There are many different conveyor system options that are used in all types of warehouses and distribution centers. There are three that are essential to consider for most types of operations. Understanding how they differ and what they are most commonly used for will help in maximizing their use within a given area or facility.
As a standard conveyor system to move single items throughout a facility, the package handling conveyor is the workhorse. They can be designed to operate by a chain driven system, or they can be gravity conveyors. Gravity conveyors are the most common and, as they are not driven but rather work by gravity, they are easy to maintain and have very little service requirements even with years of heavy work.
They can be designed to handle curves or to add spurs to move specific types of material to the required areas. It will be important to choose the correct size and capacity of these conveyors to allow full use of the system.
Moving pallets is more challenging than moving packages for several reasons. First, there is a difference in physical size and weight, which makes it essential to choose heavy duty pallet conveyors to stand up to the loaded weight.
Additionally, the bottoms of pallets can pose problems in moving across the surface of the conveyor system. Choosing the right type of system from heavy duty rollers to a solid surface or even the use of chains will be necessary based on the size, weight and type of pallets that in the warehouse.
The overhead trolley system of conveyors is a continual loop of either chain or cable held in place on the track. To this chain or cable are clips, hangers or carriers that will allow specific types of items to be attached to the hangers and moved around the system.
These conveyors can operate manually, semi-automatically or fully automatically. With the continual movement, they are often used in processing, but they can also be the ideal way to move empty cartons or light to heavy items that will not be easily transported on a regular conveyor because of their shape or size.
Another common type of conveyor used in warehouses and manufacturing industries is the sorting conveyor. This uses a conveyor and a computer scan to divert the package to a spur or alternative conveyor for faster processing and more efficient delivery of boxes or objects to the desired location.
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