Conveyor systems are made up of mechanical systems that are both efficient and fast at handling and transporting materials and loads within a certain area. The reason why they are usee is because they get rid of human error (as no humans are involved), they reduce the cost of labour, and also lower the risk of workers being injured or harmed. There are also several other benefits, but these are the main ones. For any businesses where there is the requirement to move around heavy or bulky items from point A to point B, a conveyor system is an absolute necessity. The typical conveyor system uses either interlox belting, chains, rollers, or wheels in order to transport objects.
How Do Conveyor Systems Work?
They usually involve a belt that is stretched right over a number of pulleys in order to form a loop that is completely closed for the purpose of being able to continually go round and around. The drive pulley is responsible for either towing or driving the belt, thus moving the items that are on it from one point over to another.
The conveyor systems that are most common are designed with a rotor that powers the drive pulley and, thus, the belt. Because of the friction that is created between the two surfaces, the belt stays attached at all times. In order for the belt to move in an efficient way, both the idler and the drive pulley have to run in the same direction - that can be either anticlockwise or clockwise, it does not matter.
Whilst most of the conveyor systems that we see in our everyday lives, such as at the supermarket or in airports, operate in a straight line, there is sometimes the need to move items from one point to another that is not in a straight line. Where turns are necessary, there are special wheels that are cone shaped or special rotors that allow the belt to twist or bend without it getting all tangled up.
Conveyor System Benefits
The primary purpose of a conveyor system is to move items and objects from point A to point B. The way in which they are designed allows for objects that are too big and too heavy for humans to carry themselves to be easily transported around a warehouse, factory, or any other building.
Because of this, they save time when it comes to transporting things from one location to another, no matter how short or far that distance is. Because they can be set up so that they span across multiple different levels of floors, it removes the amount of physical strain that is being put on workers. These conveyor systems are able to automatically unload the objects at the other end, thus removing the need for a worker to be at the other end to receive it.
Conveyor System Examples
Whilst when you think of conveyor systems, you automatically invisage them in factories and warehouses, moving around boxes and packages, this is just one single type and there are actually many different versions of them. For instance, you often see them in airports either transporting passengers from terminal to terminal or to bring the baggage and luggage off of the plane and to the passengers. Other examples include ski lifts and escalators. Although very different in how they look and operate, they do still use a pulley and a chain in order to move things that are heavy from one point, over to another.
The different types of conveyor systems that exist include walking beam, roller, chain, belt, apron / slat, bucket, ball transfer, auger / screw, vibrating, overhead, wheel, vertical, magnetic, chute, and pneumatic.
Each of these different types of conveyor systems serve a very particular service. For instance, a slat type conveyor that is made from either plates or slats, rather than a belt and has the purpose of moving around materials that are very heavy. The type of things that are typically moved around by a slat conveyor are much larger and heavier than what can be transported on a conventional belt system.
Another example is an escalator, which is a chain driven conveyor system. Rather than having a system of pulleys that pull the material along, the system uses chains to tow the items in either a downward or an upward motion.
A final example is ski lifts, which are a type of overhead conveyor system. They make use of an inclined electric track that pulls the chairs on it either down or up a mountain. Similar to how an escalator works, these conveyor systems incorporate a towing system that is chain driven.
Important Parts Of Conveyor Systems
No matter the type of conveyor system, there are 3 main parts to them. The first is the drive unit, the second is the pulley, and the third is the belt support. Although very different, they all play a vital part in the operation of any conveyor belt. Though these are included in each and every type of conveyor system out there, the design of them is likely to vary in the materials used, where it is located, and its design.
It is the drive unit that enables the conveyor system to move and transport items from point A to point B. It contains within it a counter bearing, which works to keep all of the parts moving in the right way. It also means that the conveyor can be put into reverse if needs be. The system of pulleys directly controls the movement of the actual belt. Depending on the complexity of the conveyor system, it will either consist of two pulleys (one powered up and one not) or include multiple rotors throughout. The belt support part works to keep the belt itself running smoothly at all times. If proper support is not provided, then there is the possibility that the belt will sag, especially when large and heavy items are placed on it. When the belt is sagged, it does not move smoothly.