Conveyors are modern handling systems that efficiently transport materials or finished goods from the production and processing equipment to the packing and dispatch areas. Due to the modular construction, they can cover the entire needed distance between different loading and unloading points. This ensures a quick movement of the transfer products and generate a well-coordinated supply flow. Additionally, the travel distances for the operators become shorter and they can handle larger volume of goods in the same amount of time using an ergonomically adapted equipment. These aspects maintain their satisfaction at a raised level and contribute to keeping them healthy and to increasing their work performances.
Stationary roller conveyors
Roller conveyor systems facilitate advancing of items on special cylinders which ensure the progress of material through the friction of the load that carries out a translatory motion. The goods move in a controlled manner from the infeed to the picking area along a gradient which consists of a continuous frame provided with roller tracks. This ensures a smooth and safe passage of the load in order to decrease the handling time and effort and to increase the internal productivity.
Conveyor rollers are installed on a modular priciple and may vary in length, clearance and roll diameter. A wide range of materials is also available, as galvanized, rubber made or PVC coated rollers can be selected depending on the nature of the application. The roller conveyors are designed according to the size, weight, volume and sensitivity of the items to be carried. Their height is adaptable to the space optimisation requirements and they can be mounted in straight or curved configurations if companies need to exploit the available space to a maximum. Roller covers and other optional components can further be added to customize the conveyors for the specific tasks.
Roller conveyors are highly robust and can be employed for continuous use. In case defects occur however, they can be quickly remedied by replacing the individual parts. They are suitable especially within companies that use packaging of medium and smaller size and weight, like cardboard and plastic boxes or containers. Their transfer surface can also be stable enough for loads with rimmed or uneven bottoms such as drums, pails, pallets and larger bags. For an increased efficiency, the lateral guides can be provided with small rollers to ensure an even smoother flow up to the end of the line.
Roll conveyors can be gravitational (downhill installed with a slight slope) or electrically driven. Gravity conveyors are environmentally friendly as they require no power supply to ensure the continuous flow of materials. This eliminates the need for complex electrical cabling as well as for the electricity itself or for additional operations and maintenance. Furthermore, some models are suited for temporary set-up and others for permanent installation, an aspect which offers the user a great flexibility when choosing the right conveying solution.
In case of the gravity roller tracks, the right combination of conveying weight, roller material and brake options is of great importance for a functional system. To achieve an optimum continuous flow, brake elements with direct and indirect action can optionally be installed. These brake carrier rollers regulate the speed of the conveyed materials on the gravity roller track and keep them at a constant and controlled speed. With a thoughtful design, gravity-driven conveyor technology can also be included in larger material handling systems. For example, it can be installed between two electric belt or roller conveyors.
The motorised versions of the stationary roller conveyors are recommanded for transporting the goods over longer distances inside production or distribution facilities. Due to the powered system, they can move the goods horizontally within an optimum time. The speed is adjustable so there is a full control over the process and this helps to reduce the potential risks of damaging the goods. Also, the conveyors can be split up into zones where each zone can be individually controlled. This allows the respective section to run only when an item is present on the conveyor, thus helping companies to reduce the associated costs and improve the handling efficiency. Additionnaly, they can be provided with hinge sections for passage.
Powered roller conveyors can also handle heavier loads so they are often used in the manufacturing industry for automatic replenishment of materials and parts. In this respect the diameter of the roller is significant to the application, as larger rollers can carry more weight at a time. Drive rollers are automated small modular units which receive a direct driving mechanical input from an electric internal motor. The system can also be customised to be driven by an external power source, such as chains or belts, which are more common for curves.
Extandable roller conveyors
Unlike the fixed (stationary) roller conveyors, the extandable versions are provided with expanding frames. This allows companies to easily and economically store them when not in use, because they can be compacted to just one small part of their extended length. The main advantage of the system is the mobility and flexibility that it offers to the staff, due to the fact that it can be quickly moved and rearranged upon needs and thus the “dead space” – created by pallets or roll-cages – is dramatically reduced or even eliminated.
Expandable roller conveyors are cost effective handling solutions not only for large distribution centres but also for smaller companies that require one single unit. They allow an easy, safe and fast transfer of the load in or out of the vehicles and containers as well as between different packaging and flexible assembly lines points. They are widely used by parcel post and logistic service providers as well as by manufacturers and distributors of textile items, electronic devices and a wide range of flat based loads and lightweight loose cargo.
