Industrial Engineering

Understanding conveyor system

A conveyor system is a type of mechanical handling equipment that transports things from one place to another is a conveyor system. Conveyors are particularly helpful in situations when large or bulky materials need to be transported. The systems’ ability to convey a wide range of products quickly and effectively makes them particularly well-liked in the packaging and material handling sectors.

understanding conveyor system

In another word, a typical type of mechanical handling equipment that transports things from one place to another is a conveyor system. Conveyors are particularly helpful in situations when large or bulky materials need to be transported. Well, in this article, the following questions will be discussed:

  1. What is a conveyor system?
  2. What are the applications of conveyors?
  3. How does a conveyor work?
  4. What are the benefit of conveyors?
  5. What are the essential parts of conveyor?
  6. How to Chose the best Conveyors?
  7. What is the price rate of conveyors?
  8. What are the types of conveyor systems?
  9. What are the benefits of using conveyors?

So, let’s dive in!


What is a conveyor system?

Just as earlier mentioned, a mechanical handling device for quickly and effectively moving loads and materials automatically around space is a conveyor system. To move objects, a conveyor system may employ a belt, wheels, rollers, or a chain. A typical type of mechanical handling equipment that transports things from one place to another is a conveyor system. Conveyors are particularly helpful in situations when large or bulky materials need to be transported.

Understanding conveyor system

Conveyor systems are highly well-liked in the material handling and packaging industries because they enable the speedy and effective conveyance of a wide range of products. Since they are frequently seen at supermarkets and airports and serve as the last stop before an item or bag is delivered to a customer, they also have widespread consumer applications.

What are the applications of conveyors?

Using a conveyor, a wide range of goods can be transported, some of the most popular ones are food products like beans and nuts, bottles and cans, automobile parts, scrap metal, medicines and powders, wood and furniture, grain, and animal feed. Other typical materials include automotive components. When choosing a conveyor system, there are many aspects to consider. It is crucial to be aware of the conveyor system’s intended application in advance. The necessary conveyor activities, such as transport, accumulation, and sorting; the material sizes, weights, and shapes; and the locations of the loading and pickup stations are a few particular considerations that are useful.  Conveyor systems are commonly used in many industries, including

  • Mining
  • Automotive
  • Agricultural
  • Computer
  • Electronic
  • Food processing
  • Aerospace
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Chemicals 
  • Bottling and Canning
  • Print Finishing
  • Packaging

How does a conveyor work?

Understanding conveyor system

A belt is typically stretched across two or more pulleys in conveyor systems. To enable continuous rotation, the belt creates a closed loop around the pulleys. One pulley referred to as the driving pulley, tows or drives the belt that transports objects from one place to another.

The drive pulley and belt are powered by a rotor in the majority of conveyor system configurations. The friction between the two surfaces keeps the belt fastened to the rotor. The driving pulley and idler must rotate in the same direction, either clockwise or counterclockwise, for the belt to move efficiently in that direction.

Although typical conveyor systems, like those seen in moving walkways and grocery stores, are straight, there are occasions when the unit must turn to deliver the items to their intended position. Unique cone-shaped wheels or rotors are used for the turns so that the belt may follow a bend or twist without becoming tangled.

What are the benefit of conveyors?

Moving objects from one place to another is the primary function of a conveyor system. The structure enables the movement of items that are too big or heavy for people to handle by hand. When moving products between locations, conveyor systems reduce the amount of time required. They make it easier to transfer objects up and down floors, a chore that is physically taxing when done manually by humans because they can be inclined to traverse numerous levels. Material can be automatically unloaded using inclined belts, negating the need for a receiver to be present at the other end.

What are the essential parts of conveyor?

A conveyor system is composed of three basic components: the drive unit, the pulley, and the belt support. Every element is essential to the conveyor unit’s operation. All conveyor systems include these components, although the way they are built and where they are placed varies between designs. The element that makes sure the belt slides smoothly is the belt support. When employees set a heavy object on top, the belt sags if the support unit is not strong, which prevents the belt from moving as smoothly or quickly as it could.

Understanding conveyor system

The belt is kept taut and functioning effectively when a sturdy support device is used. The pulley system is an external device used to regulate the movement of the belt. Each component has at least two pulleys, one of which is idle and the other of which is powered. Additional rotors may be placed throughout the frame of complex conveyor systems.

The system can move thanks to the drive unit. A counter bearing maintains the parts moving smoothly in the unit. Additionally, this component controls the belt’s ability to go in reverse and repeatedly change directions for various systems. There are some manually operated conveyor systems. These systems still have a drive unit, but it is not powered by a motor.

How to Chose the best Conveyors?

If a and b are the distances between the fulcrum and points A and B, respectively, and forces FA and FB are applied at A and B, respectively, and a/b is the ratio of the velocities of points A and B, then the mechanical advantage, or the ratio of the output force to the input force.Additionally, there are a number of things to take into account while looking for and purchasing the best conveyor system for your warehouse or distribution center. Both the needs for the product and the process should be taken into account at once.

