Conveyors have been around the early 20th century. It is widely known as the backbone of material handling. This field concentrates on the mechanical equipment systems, methods and other related controls used to achieve needed functions.
Conveyors are fundamentally known as equipment that moves material from one place to another. Conveyors carry goods by power or gravity making it useful in transportation of bulky and heavy materials. They are an integral part of zone picking and goods-to-picker systems as they transfer cartons and totes between zones and to the operator workstations.
Pharmaceutical, packaging, automotive and different production plants are industries that have great demands for the usage of conveyor systems. Portable conveyors are on the rise in the construction sectors. There is also an increase in the implementation of conveyor systems in commercial and civil sectors such as shopping malls and airports.
With the growth of the conveyor systems’ use in various industries, it is likely that more industries will lean towards the automatic methods and processes. Thus, conveyors are necessities in assisting such processes. But conveyors have a wide range of types that has a specific function. Below is the list of conveyor types:
- Power Roller Conveyor
Power Roller conveyor can be explained further through its subtypes.
a. Minimum pressure conveyor – ideal for general transport of product, packaging handling applications of medium to light loads and short sections of accumulation.
b. Zero Pressure conveyor – typically used in high throughput systems. This type of conveyor is mostly found in distribution centers where there is a variety of product weight and width. It is also used in shipping areas, packaging, kitting and buffering of product prior to sortation.
c. Live Roller conveyor – best for handling package applications for light to medium products. It is commonly used in general transport given that accumulation of product is not needed.
2. Gravity Conveyor – the cheapest type of conveyor. This non-powered conveyor is usually used in package sorting, truck off loading, kitting areas. Product control is the downside of using this conveyor.
- Pallet Conveyor
a. Roller – usually used for extreme heavy loads handling and best for accumulation zones in pact out areas.
b. Magnetic slide conveyor – ideal for small part transport application, metal stamping and chip removal.
c. Drag Chain – is for carrying heavyweight loads and special pallet configurations.
d. Overhead Conveyor – the oldest one used in many industries today because it is proven to be reliable and low maintenance. This conveyor is best for trash removals, assembly lines, food packing, paint and finishing lines.
e. Table Top Chain – focuses in package handling. wash-down, labeling, filling, and accumulation application.
4. Belt Conveyor – normally this type of conveyor is used in handling packages, raw materials and small parts. A simple example of a belt conveyor application is the check-out line in local grocery stores. It is also most effective in decline/incline applications or elevation change.