Choosing the Right Conveyor

The conveyor is a fundamental element in material handling. Automating handling reduces cost and speeds up production rates. Conveyors are available in many models and configurations, this guide focuses on the most common ones.

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  • How to choose a conveyor?

    In order to choose the right machine for your installation, you will need to consider several criteria.

    The first decisive factor you will need to consider is the load capacity. Next, it is essential to think about the  conveying route to be set up. The type of products to be conveyed is also an important aspect. You will need to take into account their weight, volume and condition (bulk or packaged products). You will also need to think about the technology that will be suitable for your installation. Lastly, the configuration of the space in which the conveyor will be installed is an important point not to overlook. Is it possible to install the conveyor system on the ground? If the answer is no, you can choose an overhead conveyor system.

    Main selection criteria:

    • Load
    • Product type
    • Route
    • Technology
    • Configuration
  • Why choose a belt conveyor?

    Transnorm System belt conveyor

    A belt conveyor can move light loads.

    It is characterized by the type of conveyor belt used (material, texture, thickness, width) and by the position of the motor unit (on the end, central, left, right, underneath, etc.). Some conveyor belts are designed to withstand very high temperatures. Rigid acetal belts can carry heavier loads.

    Unlike roller conveyors, belt conveyors can transport both bulk and packaged products.

  • What type of belt conveyor should you choose?

    There are several types of belt conveyors:

    • Smooth belt conveyors: These conveyors are a classic staple for most conveying applications. Parts, individual packages and bulk goods are transported by means of a conveyor belt.
    • Modular belt conveyor: modular belt conveyors are a middle range between belt conveyors and chain conveyors. A modular belt consists of individual plastic modules, usually connected to each other by hinges. The materials of a modular belt are more resistant and can be used to convey heavy and abrasive parts, as well as hot or sharp-edged parts. Unlike chain conveyors, the modular belt conveyor’s design means that it requires less maintenance (it is very easy to clean) and links can be replaced quickly and easily. It is also technically simpler to implement.

    There are also hinged belt conveyors, metal belt conveyors etc.

  • Why choose a roller conveyor?

    SIDEL roller conveyor

    A roller conveyor uses handling rollers to transport packaged products. Its main advantage is that it is possible to adjust the height and inclination. It is fairly low maintenance. It is an ergonomic and washable system suitable for products big enough to be in constant contact with three handling rollers.

    If you want to invest in a roller conveyor, it is important to:

    • Precisely define the parameters concerning the objects to be transported: type, size and weight.
    • Take into account your field of application: the food industry,  for example, will require investing in a stainless steel roller conveyor.
    • Define the route that the conveyor will have to cover: straight elements, curves, etc. A roller conveyor allows for more complex routes than a belt conveyor.
    • Determine the type of actuation: manual (operators move products on the rollers) or motorized.
  • What type of roller conveyor should you choose?

    There are several types of roller conveyors:

    • Free roller conveyors: these are conveyors that allow the transport of goods by human force: an operator pushes the load in order to move it.
    • Gravity roller conveyors: the concept is similar to that of free rollers. The difference lies in the inclined configuration of this type of conveyor. Loads are moved using natural gravitational force. On a gentle slope (between 1.5% and 5%), under the weight of the loads, the rollers impart movement to the transported products which allows them to be moved. Gravity roller conveyors are suitable for loads with a flat and rigid bottom.
    • Motorized roller conveyors: the handling rollers are set in motion by motorization. This movement enables the transport of goods.
  • Why choose a chain conveyor?

    SpanTech chain conveyor

    This type of conveyor allows you to move heavy loads like pallets that cannot be transported on a roller conveyor. In order to transport smaller or less rigid products, it is necessary to add chains to the conveyor. There are conveyors with two, three, four or even five or more chains.

    Chain conveyors are characterized by the number and material of the chains used (steel, stainless steel, plastic), as well as the robustness of their load-bearing frame, which is often mechanically welded (more suitable for heavy loads).

    Unlike belt conveyors and roller conveyors, chain conveyors can be overhead: these are described in the next paragraph.

  • Why choose an overhead conveyor?

    T M T overhead conveyor

    An overhead conveyor is a rail system installed up high, allowing loads to be moved from point A to point B. Overhead conveyors are made up of trolleys mounted on rails. They are used in many sectors such as painting (moving products through the paint booth), metallurgy, surface treatment, the automotive industry, etc.

    They offer many advantages:

    • Bespoke installation
    • They free up floor space
    • Fairly low maintenance
    • They enable safe handling and reduce the risk of accidents.
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1 comment
  • Tex Hooper says:

    I didn’t know that there was so much tech involved in belts. My office needs some maintenance work done on equipment. I’ll have to hire someone with good online reviews to help out.

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