Conveyor systems help “convey,” or move, packages, food, products or equipment from area within a facility to another, usually for simple transportation or to perform the various stages of automated or semi-automated manufacturing or finishing. This material handling equipment occupies a broad market, which it matches with large range of conveyor configurations available to manufacturers and distributors worldwide, commonly including custom design options. Of these configurations, belt conveyors are the most common, followed by chain conveyors, roller conveyors, spiral conveyors, overhead conveyors, vertical conveyors and conveyor systems, which may use combinations of many different conveyor types.
Conveyor systems serve diverse industries, such as: industrial manufacturing, food processing, military and defense, automotive, commercial, pharmaceutical and medicine and paper production. Specific applications include: material handling, material distribution, packaging, warehousing, shipping and receiving, parts washing, parts sintering, parts drying and parts finishing.
The belt conveyor, or conveyor belt, consists of a wide belt, made of rubber or another polymer, wrapped around uni-directional rollers. Belt conveyor systems consist of several belt conveyors, which create linear movement for both the belts and everything them. Chain conveyors are built using the same concept, except that in this case, a chain or multiple parallel chains are wrapped around a set wheels, rather than rollers.
They’re most commonly used to move unfinished metal parts through parts washing processes, and powdered metal parts through ovens for drying or sintering. Together, belt and chain conveyors fill the majority of need for conveyance in parts manufacturing, food processing and packaging and general consumer and commercial product manufacturing. Read More…
Another typical conveyor is the roller conveyor, which provides movement using individual rollers placed parallel to one another. The term “spiral conveyor” may refer to one of two conveyor designs, both which are fed directly from any standard conveyor. The first design uses either belts or slats to vertically transport food products, parcels, packages, boxes and other individual items. This type of spiral conveyor is designed to transport items for parts assembly warehouses, shipping warehouses, food and beverage manufacturers, airports and any other industrial customers that require vertical transfer of delicate and/or large packages.
The second design employs an enclosed screw to vertically transport loose bulk particles. Simply put, overhead conveyors transport items across a facility or through stages of processing like spray painting, drying or baking. Vertical conveyors lift items from one level to another by employing magnets, platforms or grippers placed around moving chains or belts. While they are not terribly common, when they are used, they’re usually used to transfer food items or parts. Conveyor systems, which are generally automated, may incorporate one or more conveyor types to create something unique. By customizing conveyor systems to their specific applications, manufacturers gain increased efficiency and productivity.
Conveyors are usually motorized, but some conveyor types, such as ball transfer and chute, are gravity conveyors. Pneumatic conveyors also assist in transporting materials, but these tubular air-powered conveyors specialize in bulk powder solid transportation, a different type of conveying. Manufacturers and package handlers in almost every industry make use of various types of conveyors or conveyor systems, especially food conveyors and industrial conveyors, to transport parts, products and packages through various processing systems.
Conveyor systems may use one, several or all conveyor types to transport parts or products across the facility, onto the next finishing process or along the assembly line. Most conveyor systems use pneumatic or electric motors and drive systems, but some are moved by gravity and/or the inertia of items rolling over them. Conveyors can be designed to turn, twist and move vertically along floors. With the help of magnets, brushes, automated levers, gravity and preprogramming, modern conveyor systems can lift, sort, divert and curve products, packages and parts across both horizontal and vertical distances. The combination of versatility of simple conveyance methods and the creative license offered by robotic processing technology, is helping manufacturers and engineers innovate new solutions every day.