There are a number of different uses and designs for conveyors. Among the more common types are belt and roller conveyors. Conveyors can be used to create buffers, deliver products in a particular order and move products on a production line.
Conveyors are a highly flexible form of industrial equipment and can improve efficiency, safety and productivity when correctly specified and installed.
Often referred to as “conveyor belts” by laymen, the belt system is a very simple type of conveyor system that simply moves items from one end of the system to another. Although belt conveyors cannot be used to sequence or buffer parts, the fact that they are so simple to operate and use makes them a very common form of conveyor type.
Belt conveyors normally move the belt over a supporting steel plate so that it slides as the belt moves, or over the top of rollers that are very closely spaced together. These are known as conveyor rollers.
These are also very simple and affordable conveyor types that make use of a series of rollers that are mounted atop a side frame, thus providing the rolling surface. Parts are able to move by themselves after having been mounted atop a decline angle.
If gravity conveyors need to be used differently sized and weighing parts however, the speed and angle will need to be controlled as damage could result from parts running into one another. That being said a gravity roller table is a good starting point in comparison to having to carry parts from one place to another and represents a simple but effective improvement in productivity.
Chain conveyors are ideal for heavier items in particular, especially those with an uneven lower surface. A few contact points on the load’s bottom are provided by the conveyor chain, and the product is carried forward when the chain moves.
Chain conveyors are often used in the carrying of large industrial containers and pallets. Products can even be mounted atop a fixture and the fixture then carried via the chains if required, something that is common in auto plants. Chain conveyors are very heavy duty and usually move fairly slowly.
When a gravity conveyor’s rollers are combined with a chain-driven system’s chains, the rollers can be linked together. With the addition of a motor and a gearbox the result is a live roller conveyor system, a heavy duty system for handling material that can be used in the transportation of pallets, containers, tires and seats (on pallets or skids).
Products can also be buffered or accumulated if the system has loose plastic sleeves fitted over the rollers, allowing the top product to remain still even while the rollers keep moving. The chains are linked via one roller to another on the side.
Other types of conveyors include the likes of the motorised roller conveyor, slat conveyor and motorised overhead conveyor.
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