than flat belt conveyors, roller conveyors are also expected to have a substantial market share. Roller conveyors are of two kinds: gravity-controlled rollers & powered rollers. Gravity-controlled rollers are used to transport products manually when placed horizontally, whereas belts and rollers are used to move materials in the case of powered roller conveyors. Both types of roller conveyors carry products and luggage in a straight or curved structure, depending on the industry they are being deployed in. Besides, wheel conveyors, vertical conveyors, and other segments are likely to exhibit a moderate growth rate during the forecast period owing to their limited applicability.
Bulk Load to Have a Major Share of the Market
The market is classified based on load into unit load & bulk load. These loads are carried depending on the material and its physical state, whether in solid-state, liquid, or gas, along with its packaging type. Unit loads are carried as a single item or multiple items, which are organized to be conveyed without disturbing their integrity. On the other hand, for bulk loads, the majority of the manufacturing industries, such as food & beverage and mining, among others, install this material handling solution. Thus, the bulk load segment is expected to hold a major share of the market.
Supply Chain & Logistics Application to Drive Market Growth
Based on application, the market is segmented into food & beverages, pharmaceuticals, supply chain & logistics, manufacturing, mining, & others. Conveyor systems constitute a vital part of the material handling process in industries involved in every step of industrial processes. Additionally, increasing automation with a reduction in overall costs is the primary reason behind the continuous increase in the adoption of conveyors in all industries. The supply chain & logistics industry is expected to exhibit the highest growth rate for the forecast period among the end-use industries. Moreover, the variety in the application favors their adoption in automotive, retail, food & beverages, pharmaceuticals, and other applications such as public infrastructure such as airports, which are among the major driving factors for the market.
Asia Pacific generated a revenue of USD 1.79 billion in 2020 and is anticipated to emerge as the prevalent region in the market during the forecast period. Besides, this region is also expected to exhibit the highest CAGR for the forecast period. The growth in this region is anticipated to increase with the development in the end-use industries such as FMCG, automobile, airport, & mining. India & China are the major contributors to the market growth in this region.
Additionally, the region is expected to significantly impact growth, as there is a high concentration of manufacturing industries aiming to automate their manufacturing facilities owing to a continuous increase in human resource cost, among other factors. Furthermore, conveyor systems are expected to have consistent growth even in developed countries with increasing automation and industry 4.0. In addition, the rising demand for products from consumers has turned out to be a pressing concern for the manufacturer.
This resulted in implementing automation and an integrated manufacturing process to increase production, which is expected to augment the market growth.
China is home to manufacturing facilities of numerous global companies, accompanied by provincial automotive manufacturers, including BYD Automotive, Geely, Dongfeng, Volkswagen, Ford Motor Co., and others. Furthermore, bulk material handling & storage systems facilitate the management of large volumes of data, thereby reducing unnecessary time consumption and fueling the growth of the market in the region.
The Europe & North America region is witnessing growth with the adoption of automation in the manufacturing units along with increasing penetration of advanced technologies, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Radio-frequency identification (RFIDs), and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Rising labor costs and infrastructure limitations are expected to aid these regions in tightening their grip on the market share.
The Middle East & Africa, and Latin American markets are also expected to have a moderate growth rate during the forecast period owing to the increasing adoption of these systems in the warehouse & manufacturing facilities. This, coupled with the rising labor cost, is driving the market in this region. These factors are compelling manufacturers to use sophisticated machinery and ensure high throughput quality in a shorter time.
Key Industry Players
Prominent Players Are Aiming to Implement Automation, Digitalization, and Industry 4.0 The prominent players in this market aim for the digital transformation of processes by concentrating a significant part of the research and development budget on digital production solutions. For instance, Durr, a company that provides automation & digitization/Industry 4.0, has built up a complete infrastructure for digital business at an early stage. Its backbone is formed by the ADAMOS platform for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). It is comparable to the operating system of a computer and collects large volumes of production data. On the basis of ADAMOS, the company offers machinery operating on digital services and apps that allow them to optimize their production.
Key Players in the Market are Intensifying Their Regional Presence with Acquisition and Partnerships Moreover, the market appears to be extremely competitive and fragmented. International players are seen gradually intensifying their presence in the developing economies, making it tough for regional sellers to compete with them, especially in terms of quality and price point. These manufacturers are focusing on acquiring regional players, along with entering partnerships, for enhanced market share. The market observes increased competition, which is anticipated to surge further during the forecast period.
Source: Fortune Business Insights
Interfloor Conveyor system for Ingram Micro
Client: Ingram Micro Commerce & Lifecycle Services, Northampton DC
The Global Leader in Logistics, Commerce Enablement & Device Lifecycle Services.
