"The 3200 Series Modular Belt Conveyor represents the first phase of a merging and redesign of two of our current product lines: the 3200 Series and the 5200
Series." explains Stacy Pabst, marketing director for Dorner.
"The re-engineering came about by listening to both our distributors and customers on how they are using conveyors, and we developed a list of the items we wanted to
accomplish with this product. Ultimately, our main goal is to provide customers with a conveyor that is easy to integrate and provides the flexibility they need
for different applications."
BK: How is this conveyor different from similar types on the market today?
SP: The 3200 Series Modular Belt Conveyor is unique in that the platform brings both flexibility and functionality to applications. It can handle up to four curves, inclines, and declines on a single conveyor, so it can be designed to fit a variety of layouts without taking up a lot of space. This product line also has a lot more options, including new belting, different styles of guiding and stands.
BK: What problems needed to be addressed during the development process?
SP: We really didn’t experience any major problems during development. With the additional features we needed to do a lot of testing and engineering. We researched and tested a variety of belts. We spent a lot of time re-engineering the frame design to ensure strength and durability, while removing unnecessary components. And, we improved our product transfer to create even smoother transfers.
BK: How long did it take from conception to ultimate production?
SP: The 3200 Series Modular Belt Conveyor was several years in the making. We began by doing extensive market research. We looked at our current product, as well as other similar style conveyors in the market, then visited with customers to hear their pros and cons of the conveyors they have used or were using. We took that information and began the engineering process. The modular belt line is the first phase of this launch. The second phase includes the 3200 Flat Belt and 3200 Precision Move conveyors, which are scheduled to launch later this year.
BK: What effect did cost factors have in changing the final design of the product?
SP: Obviously, cost is a factor in any new product development. Since this was a partial re-design of a product line, we had the opportunity to examine our manufacturing process and we were able to find some cost savings not only in parts, but in processes as well. We examined each component and were able to replace some with lighter, yet more durable pieces. All of these cost savings we were then able to pass along to the customer, ultimately reducing price, while creating a stronger and even better product in the process.
BK: Who is your target audience and what benefits will they achieve from using this conveyor?
SP: The 3200 Modular Belt Conveyor is designed for anyone that needs to move medium to large size product. It not only can handle high speeds and load capacities, it’s also easy to integrate and is capable of complicated configurations with multiple curves. There are a number of benefits this conveyor provides, but the main ones include smooth product transfers, high speeds, and really complete flexibility.