When most people hear the word “audit,” they usually associate it with an investigation of their income or business taxes by the IRS. As a result, they’re often overcome with feelings of fear and anxiety in anticipation of being penalized for any mistakes they made or information they didn’t disclose.
For industrial operations, making mistakes and withholding information during the process of selecting bulk material handling equipment comes with penalties as well. Choosing the wrong conveyor, bulk bag filler or unloader, feeder, lump breaker or other equipment – and then having to start from square one – can cause even higher levels of anxiety, plus plenty of angst and serious damage to your bottom line.
At Hapman, we understand – and we help our customers understand – that the correct equipment selection involves looking at variables that play to each option’s strengths or weaknesses. There is never a one-size-fits-all solution, so equipment must be tailored to each specific application to offer the highest calculated probability of being effective. This requires a thorough understanding of the task at hand, the materials to be moved, the physical characteristics of the facility, and a host of other factors.
In other words, proper equipment selection requires an audit. Unlike the IRS’ version, there is nothing to fear about a Hapman audit. Instead, you should welcome it as a necessary step toward success. We certainly look at it that way, and our applications experts are committed to asking the right questions, taking a deep dive into the challenges you’re facing and the goals you’re trying to accomplish, and then arriving at the best system or equipment for your operation.
That’s the Hapman Difference, and that’s how our audits help you overcome some of the core challenges related to equipment selection (you can read more about these challenges in our white paper about choosing a conveyor):
Material: Failure to gain a complete understanding of the material you’re handling is not an option. Our audit will reveal everything about your material – including how freely it flows, if it packs under pressure, and whether it has abrasive, corrosive or flammable characteristics – to eliminate potential setbacks.
Process Environment: We’ll assess the safety of the environment around the equipment and look for things like open sources of ignition and potentially flammable or explosive conditions. We’ll also uncover other environmental factors that can affect the equipment’s performance, including the presence of corrosive vapor and exposure to high humidity and/or extreme temperatures.
Duty Cycle: Understanding the duration of actual run time versus standby time is essential to an efficient operation. When the duty is low, the first inclination may be to go with lower-cost equipment. In our audit, we’ll weigh the cost of downtime, because even a minor problem with mission-critical equipment can bring your operation to a standstill.
Performance: In the case of conveyors, the rate at which this equipment needs to move material is a simple calculation that is seldom forgotten. Yet, too often there are other important performance indicators that come to light after the conveyor is installed and is falling short of requirements. Particle attrition, segregation of blended materials, and packing of sifted materials are natural consequences of certain conveying methods that can negatively impact the process and overall quality. Our audit will identify all of your specific material handling requirements.
Tunnel Vision. During the search for a material handling solution, purchasers sometimes focus their attention solely on a particular problem. Trying to solve a singular issue with little to no consideration for other variables or potential downfalls increases the likelihood of identifying the wrong conveyor as the best solution. A Hapman audit takes tunnel vision out of the equation.
At first glance, Hapman equipment may not appear different than other available material handling options. We set ourselves apart with our detailed, collaborative, and unique equipment selection process that begins with a comprehensive audit. This process has been proven in 20 different countries around the globe, over thousands of applications, and in all major bulk material processing industries. We can’t help you deal with the stress of an IRS audit, but we can help you avoid the pitfalls of an incorrect equipment selection.