Package Handling
DCS’s design and engineering team has more than 40 years of experience creating unique parcel handling systems for diverse customer applications. With installations including semi-automated handling in small city distribution centers and fully automated, integrated hubs with advanced conveyor and sorter equipment, DCS routinely thinks outside the box.
E-Commerce and Multi-Channel Fulfillment
DCS designs and implements end-to-end warehouse automation solutions for e-commerce and multi-channel retailers that address numerous workflow challenges. This includes solutions for receiving, putaway, storage, replenishment, order fulfillment, picking, packing, sortation, and outbound shipping. Our custom integrated warehouse, distribution, and fulfillment systems draw from a deep pool of conventional, semi-automated, and automated material handling technologies.
Various Distribution Applications
Whether an operation is considering the construction of a new distribution or fulfillment center, or a retrofit or expansion of an existing facility, it’s important to create a solution that fits the overarching supply chain strategy. DCS has four decades of experience designing and integrating comprehensive, end-to-end material handling solutions that meet a multitude of operational goals. Whether conventional, semi-automated, or fully automated, DCS can help your organization implement a custom solution that meets its goals while maximizing return on investment (ROI).
Supply Chain Consulting
The DCS Supply Chain Consulting team offers a range of services to help your operations address the challenges it faces. Working in partnership with you, DCS consultants analyze your business data- existing workforce, workflow processes, inventory, order data, operations, and more- to determine a strategy that addresses your unique needs. Whether you need an operations assessment, process improvement recommendations, or distribution design services, DCS consultants will help guide you to the material handling system or operational solution that best meets your current and future needs, as well as your budget.
Customer Support
Keeping your warehouse operations and material handling systems running smoothly and at the peak of productivity are the goals of DCS’ Customer Service Team. By partnering with DCS, your warehouse automation solution is supported from commissioning to end of life. You’ll receive comprehensive in-house training of your personnel, including specialized training of your designated internal system expert. Plus, DCS offers a complete package of spare parts and expert system troubleshooting support from qualified engineers dedicated to your installation.
System Design & Integration
DCS offers a broad range of material handling equipment and automated system design, installation, and integration services for a multitude of projects. These include retrofits, expansions, upgrades, and more. While every project is unique, our system design and execution processes are the same, encompassing meticulous attention to detail, frequent communication, and a dedicated partnership with our clients.
About Us
Designed Conveyor Systems (DCS) has 40 years of experience serving major clients in multiple industries by providing material handling, full-scale warehouse operations, and conveyor design solutions that are custom crafted for their needs. DCS does not sell ready-made conveyor systems but builds relationships that empower collaboration to craft custom warehouse designs together. DCS utilizes consulting, engineering design, project management, installation services, and client support to ensure our customers can keep their promises to deliver on time.
Projects
With more than 40 years of experience providing automated system design, installation, and integration services, DCS has created solutions for companies throughout the United States in a broad range of industries and markets. We’ve completed more than 1500 projects ranging from greenfield facilities with completely new systems to expansions and retrofits of existing operations.

How Leveraging Design Commonalities and Engineered Modules Cuts DCS’ Customer Project Durations

As an ongoing effect of the global COVID pandemic, manufacturing lead times continue to drag. This, in turn, has pushed back project installations and commissioning timeframes for nearly every organization seeking to build a new or expand an existing parcel sortation, fulfillment, or distribution center (DC). As my colleague Nathan Swift recently wrote about, it’s not unusual for a project that used to take six months from receipt of purchase order to go-live to now take three times as long to complete.

In DCS’ engineering department, however, we’ve found creative ways to reduce the overall length of our customers’ projects. How do we do it? Essentially by refusing to re-invent the wheel with every material handling system we design. Instead, we’ve taken our years of collective design and engineering expertise to develop modules, or integrated collections of components, that are most commonly found in certain areas of a new or existing system. This, in turn, allows us to place component orders early in the design process.

Of course, each and every system is unique based on the multiple parameters that go into a material handling operation. Factoring in the objectives of the system, including desired throughput rates, package dimensions and weights, historic order data and much more, we tailor each design to meet the individual needs of a specific operation. That said, there are definitely system design commonalities that exist across repeat customer projects, industries, and applications – as well as general best practices in conveyor design.

Based on those commonalities, we’ve been able to create modules for key handling areas. We apply these pre-engineered modules already created in our design software to a preliminary project design based on our understanding of the customer’s system needs. This allows us to have a fairly tight system layout well in advance of a contract being signed.

Additionally, the modules themselves are not set in stone. Instead, they can be adjusted to accommodate any changes to the system’s length, elevation, turns, and other facility-specific needs. They can also be easily manipulated by the less senior members of our design team. This frees up our more experienced engineers to focus on areas that need more design work or a different, customized solution to address a less common handling need. This further shortens the overall design portion of a project, enabling us to deliver a concept to a customer much faster and reduce total project duration further.

Another area where we leverage commonality to shorten the length of each customer project is through specification of the components themselves. In creating the pre-engineered modules, we work to minimize the number of unique parts or part combinations in order to make acquisition of those items both easier and timelier.

For example, we collaborate closely with a variety of suppliers and OEMs to ensure that the components we specify are ones they are most likely to stock both for assembly and as spare parts, such as motors. It’s also easier for our customers to maintain the same motor deployed in 10 different areas. We’ve likewise made design adjustments based on part availability. If a project calls for both 3-horsepower and 5-horsepower motors, but it’s suddenly become extremely difficult to get 3-horsepower motors in a specific timeframe, we can – with the customer’s approval – modify the design to solely use the motors that are easier to obtain.

We also pair the pre-engineered modules with proprietary analysis tools that automatically generate a parts list for each. That enables our engineering and purchasing teams to assign a degree of confidence about the type and quantity of each part and component needed for a new project.

Because a significant portion of the parts list has already been created before the contract has been awarded and a purchase order cut, we can place the bill of materials (BOM) order with our equipment and components suppliers within 24 to 48 hours. That enables our customers’ projects to cut down on some of the time it previously took to place those orders, reducing overall project duration.

These are just a few ways the DCS engineering team has developed creative approaches to cutting project deployment and commissioning time in a challenging manufacturing environment.

Want to cut down on the length of your projects? Connect with DCS to learn more about how our supplier relationships can help keep your next material handling implementation on schedule.

Author

Meg Culler Smith - Vice President of Engineering for Conveyor Solutions and warehouse automationMeg Culler Smith, Vice President of Engineering, meg@designedconveyor.com

Meg Culler Smith serves as the Vice President of Engineering for Designed Conveyor Systems. With over 17 years with DCS, Meg is a crucial part of the team. She leads the DCS team of engineers who take the customer’s needs and turn them into reality through detailed validation and design. Meg is originally from South Carolina but has lived in Nashville for over 17 years now. She is passionate about cooking and nearly every outdoor activity, so you can often find her running, biking, or camping with her husband.