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How to purchase various conveying systems such as material handling systems and automatic sorting systems?

Your conveyor system will have a profound impact on your business growth and profitability, so making the right purchasing decisions is important. With dozens of large conveyor system suppliers on the market today, choosing the right conveyor system for you can be a complex process. Whether it’s from a more general-purpose beverage and packaging processing conveyor system, a small food processing conveyor system with a slightly more complex function, or a conveyor system customized for a specific industry, such as tire processing conveyor systems, corrugated cardboard storage and handling systems, or even battery processing or The conveying system that requires microwave treatment in the process, without exception, the correct choice will save a lot of purchasing cost and working time.

Conveyor System Project Buyer's Guide

Author Information: L-ONE, Strategic Marketing Project Engineer from ICONVEY

The good news is that while each business’s procurement process is unique, the main steps that need to be taken in the conveyor system selection process are nearly the same. In order to facilitate the majority of buyers and provide the possibility for more overseas enterprises to understand the cooperation style of Chinese suppliers, the intelligent conveying system solution brand ICONVEY and its brother brand HONG’S BELT have summarized the main steps for you to choose the best conveying system based on years of knowledge and experience.

11 Steps to Purchasing a Smart Conveyor System

Step 1. Create a supplier list

Undoubtedly, the first step is to compile a list of suppliers to evaluate. Searching for keywords such as “conveyor system”, “automatic sorting system”, “modular belt conveyor” through a search engine will yield 10+ pages of results. Of course, according to your industry characteristics, you can also choose a business social media platform like LinkedIn to search. Even if you like to find suppliers at trade shows, there’s always a reason why you like it the way you like it, so why not.

In summary, you need to create a comprehensive list of potential conveyor system suppliers, without being too picky, just the ones that seem to cover most of your needs. As a reminder, download as much material as possible in this step, including product overviews, videos, e-booklet infographics, industry briefs, case studies, corporate brochures and white papers.

Step 2. Browse Supplier Profile

Rotary disk conveying equipment
Rotary disk conveying equipment

As you begin to review these materials, ask yourself:

Is this conveyor system suitable for our current operation?

Is it suitable for our current technology?

Does it support our special requirements, such as efficiency requirements, stability requirements, environmental protection and safety requirements, etc.?

Can this system be helpful for productivity and technological development?

At this point, I believe you have eliminated that part of the supplier that is completely unsuitable for you.

Step 3. Talk to the salesperson

Get in touch with suppliers on the updated list to learn more about products and detail your needs. Describe what you want your conveyor system to do, and what you are concerned about, such as maintenance difficulty and cost.

Note: The quickest way to rule out a product that doesn’t meet your needs is to see if it doesn’t meet your features or budget.

A good salesperson may also ask you if the project is already funded and if there is a planned implementation timetable. You should start by identifying a basic conveying scheme, briefly understanding whether the conveying system is flexible enough that it can be For use in a production or warehousing environment, you may also want to discuss the type of equipment you are using and whether other equipment is compatible with the type of conveyor system. Don’t worry, you can spend a little more time evaluating each supplier, listen to their stories to see how long they’ve been in the business, when was the conveyor system developed, how the business is going, ask about their factory size and qualifications, determine the markets and objects they serve, and who their customers are.

Step 4. Provide project specific information

For the reliability and safety of your conveying system design, you are responsible for accurately providing the following information to your supplier
Determine the maximum weight and size specifications of the conveyor unit, and any non-conforming changes that may occur;
Specify the minimum distance of goods, especially the sorting system, the control of the distance directly affects the sorting efficiency and system stability;
Focus: Describe your specified working environment, including temperature and humidity, whether it is in a non-polluting room or outside exposed to natural weather, and finally determine the type of conveyor belt, the quality and durability of anti-corrosion coatings or other surface Protective processing, etc;
Whether the conveying path needs to be climbed or curved. If Curving is required, specify the curving radius;
Whether it is necessary to provide conveying guards such as uprights, baffles and skirts;
Other special requirements: for example, whether the whole environment of the conveying process involves chemical corrosion, microwave radiation, etc.
ICONVEY Corrugated Cardboard & paper & packaging Intelligent Conveyor System Solutions

Step 5. Organize on-site inspection of warehouse

If necessary, in addition to providing site drawings, you can organize suppliers to go to the warehouse site to conduct on-site inspections of your warehouse facilities and processes, so that both you and the supplier can understand the actual situation. Well it is another good chance to discuss the hardware and integration needs. You can take this opportunity to present your functional partition requirements, show your operations, and point out processes that may be special, etc.