An excellent conveyor system must first of all:

  • Operational security
  • Efficient with regard to energy
  • Reliable (long-lasting parts and components)
  • Able to change as needs do
  • Cost-effective (measured by total cost of ownership, or TCO)

The wrong conveyor system installed in a warehouse will soon reduce operational effectiveness, increase costs, decrease customer happiness, and eventually rob the company of its competitive advantage. Without further ado, let’s look at the elements to take into account when assessing and choosing the best conveyor system for your organization.

Product specifications

In a distribution plant, moving things between functional sections essentially requires the usage of a conveyor system. Therefore, the design, dimensions, and kind of conveyor system to be built will depend on the type of item(s) to be moved. Answering the following queries will enable you to determine the design and configuration requirements for the ideal conveyor system for your operation and to determine factors like horsepower and belt draw for specific conveyors.

  • Which kind of goods is being distributed?
  • What is the typical product weight per foot?
  • What is the goods’ maximum weight?
  • What are the product’s lowest, maximum, and average measurements in terms of length, width, and height?
  • What dimensions do each product have?
  • What orientation are the products being delivered in and how?

Your decision-making process will be significantly impacted by aspects like product weight, size, and fragility. While the weight of the products will define the roller gauge, roller diameter, and motor sizing needs, the dimensions of the items in your facility will determine conveyor width, guide rail requirements, and roller centers.

Process specifications

The variables influencing the conveyor’s motion as well as the particulars of the operational environment are covered by the process requirements. These factors consist of:

  • The space needed for objects to travel between functional areas
  • Are there any stops, elevation changes, curves, or delays on the path it travels on?
  • Product orientation: Must objects be arranged in a specific way (to allow for simple barcarole reading, transfer, etc.)?
  • Which is faster for transfers: quick, abrupt motions or long, methodical ones?
  • Ambient surroundings
  • Obtainable area

Transfer conditions

A important location is where goods are moved to and from the conveyor. The majority of conveyors accomplish this using side-to-side transfers, motorized transfers, dead plates, gravity rollers, etc. While larger and longer products could need gravity rollers, smaller ones might need a powered transfer.

What is the price rate of conveyors?

Manual transfer operations cannot maintain the throughput levels needed for quick and economical order fulfillment in modern warehouses. A conveyor system increases productivity, improves ergonomics, reduces product damage and makes for better access to materials and fewer workplace hazards. For small and medium-sized businesses, the lifetime cost of purchasing, installing, and maintaining such systems could be prohibitive. It can range from a few hundred thousand dollars to millions of dollars, depending on things like:

  • Conveyor system type
  • Overall size
  • Required speed
  • Dimensions
  • Method of curve and transfer

According to current estimates, a Belt Curve AC and a Roller Curve AC conveyor both cost $5,243 and $2,686 per linear foot, assuming the following:

  • 90 degree curves
  • 65 to 90 feet per minute are the speeds.
  • 9-inch rollers spaced 3 inches apart
  • A total of 24 inches wide.

Watch the video below to learn how a conveyor system work:

What are the types of conveyor systems?

There are many different conveying system types that can be utilized depending on the requirements of various sectors. Additionally, there are floor- and ceiling-mounted chain conveyors. Chain conveyors are made up of hand-pushed trolleys, I-Beam, towlines, power and free tracks, and enclosed tracks.

There are many different conveyor systems that can be used, as we briefly mentioned earlier. Which conveyor system you use or buy depends on what you need the conveyor system to do. In order to expedite travelers’ movement between two terminals at an airport, it would be preferable to utilize a belt conveyor rather than a roller conveyor, for instance. The following are the most common types of conveyor systems you can find in industries today:

  • Aero-mechanical conveyor
  • Automotive conveyor
  • Belt conveyor
  • Belt-driven live roller conveyor
  • Bucket conveyor
  • Chain conveyor
  • Chain-driven live roller conveyor
  • Drag conveyor
  • Dust-proof conveyor
  • Electric track vehicle system
  • Flexible conveyor
  • Gravity conveyor
  • Gravity skatewheel conveyor
  • Lineshaft roller conveyor
  • Motorized-drive roller conveyor
  • Overhead I-beam conveyor
  • Overland conveyor
  • Pharmaceutical conveyor
  • Plastic belt conveyor
  • Pneumatic conveyor
  • Screw or auger conveyor
  • Spiral conveyor
  • Tube chain conveyor
  • Tubular Gallery conveyor
  • Vacuum conveyor
  • Vertical conveyor
  • Vibrating conveyor
  • Walking Beam
  • Wire mesh conveyor

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Note that this only represents the equipment’s initial cost. You’ll need to account for the expense of modifying your warehouse to make room for the conveyor system in addition to installation charges. Order fulfillment and other warehouse operations would be affected by the installation procedure, which could take some time. Last but not least, annual running and maintenance expenses would probably be higher than those for the initial purchase and installation. That is all for this article, where the following questions are being answered:

  1. What is a conveyor system?
  2. How does a conveyor work?
  3. What are the types of conveyor systems?
  4. What are the benefits of using conveyors?

I hope you learn a lot from the reading, if so, kindly share with others. Thanks for reading, see you around!