What are conveyor systems?

Conveyor Systems are fast and efficient mechanical devices or assemblies that automatically transport materials and loads with minimal effort. These systems offer multiple benefits, including reducing human error, lowering workplace risks, and also reducing labor costs, among others. These material handling systems are particularly useful in helping to move bulky or heavy items from one spot to another. 

While there are a lot of different kinds of conveyor systems, they usually consist of a frame that supports either rollers, wheels, or a belt and they can be powered by either a motor, gravity, or manually. 

How do they work?

Usually, a conveyor system consists of a belt that is stretched across multiple pulleys. The belt forms a closed loop around the pulleys, constantly rotating. The most common conveyor system designs use a gearmotor to power the drive pulley and a belt, which stays attached to the pulley through the friction.

Types and examples of conveyor systems

Conveyors using belts and rollers to move boxes and other heavy equipment are just one of several types of conveyor systems; other examples include escalators and ski lifts. Here are a couple of types of conveyor systems:

    • Belt – belt conveyors use belts that are extended in an endless loop between two pulleys to convey products or materials.
    • Roller conveyor systems – roller conveyors use parallel rollers mounted in frames to move products either by gravity or manually.
    • Powered roller – they use powered rollers mounted in frames to convey products
    • Slat belt conveyor / apron – use slats or plates made of wood, steel, or other materials typically mounted on roller chains to convey products. These are usually powered and come in many sizes and load capacities.
    • Magnetic – magnetic conveyors use moving magnets mounted beneath stationary plates, tables, or other kinds of non-magnetic slider beds, to move ferrous materials. Because of the magnetic attraction of the product to the conveyor, these systems can also be used upside-down.
    • Bucket – bucket conveyors or bucket elevators use containers attached to cables, belts, or chains to convey products or materials.
    • Chute – chute or trough conveyors are material handling systems that use gravity to convey products along smooth surfaces from one level to another.
    • Chain / tow / drag line conveyors – use mechanical devices attached to moving members, usually chains or cables, to drag or tow products.
    • Overhead – overhead conveyors are mounted from ceilings that use trolleys or carriers moved by chain, cables, or similar moving members.
    • Pneumatic / vacuum conveyors – use air pressure or vacuum to transport materials in or through closed tubes or ducts or along surfaces.
    • Screw / auger – screw conveyors, also known as worm or auger conveyors, use helical elements to convey items
    • Vertical conveyors – move products vertically between levels of conveying lines
    • Vibrating conveyors – use rotary or linear vibration to move products along their system beds
    • Walking beam conveyors – use unpowered wheels to move objects along their lengths by using gravity or manual power

Benefits of conveyor systems

A conveyor system’s main purpose is to move objects from one place to another. The design facilitates the movement of objects that are too heavy or bulky for humans to carry.

A quality conveyor system design begins with asking the right questions to ensure your needs are met. The primary benefits gained by using a SEE Engineering designed conveyor system include the following:

  • Reducing your order to fulfillment cycle time
  • Reducing your operational costs and labor
  • Reducing the risk of injuries and physical strain of employees
  • Freeing up floor space through vertical designs 
  • Modular, scalable solutions can be designed that meet your current & future throughput needs

How can SEE Engineering help you?

Our team of skilled and experienced engineers uses the latest design tools to develop systems based on your needs quickly and efficiently, helping you get your conveyor system up and running.

For any of your inquiries, do not hesitate to contact us at any time.