With conveyor belts and their related systems, a large amount of materials and items may be transported through automatic means. From manufacturing facilities to airport baggage claim systems, conveyors can increase the efficiency of a workplace by lowering safety risks, minimizing human errors, and reducing labor costs. With the various types of conveyor systems available on the market, understanding their differences and applications can help you make a more well-informed decision for your operations.
In their most simple configuration, a conveyor system is composed of a belt conveyor that is placed upon two or more pulleys. As the belt is wrapped around the pulleys to form a closed loop, rotation is continuous. To provide movement to the system, a pulley known as the drive pulley will enact the force necessary to move the belt so that materials can be transported from one location to the next as needed. Generally, rotors serve for generating the power necessary for both the drive pulley and belt. With friction resulting between the surfaces of the rotor and belt, the belt can be retained and pulled along for operations.
Depending on the assembly of the belt conveyor and its pulleys, objects can be transported in many ways. In some instances, moving an object in a straight line may not be sufficient for a particular task. If there needs to be turns in the system, cone-shaped wheels and rotors may be implemented to create bends and twists in the path of the belt. In any configuration, however, both the drive pulley and idler must run in the same direction for the belt to move correctly.
With various types of conveyors, large and heavy items that would be difficult to manually transport can be moved with ease. At the speed that many conveyors operate at, time is also saved through the rapid transportation of materials. Additionally, conveyors open up opportunities to move objects between floors, such as with a vertical conveyor system, reducing the physical strain induced to workers who would otherwise have to carry the objects themselves. Lastly, many conveyors can unload materials themselves, eliminating the need for a worker to remain on the receiving side of the system.
Depending on the industry or application, there are quite a few conveyor types with unique characteristics and uses. For example, an escalator relies on a chain conveyor system that utilizes towing equipment to pull steps along rather than moving objects directly. When transporting materials that are liquid or granular, the screw conveyor may be used. With such systems, a rotating helical screw within a tube can transport bulk items with ease. If the objects transported are lightweight and may not need as much power to be driven across an area, a roller conveyor is a common choice. With such systems, rotating cylinders are placed equidistant from each other and utilize gravity or small motors to permit objects to skate across their surface. Wheel conveyor systems are similar to the roller type, albeit often feature more rotating surfaces to benefit the skating of objects.
While various conveyor systems may feature alternate parts to achieve differing needs, all will contain a belt support, a pulley, and a drive unit as their basic essential components. The belt support system is what facilitates the movement of the belt, ensuring that it does not sag and moves efficiently. Through the use of the pulley system, the belt can be controlled in its directional movement, and at least two pulleys are needed for transportation. Lastly, the drive unit is what allows the entire system to move, and bearings can assist motion.
With the various conveyor systems available, choosing the correct type can sometimes be difficult. Generally speaking, a conveyor should be energy efficient and cost-effective, allowing for the system to bring more efficiency and savings to the workplace. Additionally, adaptability can be very useful to always be capable of adjusting systems based on changing needs. Before purchasing a system, one should consider the intended objects to transport, average weights and sizes, how products will be transported, and what speeds and distances are required for an operation.
When you are ready to begin procuring the conveyor parts that you need for your operations, One Click Purchasing has you covered with our unrivaled inventory of parts. As a premier online distributor, we leverage competitive pricing and lead-times on countless items that have been sourced from top global manufacturers. Get started on the purchasing process today and see how we can serve as your strategic sourcing partner for your needs.
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