Conveyor systems are always at the center when it comes to material handling. A conveyor is an ideal equipment for moving materials from one point A to another point B. They are especially useful for the transportation of bulky material. Conveyor systems are popular because of their speed and efficiency.
It is important to have a clear understanding of the different conveyor systems available in the market and their different applications. Below is an outline of the different conveyor categories and their applications.
1. Gravity Conveyor
Gravity conveyor, also referred to as non-powered conveyors offer an economical option for unit handling. When using a gravity conveyor, you convey loads on skate wheels or rollers. The conveyors are normally installed with a 4 to 7-degree decline so as to allow for the flow of the product.
There are several designs of gravity conveyors, from which you can choose the one that suits your needs. A gravity conveyor comes in handy for truck loading and unloading, in pick modules, and within workstations.
2. Roller Conveyor
A roller conveyor incorporates multiple designs, which allow for a wide range of applications. The simplest form of a roller conveyor is the live roller conveyor. Such is simply used to transport a product from one point to the next. It works best for light to medium weight loads.
A roller conveyor also comes in handy when accumulating a product with zero or minimum pressure. It is also used to convey large, bulky loads. A minimum pressure conveyor is best for general product transportation, short accumulation sections, and for light to medium weight loads.
A zero pressure conveyor in distribution centers, where it is used to lift loads of different weight and width. This type of a conveyor is used in palletizing areas, picking areas and high throughput systems.
3. Belt Conveyor
A belt conveyor is the most popular powered conveyor, owing to the associated simplicity and economic cost. Belt conveyors are very versatile in their applications and the type of loads they can transport.
Belt conveyors are typically used to transport loads over long distances with just one AC drive motor. They are also useful for conveying loads to different elevations (inclining or declining).
There are several types of belt conveyors such as belt over roller and belt over slider bed. A plastic belt conveyor is common in the food and beverage industry.
4. Pallet Conveyor
Pallet conveyors are of two types: Drag chain and Roller pallet. A drag chain features special pallet configurations. It is designed to handle extremely heavy loads in extreme temperature conditions.
A roller pallet is also suited for extremely heavy loads, and it is ideal for use in accumulation zones typical in pack out areas.
There are several technologies for material handling available in the market today. It does not matter the automation system; there will always be a conveyor system that will make your efforts more efficient. The type of conveyor system used depends on several factors: product dimension, product variability, power requirements, product throughput, and the surrounding environment.