Step 6. Call for proposals

After you and the suppliers fully understand each other’s situation, the next step is to invite each supplier to provide their own proposals and quotations, or participate in the bidding. If you don’t already have a proposal and quote template, you can ask your suppliers to share theirs, many suppliers have their own version of the quote, or use a widely used industry template to get as much detail as possible on product functionality, this will help verify Which suppliers have more comprehensive capabilities that can grow with your company as your needs change.

Step 7. Review initial offer

In fact, at the outset you have identified your approximate budget, and now it is time to get a more precise understanding of the costs of the various components of the project you are about to invest in.

After you get an initial quote, you can compare budgeted costs and can also help you evaluate prices between suppliers. Comparing quotes between various suppliers will help you understand how conveyor systems are priced (taking into account project location, design criteria, shipping installation, etc.) and the level of professional service each supplier provides. In addition, you should also find ongoing costs such as maintenance and upkeep, as well as safety overhead.

Step 8. Deep refinement

You need to know that this is one of the most complex parts of the entire procurement process, and it may require extensive research and discussion with suppliers along the way. It’s more about the professionalism of the service than the cost.

It is recommended that you best determine the following details:

Detail 1. The planning and layout of the entire system, the flow route of the goods, fire protection and processing safety, etc.;

Detail 2. More clear cargo structure standards, provide valuable experimental data, and even invite a third party to supervise or directly send relevant persons in charge to participate in the test;

Detail 3. Specify equipment material, standards for welding ports and bolts, machining accuracy of components, coating quality and standards, etc.;

Detail 4. Clarify the installation quality standards of the conveying system;

Detail 5. Clarify the use boundaries of the system, such as the allowable range of structural changes, etc.

Step 9. Get an accurate quote

The more complex the system, the easier it is to generate customized prices, and the design may even be changed in the process of collision of ideas, and your task is to eliminate the ambiguity between the two parties. As a good procurement engineer, keeping it light often requires a cup of coffee, sometimes two. A good salesperson should be able to provide accurate time and cost estimates, and being open and honest is critical to eliminating confusion and misunderstandings that may arise later.

Step 10. Review and Signing of the Contract

Many companies have their own legal staff. However, if your company does not have legal personnel for contract review, please pay attention to the following points

1. If there is any accident problem, how to estimate the cost to solve the problem;

2. Whether there is ambiguity in contract terms;

3. Whether the payment terms are clear and clear;

4. Whether there are obvious loopholes in the contract terms;

5. Whether the responsibilities and obligations of the contract are fair;

6. Whether there is a clear deadline and corresponding overdue penalty for the execution of the contract between the two parties;

7. Ensure that the company entity that you actually signed the contract with is legal and compliant and has a reliable record of dishonesty, etc.

Step 11. Acceptance and Delivery

Completion acceptance testing is carried out for the installation quality to ensure that the installation meets the standards or requirements specified in the contract. Whether the actual deviation after installation is within the acceptable range, whether it involves potential safety hazards and needs to be changed, etc.

When accepting I suggest that you should have checked the following details:

1. Check the installation accuracy;

2. ensure construction quality;

3. Whether the material and quality of the product are consistent with the contract;

4. Whether the system operation test is qualified;

5. Whether there is a safety hazard after acceptance

The above are our purchasing suggestions for all conveying systems, sorting systems, various food processing and material handling industries. In the meantime, I wish you the best of luck in your work after reading this article.

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