Ingram Micro Commerce & Lifecycle Services provides supply chain solutions that connect supply and demand. From cross-border fulfilment to dropship and returns management, IT asset disposition, remarketing, distribution etc, their solutions drive growth, enhance ROI, and protect their clients.
They serve customers across a broad spectrum of industries — from fast-growing brands to Global 2000 enterprises — and are dedicated to facilitating their customers success through their global warehousing network, world-class technology, strategic partnerships and decades of expertise in the logistics and fulfilment for technology and eCommerce products, customer support and ITAD industries.
Ingram Micro required a solution to streamline the packing and dispatch element of their Daventry operation and utilise space with a brand-new 3 tier mezzanine. The system requirement was to handle boxes, cartons and poly bags from all 3 mezzanine levels after they picked/packed and then deliver to the ground floor for consolidation prior to dispatch.
The Ground floor pick/pack operation is to be undertaken on standalone conveyors.
The client required the system to be fully reversible for replenishment and alternative operation, which required each line to have 3 different operating functions.
It was concluded during the consultation/design stage that keeping it simple is often the most practical and best method. Our design evolved such that each of the mezzanine floor systems operated independently from each other albeit managed and controlled from a common control panel. The control panel, through the HMI, allowed each line to be independently controlled and operated completely autonomous from the others. This reduced the overall risk, simplified the operation and provided flexibility during planned maintenance.
The Ground floor packing belt conveyors had their own standalone control box.
CSL opted to use proven equipment and designs, which had been utilised on countless installations on past successful projects.
Level 2 and 3 were identical in design and both required to handle the full product range inclusive of poly bags. Each level consisted of a 20m long packing conveyor belt, which fed onto an AmbaFlex Ambaveyor slat conveyor, which provided a small footprint radius to fit within the special constraints. Following in the need for a compact footprint, products are delivered to the ground floor via an AmbaFlex Spiral – the most compact spiral on the market.
Level 1 pick did not include the requirement for handling polybags, only cartons and totes. For this level, CSL utilised a 20m packing conveyor belt feeding some powered roller conveyor. The design of the solution and space suited the use of a decline belt conveyor to deliver the product to the ground floor.
All of the 3 mezzanine levels, had sections of conveyor which sited off the mezzanine floor area and CSL designed and supplied a multi-tier support structure encompassing all three levels.
The client wanted the system to have 3 modes: decline to dispatch, reverse incline for stock replenishment and a back up mode in case of a system issue, the line can be reversed and ran out to clear the line into wheeled magnums.
A spokesperson from Ingram Micro commented that “the new conveyor system matched the brief and the benefits will be quickly realised, the new CSL system will speed up interfloor product transits allowing for an increased throughput with lower operating costs”.
Plastic modular belts reach new heights
Two new modular belt solutions from Habasit bring new possibilities for industrial packaging applications, especially in applications where space is at a premium. The HabasitLINK M2592 raised deck radius belt saves up to 5 times the space needed for a traditional radius conveyor. The HabasitLINK M0870 HighGrip Micropitch delivers 50 per cent lower minimum transfer distance, enabling use of grip top plastic belts on nosebar applications with a knife edge down to 6 mm.
Conveyors for use in the packaging industry face several challenges including limited floor space for machines, meaning belts must operate in tight spaces and at tight angles. It is crucial that conveyors are optimised for the space, so they don’t harm production layout. Furthermore, the relatively large transfers achievable with traditional grip top modular belts led to many customers being unable to take advantage of modular belts. The two new products from Habasit help to overcome these limitations.
“Plastic modular belts with a grip top feature are ideally suited for incline and decline solutions. However, until now they were unavailable for tight transfer conveyors,” explained Anders Nilsson, R&D portfolio manager for HabasitLINK. “The new M0870 HighGrip Micropitch 0.3” provides reliable product positioning with no slippage and transfers as narrow as 23 mm, a 50 per cent reduction compared to other grip-top modular belts.
“With its high grip surface, this micropitch belt also allows for higher operating speeds in some applications because of the reduced product slippage on the belt. It also copes better than traditional modular belts in incline and decline applications.”
The second novelty by Habasit is the M2592 Radius Raised Deck 1”, which allows to optimize line layout and reduce the conveyor system footprint.
“We understand that, for many businesses, space is at a premium and this has caused problems in finding suitable plastic modular belts for packaging applications,” continued Nilsson. “The M2592 space saver belt allows customers to save up to five times the floor space compared to alternative solutions. This permits increased flexibility in terms of plant and production layout.
