Monday, January 7, 2008

Roller Conveyors

1) Gravity roller conveyors

An alternative to wheel conveyor as both have similar applications. It is suitable for heavy-duty products and is also used for accumulating loads. Although the cost is higher, but it is more effective in handling of the heavier items than wheel conveyor.The slope for gravity movement depends on load weight.

More rugged in construction than wheel-type conveyors and is good for impact loading;
More flexible than wheel-type conveyors and will handle a wider variety of products
Good for side loading and unloading.

More expensive than wheel-type conveyors
Heavy in weight and therefore not as portable.

2) Live (powered) roller conveyors

It is belt or chain driven and it has a force-sensitive transmission that can be used to disengage rollers for accumulation. It can be used for accumulating loads and merging/sorting operations.

Fast, effective horizontal transportation over long distances;
Good for use in applications where products are side unloaded or loaded onto the conveyor, such as at merges or at sortation points
Offer limited accumulation with minimum line pressure
Enable loads that needs to be re-orientated on the conveyor
Lower power requirements


Noisier than belt conveyors;
Less flexible with the range of product that can be handled (belts more flexible); and
More expensive than belt conveyors.

3) Chain roller Conveyors

It uses one or more endless chains on which loads are carried directly. The parallel chain configuration is used to transport pallets and it is often used to transport tote boxes and pallets

Wheel Conveyors

Wheel Conveyors

Wheel conveyor is a low cost option for transporting light-weight cartons, trays, or totes.It uses a series of skate wheels mounted on a shaft (or axle), where spacing of the wheels is dependent on the load being transported.

More economical than the roller conveyor
Low noise operation
Good tracking abilities because of the differential action of the individual wheels;
Easy to maintain, lightweight and easily relocated.

It is not as durable or flexible as roller conveyors
Not suitable for side loading or unloading
Limited load carrying capacity and generally require goods to have a firm flat base

Flat Belt Conveyors

Flat Belt Conveyors

A flat belt conveyors runs on a flat fabricated steel deck or over rollers. They are used where smooth and quiet transport of product is desirable, and is ideally suited to irregular shaped product that cannot easily be handled on other conveyor styles.

Examples of applications other than cartons or tote bins would be the movement of floppy sacks or satchels, bags of powder and flour, or raw food products. It is an excellent conveyor for handling items that may have loose strings or tapes.

They are also ideally suited to:

Metering – precise positioning.
Scanning – in conjunction with code readers.
Tracking – where precise positional control is required for sorting.
Induction – precise feeding into other conveyors at junctions.

It is normally used for light- and medium-weight loads between operations or buildings

It provides significant control over the orientation and placement of the load due to the friction between the belt and the load.

Friction also helped to prevent smooth accumulation, merging, and sorting on the belt

The belt is roller or slider bed supported; the slider bed is used for small and irregularly shaped items

Chute Conveyors

Chute Conveyors


It is inexpensive

It can be used to provide accumulation in shipping areas

It can be used to convey items between floors


It is difficult to control the position of the items, packages may tend to shift and turn so that jams and blockages occur.

Types of Conveyors

The types of conveyors that will be covered are:

  • Chute Conveyors

  • Flat belt Conveyors

  • Wheel Conveyors

  • Roller Conveyors: (Gravity roller conveyors, Live (powered) roller conveyors, Chain roller conveyors

  • Pneumatic Conveyor: (Dilute-Phase Pneumatic Conveyor, Carrier-System Pneumatic Conveyors

  • Vertical Conveyors: (Vertical Lift Conveyor, Reciprocating Vertical Conveyor)

  • Trolley Conveyors

  • Sortation Conveyors: (Diverter, Pop-up device, Sliding shoe sorter, Tilting device)

  • Flexible Conveyors

Functions Of Conveyors


For production, receiving, shipping, or order picking, conveyor is an economical method of material handling. The flow of material is controlled and organized. With proper controls to maintain spacing, merge lanes, accumulate as necessary, incline or decline to maximize space utilization, and scanning the bar codes for identification and sortation purposes. One of its major advantages is that it will help improve in terms of productivity and the throughput level


Conveyor can be used for the movement of material from point to point in a warehouse or production facility. Whether if it is a single cases or full pallet loads, there is a conveyor model to suit this requirement such as a live roller belt.


Whenever conveyed product needs to be scanned, weighed, labeled or processed in some method, carton spacing needs to be created to accommodate the control function. To create spaces between cartons it is also necessary to accumulate the upstream cartons and eliminate any line pressure. It can be accomplished by using any one of several conveyor depending on the specific requirements. it is necessary to pick ahead of the sorter and have the orders staged to ensure efficient, maximized throughput. This often requires many lanes of accumulation prior to the scanner/sorter. Without accumulation, a conveyor system is less efficient and in many cases will not function.


The orderly flow of orders from the stock location to the shipping dock can be enhanced with the application of conveyor sortation. With the inclusion of sortation conveyors, orders can be sorted by customer, by destination, by method of shipment or any other critical data automatically. Sortation is completed at a much higher rate than being done manually.

Order Picking

Conveyor had greatly improve the efficiency and speed of the order picking process. By taking the product from the stock location on conveyor, the order picker travels less and hence, increases the picks per hour rate.
Orders can be batch picked or discreet picked, zone picked and wared picked from carton flow rack, pallet flow rack or mezzanines.

Credits: Grafcoinc inc.