On the running track, extendable conveyors can be provided not only with rollers but also with roller tracks which enable a greater transfer speed of the load. Standard and optional conveyor widths allow companies to choose the suitable version for a wide range of goods dimensions. The support legs, adjustable between different heights, offer strenght and rigidity. Swivel castors bring maximum maneuvrability and incorporate foot operated brakes to fix the system in the intented place. Larger optional diameter castors allow an easier rolling over rough or uneven surfaces while optional connecting brackets can quickly and easily connect two or more conveyors together to expand the system.
Similar to the stationary roller conveyors, the scissor roll conveyors versions can also be gravitationally driven or motorised. The powered ones are particularly useful for packaging applications, parcel distribution centres and machine-to-machine-linking. They provide an electronically controlled spacing of the packages or items for an easier handling and bar code scanning. Conveyor speed is adjustable in terms of traveled distances per minute and the smart optic stop solutions prevent packages from falling off the conveyor at the discharge end. After the package is removed, the conveyor starts automatically and continues to move until the next package arrives at the discharge point.
Due to their high flexibility, these independent conveyor lines allow creating a curved route, including S shaped. This advantage is particularly improving the industrial safety and productivity in work places where the space matter is an important one, as the scissor conveyors with rollers can be extanded around obstacles and different dedicated areas. The extandable roller conveyors system can also be constructed on a telescopic principle for those companies which operate in a straight and wider space.
Stationary belt conveyors
Belt conveyors, also called conveyor belts, is a simple and efficient conveyor system used to move individual items and packages with products or bulk materials. They are spread in practically every industry and on every process inside the internal workflow, from manufacturing and assembly to distribution and warehousing. The fields where belt conveyor technology is most popular include automotive and aerospace, packaging and print finishing, bottling and canning, chemical and pharmaceutical as well as food industry. Apart from the industrial settings, belt conveyors are also installed in airports, supermarkets and restaurants.
The system comes with different pulleys and a closed-loop conveyor belt that rotates around them. One or more pulleys from the system can be powered, making the belt moving in the right direction. The transfer belt of the conveyors can be produced from a wide variety of materials depending on the use. It can also be provided with a closed smooth surface, a perforated one if the products need to be ventilated or an wired surface for high heat resistance.
Conveyor belt systems can be optionally designed enclosed to prevent contamination and loss of material, as well as open if included in assembly or bar-coding lines for exemple. The width, lengths and height (the latter fixed or adjustable, if necessary) are configured depending on the particularities of the application. The moving speed is also regulable to ensure the right transfer of each batch of items. Though they offer a limited speed range and the velocity ratio may vary during the moving process, belt conveyors prove an economic and versatile character. They offer the posibility to be loaded virtually from any place along the belt and they can be installed in straight, curved or inclined settings.
The inclined versions come in the form of elevator belt conveyors that transfer the items between operation lines with height difference. These are provided with regularly placed belt separators that hold the products while being lifted or lowered on the conveyor, so they do not overturn. The system can also be used to place the goods in their individual space, in applications where they need to remain divided up to the moment when they can be lifted from the conveyor. Additionally, these climbing or downhill belt conveyors can also be employed for moving the scraps and waste away from production or sorting units.
Different configuration of safety rims can additionally be mounted to prevent the products from laterally falling. If required, a small tunnel or a protection chamber can be placed at the entry of the conveyor in order to stop an eventual spilling of materials. The working level can be set between 15-45 degrees and the slope is available in straight line or in the shape of L or Z letters. Miniature conveyors are also available for those applications that require rapid and easy transmission of small size items. All belt conveyors can be provided with wheels to increase work flexibility and to allow a rapid movement towards the intended area.
Telescopic belt conveyors
Telescopic belt conveyors allow an easy and fast automatic loading and unloading of loose-loaded cargo to and from the vehicles. They are provided with wheels that offer to the users the possibility to move them anywhere inside the work area and connect them to different types of stationary conveyors. Their main solid frame provides stability and strength while an unique multi-connector system holds together the telescoping modules when the system is extended.
Telescopic conveyors can be installed in a wide range of configurations and can be provided, at the end, with different optional components such as platforms and ramps. The platform models are particularly useful for unloading loose cargo from the truck, such as goods packed in different bags or cardboard boxes, as they allow the operators to enter the vehicles, reach every inner item and unload it in the easiest way. The platform is constructed with an ample space that can accommodate two persons while working at adjustable heights, standing on the platform.
The platform is raised or lowered together with the telescopic conveyor in a smooth and safe way, using foot pedals and hand control buttons for adjusting its position to permanently have the parcels within easy reach. The system significantly increases the unloading throughput and provides an effective workflow. It also allows the trailers to be filled up to the full height, thus reducing the transport cost per parcel.