“Furthermore, thanks to the raised deck surface, customers can transport products with a wide range of sizes, from small boxes to wide pans, without interference from lateral wearstrips. This is in addition to the fact that it is one of the most robust belts available for radius applications, enabling longer conveyors and less drives and delivering an overall lower cost.
“Finally, it is worth noting that plastic belts emit less noise when transporting crates and pans compared to using rollers or chains. This facilitates a better working environment while also helping to protect the pans and crates being transferred from damage,” concluded Nilsson.
Conveyor and Automation Upgrade for 25% Efficiency Boost in Receiving and Sortation
Industry: Home Entertainment DC in Spartanburg, South Carolina
Challenge: Redesign receiving and sorting system to reduce manual hand scans and improve sortation accuracy.
Solution: Custom-Built Sorting System to improve efficiency by 25%
Equipment: Hytrol E24EZ Conveyor, Modsort Divert and Transfer Conveyor, SICK 6-Axis Barcode Scanner + Sizing Station
Challenge: Speed It Up and Sort It Out
Our home entertainment client, DISH Network in Spartanburg, South Carolina, was looking for an automated solution to optimize their receiving and sorting process.
Originally, they had packages coming in on two gravity conveyors, where they were stopped and scanned by hand before being manually sorted and unboxed.
“Here in receiving it’s a very labor-intense process,” says DISH Network Engineer Jimmy Pollard.
“We needed to be able to take that labor and put it to a more value-added process. So we went out to AEC seeking to improve automation in the receiving department.”
Solution: Scanning the Horizon
To streamline DISH Network’s process into the modern age of receiving and sorting, we teamed with System Plast to design and pair our Hytrol Roller Conveyor with their Modsort Divert and Transfer mods with a SICK 6-Axis Barcode Scanner and Sizing Station.
The new system brings in multiple sizes and weights of packages on two separate conveyors, which are then automatically positioned onto a single conveyor using the Modsort modules.
Lined up along a single rail, the packages are then fed into a multi-surface scan tunnel for sizing and barcode scanning.
“What makes this process a more reliable sort is when it goes through the scan tunnel, it doesn’t have to search the entire contents of the width of the conveyor to find the box,” says AEC Material Handling Specialist Brian Hester.
“You’ve sent it to a fixed edge, which makes it a faster, more reliable scan.”
Once the packages have passed through the scan tunnel, non-accepted packages are sent down a side conveyor while accepted packages are once again split up into two conveyors.
From there, they are sent through a proprietary cutting machine, coming out the other end ready to be manually unloaded and sorted.
Saving Valuable Time and Resources
“The only people on the line now are the people putting packages onto the conveyors within the trailers. And then people further down the line are emptying the contents out of the boxes,” says AEC Material Handling Specialist Brian Hester.
“Everything between those two pieces is all automated.”
Hytrol’s E24EZ Low-Voltage Conveyor
Safety was also increased through the use and integration of Hytrol’s E24EZ Conveyor with the Modsort module which runs on 24 volts.
This low-voltage solution allows packages to be moved deliberately and evenly along the conveyor without the risks inherit to a gravity conveyor system, or the need for additional safety applications.
“The existing conveyor was built on a 24-Volt DC platform. So we knew we could utilize the 24 DC architecture of the System Plast Modsort without the additional safety guarding that would normally go around it,” says AEC President Darin Boik.
“Using the E24Z was definitely a time and cost saving benefit for all.”
Just a 4-Day Install to Live Operation
Over the course of just four days, starting on a Thursday evening, the old system was removed and the new system in place.
On Tuesday morning, the packages were ready to roll.
Result: 25% Boost to Overall Process Efficiency
With the new system from AEC in place, DISH Network was able to increase efficiency as well as safety, while still saving money.
“Now the automated scan system is placed exactly where we used to have people that hand-scanned product. This change allows us to move people to a more value-added process,” says Pollard.
“Automating this piece saves the company money – and by doing that we save our customers money and time.”
Repeat Business is a Testimony to Success
By integrating these various systems so successfully, AEC was brought on to provide the same custom material handling solution for DISH Network’s facility in El Paso, Texas.
“Because of the lessons we learned, we were able to finish that project in just 3 days with the same installer, so it worked out really well,” says Hester.
From Concept to Completion
As DISH Network’s single point of contact for AEC, Hester was there from “cradle to grave” on the project.
From development and layout to equipment selection and installation, only one project manager handles everything for our client. And the result?
25% Boost in Efficiency and Improved Safety
“With the design and automation supplied by AEC, we found that we improved our overall process by 25% in efficiency,” says DISH Network Engineering Manager, Robert Russel.
“Now that it’s automated, we’ve achieved improved sortation accuracy and minimized touchpoints.”
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