Material Handling Solutions – Roller Conveyor Systems

by | Jul 13, 2016 | Tools and Equipment

The modern warehouse is designed to receive goods, fill orders, track inventory and ship orders. In fact, all of these processes may be going on at the same time, and 24 hours a day in many areas. If your business could use an upgrade, you may wish to think about a different kind of conveyor system. A roller conveyor system can provide the kind of material handling solutions you are in search of. Let’s check out some of the many options you have today.

Gravity Conveyors

These are sometimes called manual roller conveyors and some are known as “skate wheel” conveyors. You will often see portable gravity conveyors set up on the end of trailers for loading and unloading purposes. They can be very effective and save a great deal of work.

Gravity units are the most cost effective way to move materials because they are relatively inexpensive and there is no electric power required. Plus, many of these systems can be easily taken up and installed with minimal effort.

Power Rollers

In many cases, gravity conveyors are simply not feasible, especially in large warehouse facilities. Powered roller conveyors are very popular in many warehouses because you don’t have to worry about items jamming up and falling off (like with belt type units). In fact, these conveyors allow products to accumulate until they can be removed.

Power rollers can be minimum pressure or zero pressure. With minimum pressure, materials are allowed to slightly bump into each other, while zero pressure eliminates contact altogether. This is done to provide material handling solutions for problems associated with damaged goods. You will find three basic types of powered roller conveyor systems:

Belt drive – with this system, a belt conveyor runs just underneath the mounted rollers. The action of the belt moving is what turns the rollers. This allows for simple accumulation, as the belt conveyor can be removed from one section to allow products to remain stationary.

Motorized rollers – with this system some or all of the rollers are powered by a chain drive. The rollers have sprockets on one end which rotate as the chain moves, like a bicycle. This system can easily be set up in zones for accumulation.

Line shaft – these conveyors provide material handling solutions in a unique way. The rollers are powered by a small diameter belt or line which fits into special grooves on the rollers. A shaft runs underneath the system which controls the line connected through a spool underneath each roller. These systems are often used because they provide low noise operation.

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