For the automatic loading of the trucks with bulk packages, the suspended part of the telescoping driven belt conveyor is pivoting in all directions, from side to side, to distribute the cargo in an even level of filling. Different sized boxes and bags are gently released one at a time from the end of the telescoping conveyor. As a result, they are naturally mixing together to close the vacant gaps in the vehicle and make use of the space almost up to the full height. The system is designed with a short release distance so the items are rather placed instead of dropped in order to prevent the package damaging.
During operation, the system detects the obstacles and avoids possible collisions to protect the cargo. Additionally, the incorporated sensors can be adjusted to suit the height of the parcels, preventing a package jam during the load process. As online-shopping customers demand fast delivery options, the loading method allows eCommerce sector companies to easily handle all types of cargo in one load and thus shorten the overall deadlines.
Apart saving time, the system is also reducing the human intervention as it requires no physical effort to load the vehicles but only a minimal supervising during the process. Therefor the risk of workforce enjury is eliminated and the operators can carry out their activity in a safer and less demanding work environment. Additional optional safety features, such as light barrier that detects human presence and stops the equipment automatically or audio and visual signals to indicate when the conveyor is in operation, bring an even more advanced security degree to the conveying system.
Both loading and unloading systems are used by different manufacturers, online retailers and parcel carriers to automate their internal logistics processes. Loading and unloading the trailers at the door – without manually carrying the items as the drop-off or take-away of the packages areas can be placed directly at the operator’s side – is increasing work capacity, cutting handling costs as well as optimizing the entire warehouse activity. One of the main additional benefits of the system is that it can be expanded beyond the constraints of the space limitation. Also, it requires no additional loading and unloading vehicles or other equipment.
The extension and retraction of the telescopic belt conveyors are fully motor-driven, with a quick response to the operator actions. The main body and extensions dimensions can be customised to allow access to the full length of the transport vehicles. Telescoping conveyors can also be provided with rollers instead of belts. The roller models also allow the personnel to move the items take-away and drop-off points upon needs and can be installed in a motorised version or under the form of telescop gravity roller conveyors.
Chain conveyors are durable transport systems used to move large and heavy products along production or assembly lines. They are suitable for items that cannot be transported on roller or belt conveyors, such as industrial containers, pallets, racks and any other product with a sturdy lower surface. The system is mostly employed in automotive, metal processing and other similar heavy-use applications where they can easily convey the parts between various stations within the production facility or warehouse.
The chain conveyors are particularly recommended for cyclic and phased products movements, as part of a more complex production automation system. They allow sturdy operation also in reverse as well and a high resistance to elongation. The operation principle is based on a circular chain, mounted on two toothed wheels, which provides a continuous motion of the belt on a fixed length. The system can be designed with different drive variants and with a series of interlocking wear strips parts, which makes them easy to be replaced. However, the chains need a more frequent cleaning and lubricating but, on the other hand, these characteristics make them suitable for oily environments.
The main advantage of the chain conveyors is that they can be integrated anywhere in an automated system, even one after another for successive goods taking-over. They are often used to configure complex interlinking solutions in a dual or multiple line configuration. Chain conveyor belts operate at a constant and low speed, to prevent the products from shaking and overturning. This robust yet dynamic transfer technology is reliable and resistant to prolonged and intensive use. The goods are moved efficiently, safely and gently to ensure their stability and reduce the slipping risks.
Conveyors chains offer endless transport solutions for use in the internal logistics, from standard range to large customization options in terms of individual components and entire configurations. They can be provided with lifting and transfering modules, positioning and rotating units, stoppers as well as control components which confer a high performance and consistency to the handling operations.
Conveyors systems transport the goods alone or together with their carriers such as dedicated vacuum-formed and injection-moulded component holders, trays, crates and pallets as well as cardboard boxes. In manufacturing sites, the equipment can also be configured on the way back with the purpose to return the empty reusable packaging at the processing or assembly points. Level differences can be overcome with the help of the inclined elevator conveyors, which allow the transfer of various items to vertical distances in a short time.
Conveyor systems are recommended to be installed especialy in busy production units, warehouses and logistic centers to increase the automation degree and consequenly to speed up the internal flow. Materials can be moved in different directions and this is particularly useful when sending them, for example, between the opposite ends of a processing plant with an extended surface. Transfer conveyors are also recommended to optimise the buffer stocks management and to deliver products in sequence, for a highly personalised infeed. They can be equally useful in applications where light and numerous articles need to be continuosly moved as well as in transferring heavy or bulky materials.
The system is fully customizable to suit the types of manufacturing and processing activities inside each industrial field. The transport support is subject to a wide diversity of materials and configurations, such as rollers, belts and chains. The length, width and height can be completely configured according to the products dimensions and the available internal space as well as to the needs of the working procedures.