Conveyors – Different Types And Their Functions

Robotunits, conveyor are used in facilities to automatically move goods or supplies around. Most people are familiar with belt conveyors, which consist of a flat belt that is looped around pulleys to rotate endlessly and move goods from one end to the other. A conveyor can improve efficiency in a warehouse because it works much faster when compared to workers handling goods using baskets, hand trucks and other equipment. This could also help cut down on staffing needs, translating to savings for the company.


In addition to improving efficiency, conveyors also improve safety for the goods as well as the personnel. For instance, compared to a forklift, a conveyor is much less likely to damage the products. It would also be less likely to expose personnel to safety risks than a forklift, and you would not require a handler since basic training would be sufficient to familiarize the staff with the system.

Conveyor Types And Designs

There are various conveyor designs available today that are used for moving various products. Bucket conveyors, for instance, may be used for transferring bulk components. Certain equipment even vibrate to shake products loose from molds, cool them or perform other tasks that are critical in the manufacturing process. Conveyors can also travel up inclines or around corners, which makes them flexible for different settings. The features of a particular system may also be customized to meet the specific needs of the warehouse.

Skate wheel conveyors have rows of small metal or aluminum wheels with no motor. They are useful for moving bags, cartons or sacks down a slope and are also ideal for moving items to shipping areas for loading onto delivery trucks. They are often found in smaller warehouses for short runs. Sliding bed systems have a metal surface sliding along a bed. These are ideal for moving unstable loads at slow speeds and can also be used for small products and odd-shaped items. They are usually found in assembly or load stations.

Live roller conveyors have elongated rollers over the conveying bed that are adjustable. The rollers are powered by line shafts, belts or chains. Such conveyors can accommodate heavy loads or loads with solid bottoms, and are suitable for use in harsh or unclean environments. Accumulation systems have sensors that direct their belts or rollers to start or stop in order to pace cartons without delaying production. They can be quite costly as they require extra motors and controls, but the flexibility they provide offsets this.

Automated Systems

The demand for automated conveyor systems has increased as a result of the differing objects and substances that are dealt with in materials handling or packaging. Conveyor belts are probably the most common type of automated systems, since they are used for transporting loose materials, boxes, pallets and other items depending on the type of belt. Vibratory and gravity conveyors usually have fewer moving parts and are particularly useful for transporting materials down a grade, while pneumatic systems are suitable for moving loose substances and can be used for transporting materials vertically or horizontally.