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How to increase production: key types of conveyors and their uses

- By Axiom GB

How to increase production: key types of conveyors and their uses

There’s one piece of equipment the materials handling industry relies on to keep products moving and orders flowing, and that’s a conveyor. For simple and quick transportation of a wide variety of products, the installation of a suitable conveyor can significantly increase production and prove to be a cost effective investment.

Which type of conveyor is right for your specific environment will depend on a number of factors including:    

  • Type of material to be transported
  • Amount of workspace available
  • Environment within the facility
  • Speed of material throughput
  • Fit with existing equipment
  • Safety considerations

There are specialist companies like Axiom GB that will guide you through these initial evaluations to enable you to make the right decision. Getting design advice at an early stage from experienced engineers who work for a trusted brand will pay dividends, saving both time and money long-term. The two most commonly used conveyors are roller conveyors and belt conveyors.

Transportation made easy – conveyors use minimal effort to move maximum loads    

Roller conveyor
Using parallel rollers mounted in frames, roller conveyors can be either unpowered or power driven. Non-powered roller conveyors can be used to move product manually or by gravity. 

Power driven roller conveyors use individually powered rollers activated by sensors as items travel down the line. The conveyors are usually divided into different zones. With a zero line pressure conveyor product can be accumulated in a zone and will only move onto the next zone when there is space to do so. This alleviates the risk of damage as products never touch.

Accessories can be installed underneath the rollers; for example, steel pins can be raised between rollers to halt products, angled wheels can be raised to divert products or lift bars can rise between rollers to elevate products for a particular operation.

On a roller conveyor there is low friction between the surface of rollers and product being conveyed, this makes this type of conveyor ideal for merge points, when product is transferred from one conveyor to another. It is also easy to push products onto this type of conveyor, or pull them off, when loading or unloading. 

 

Placing a packed order onto the roller conveyor at Lakeland

 

Roller conveyors are commonly used in the materials handling industry for reliable transportation of totes, boxes and pallets.  

 

Belt conveyor
A continuous flat belt in an endless loop between two pulleys, a belt conveyor is usually powered by motors. The belt itself can be made of various materials including rubber, plastic or fabric.

It can be inclined or declined, depending on individual requirement and troughed for use with bulk or large materials. It can also be constructed as a twin level conveyor for example in an automated inline packaging system; transporting products on one level and relevant documentation on the other. The two levels can then be merged at what is known as a ‘beak point’.

 

‘Beak point’ on inline packing conveyor at Kuehne + Nagel

 

Belt conveyors provide full support and can therefore be used to move a wide variety of items. They are particularly beneficial for transporting small items, fragile or irregular shaped products and bagged materials. These types of conveyors are also a very good option to install for inclines and declines.

Products travelling on a belt conveyor travel at a constant speed regardless of weight or shape. This makes them the ideal conveyor to use for gapping and tracking products, for example they are commonly used for induction systems feeding into sortation solutions.

 

The bottom line
Choose the right conveyor for your specific purpose and it is guaranteed to significantly increase production whilst providing quick and easy transportation of diverse products.

Many conveyor systems are custom-designed, combining a number of different types of conveyor to fulfil a specific brief resulting in a totally automated system.

Whether you require a single conveyor or a more complex solution, choose your materials handling supplier carefully. Providing you do, the end result will be a quality conveying system which will complete your slow tasks fast whilst giving you an excellent return on your investment.  

If you’re looking for a conveying system and want to talk to a company with all the right credentials, contact Axiom GB for a consultation on 01827 61212 or email sales@axiomgb.com