The wrong OEM choice could cost you dearly

By Val Pavlovic

Investments in materials handling systems in the food processing can sometimes be ill-conceived and incompletely engineered because the wrong original equipment manufacturer (OEM) is involved, according to an Australian supplier to international markets.

Industrial Conveying (Aust) Pty Ltd urges Australian companies to be highly diligent in choosing the right design engineers and equipment supplier/installer or risk project failures.

Managing Director Don Erskine, says regardless of the size or complexity of a project, success comes down to the design expertise and the standard of equipment that is supplied.

“A materials handling project is only as good as the sum of its parts, and in this case the parts are the original equipment and those assigned to specify it — the design engineers,” Mr Erskine says.

“Often, the task of designing a materials handling system and then sourcing the equipment for it is handed over to a third party company which may have a good general knowledge, but lacks specialised expertise in materials handling,” Mr Erskine says.

“It is regrettable that many times across all industry sectors we have been called in to analyse why a company’s materials handling system keeps breaking down and it becomes apparent that poor design and unsuitable components are to blame.

“Unfortunately, in many cases the most appropriate course of action has been for us to completely remove the existing system and start from scratch; this time using our own engineers and OEM components plus appropriate imported stock.

“Accurately specifying the right equipment, components and controllers that can last the full duty cycle expected is critical in maximising output and minimising ongoing expense of the system.”

Mr Erskine reiterates that solution specialists for industrial materials handling applications are now more crucial than ever due to the rising cost of downtime.

A materials handling specialist — especially one that is an OEM – ensures a more consistent level of technology throughout a project, ensuring no weak points or breakdown points. Hence, a lower likelihood of downtime.

Secondly, when local design engineers are engaged, there is a direct line of communication allowing for fast and more accurate design, component sourcing, installation and ongoing technical assistance.

Lastly, a local OEM allows a rapid supply line of replacement parts if and when they may be required.

“Before a company commits to any serious level of capital expenditure on a materials handling system, it needs to consider the entire life cycle of the system.

“The only way to achieve the desired outcome is to think about the specialist nature of this equipment and partner with a facilitator that knows the business.”

For more information, please contact Don Erskine, Industrial Conveying (Aust) Pty Ltd.

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