The conveyor is a material handling equipment used to move materials in the production line. Most conveyors are designed to handle specific cargo and they have different features.
Types of Conveyors Systems and Their Uses:
- Belt conveyors are made up of two or more pulleys joined together with a belt. The belt is specifically constructed to handle the materials being moved. As the belt is rotated, the materials slide along the belt.
- Bucket elevator conveyors are specifically designed to handle bulk materials as well as those with complicated shapes. The conveyor has several buckets used to scoop and move materials. There are widely used to move materials upwards or downwards.
- Slat conveyors are made up of long chains driven by motors through reduction gears. They are used to move materials that can damage belt conveyors.
- Specially shaped conveyors. These conveyors are set up so as to move materials through most parts of the production processes. They can be L shaped; U shaped or has a shape corresponding to the materials flow. Gravity conveyors move materials using the force of gravity.
- Roller conveyors: they are used to move heavy materials. They are made up of many rollers with a flat belt on top of these rollers.
Advantages of Using Conveyors to Distribute Materials in Industries and Warehouses:
- Conveyors are cheap, easy to install and operate. They also have low maintenance costs making them ideal for materials handling.
- Conveyor systems have low operating costs and energy consumption. Materials slide along the conveyor and this uses minimal energy as compared to forklifts and hoists.
- Due to their persity, the manufacturer chooses a conveyor system depending on the type of materials being handled. Conveyor belt manufactures offer a wide variety of conveyor systems suitable for handling different materials.
- Most conveyor systems are automated. This ensures that the material flow is optimal and reduces production delays, machine idle times and warehousing costs.
- Conveyors systems are more effective as compared to forklifts, hoists and manual movement. They don’t disrupt production when materials are being moved. Since they are customized to handle a specific product, the risk of damaging materials during handling and transportation is reduced.
Factors to Consider when Selecting Conveyor Systems:
- When selecting a conveyor, the type of material being handled is a critical factor. Different materials require specific conveyors. For example, heavy materials require roller conveyors.
- Production process: the materials flow should be considered during the selection of a conveyor system. For example, vertical materials movement require bucket conveyors while U shaped production line require U shaped conveyors.
- Security measures: conveyors come with security measures such as guards to prevent operators and workers from accidents. These features should be checked during the selection process.
- Manufacturers: belt conveyors should only be purchased from reputable companies. High quality conveyors last for a long time with minimal maintenance costs.
Conveyor systems are widely used to move materials in production lines and warehouses. They are flexible, effective, efficient and easily installed. They have low operating costs and can be used to move different products in the manufacturing process.