What Is a Conveyor System and What Are Its Major Uses?

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Modern operational plant equipment assembly line producing fiberglass heavy industry machinery metalworking

Conveyors quickly grew to become an important component of material processing and transportation, enhancing the pace of several manufacturing processes as automation and production advanced technologically.

These systems are widely used in the material handling, packing, and manufacturing industries because they facilitate the rapid and effective movement of a company’s goods and supplies. They can also move large, heavy objects like vehicles down a production line. But this isn’t the sole use for them.  

Shopping malls, supermarkets, sushi bars, and airports are just a few consumer applications where conveyor systems are widely used for moving people and food. They can, therefore, move people and little dishes more swiftly and effectively in addition to carrying big objects. Below is a detailed guide on what conveyor systems are and their major uses.  

What is a Conveyor System?  

An automated mechanical handling device for moving goods and materials around a space is a conveyor system. It is quick and effective. Among its many advantages, this technology lessens human error and lowers workplace dangers and labor expenses. They help move large or bulky objects from one place to another. It can move things using a chain, wheels, rollers, or a belt.    

Conveyor systems usually consist of a belt stretched over two or more pulleys. In order to enable it to revolve continuously, the belt creates a closed loop around the pulleys. When transporting objects from one place to another, a single pulley, also known as the drive pulley, drives or tows the belt.  

A rotor powers the driving pulley and belt in most conveyor system configurations. Due to the friction resulting from the two surfaces, the belt stays linked to the rotor. A clockwise or anticlockwise rotation of the driving pulley and idler is required for the belt to travel efficiently.   

Although traditional conveyor systems, such as grocery store conveyors and moving walkways, are linear, there are situations where the unit must rotate in order to transport the products to the correct spot. For the curves, the belt can follow a bend or twist without becoming tangled, thanks to special cone-shaped wheels or rotors.  

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Types of Conveyor Systems and Their Uses  

The application of a conveyor system is defined by its type and the place it is used in. Below are some of the uses of these systems:  

1. Roller Bed Conveyor Belts  

As the name implies, this kind of conveyor belt’s surface is composed of rollers chosen based on manufacturing specifications, including the weight and needed speed of the goods that will be conveyed down the belt.  

This conveyor belt type includes shorter conveyors with a maximum of two rollers. But more will be required for the belt to work as the distance between its two ends grows.    

Long-distance cargo transportation is an excellent use for roller bed conveyor belts as they lower friction and facilitate product movement down the belt.  

Applications: These conveyor belts can be used for transporting, sorting, packaging, assembling, and inspecting goods. Conveyor belts with roller beds are frequently used in airport luggage handling systems and postal sorting facilities.  

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2. Flat Belt Conveyors  

One of the most widely used conveyor systems in existence today is the flat belt conveyor belt. For internal transportation or moving objects within a building, flat belts are helpful.  

This kind of conveyor belt moves a continuous, flat belt made of synthetic or natural materials using a sequence of powered pulleys (ex. polyester, nylon).
The moving belt carries items from one end to the other. These types of conveyor belts are highly adaptable, as manufacturers can produce them from various materials.

Applications: Flat belt systems are frequently the conveyor of choice for sluggish assembly lines, industrial settings, and wash-down zones. When paired with the appropriate belt, it can safely transport small, delicate, or asymmetrically shaped objects.  

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3. Modular Belt Conveyors  

Modular conveyor belt systems employ a single loop composed of several interlocking sections, often made of hard plastic, instead of flat belt conveyors, which use a single, continuous loop of material. Instead of discarding the entire belt, one can remove and reattach these sections one at a time.

They also withstand sharp objects and abrasive materials better and are simpler to wash. This means that compared to its flat belt competitors, modular belt conveyors are easier to maintain and fix.    

These conveyors are ideal for situations where turning corners is necessary. In fact, they can use the same engine and a single belt to go in a straight line, around a corner, and on an incline and fall.  

Applications: Due to its ease of cleaning, this kind of conveyor belt is suitable for transporting food items. When transporting fluid on a conveyor, the distance between plastic segments can change to accommodate the need for either retaining or draining the fluid. This conveyor belt is especially helpful for metal detection because of the plastic nature of the segments.   

Conclusion  

In many sectors, conveyor systems that use belts, rollers, or modular pieces are essential for effective material handling. Packages, people, and things are all transported more quickly due to this automated equipment.  

While flat belt and modular belt conveyors offer flexibility, durability, and ease of maintenance, roller bed conveyors specialize in long-distance freight transfer.  

These revolutionary material handling devices improve worker safety, cut labor costs, and minimize mistakes. They simplify operations in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, shipping, retail, and food processing, because of their versatility and efficiency. 

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