When it comes to manufacturing and distribution solutions worldwide, conveyors are a fundamental part of transporting goods within facilities, which, in turn, creates often overlooked efficiencies in daily operations. In addition, research states that the worldwide market reached a staggering $12.3 billion last year.  
Such a figure translates to a CAGR of 7.5% – 2.5x more significant than 2016 projections. That said, the Asia-Pacific region is getting ready to experience the quickest expansion. That is because conveyor systems are an integral part of manufacturing and industrial processes, and they play a crucial role in moving materials and products efficiently from one place to another. Conveyor systems have been around for centuries, and they have evolved over the years to meet the changing needs of businesses. 

Today, many different types of conveyor systems are available, each with unique features and capabilities. In this blog post, we will closely examine conveyor systems, how they work, and the different types available. 

The Functionality of Conveyors 

Conveyor systems consist of various components that move products and materials along a conveyor belt. The conveyor belt is the primary component of a conveyor system, and it is responsible for transporting products from one place to another. Conveyor belts come in different materials, including rubber, PVC, and metal. 

The conveyor system’s functionality depends on the conveyor belt material used, the type of product or material being moved, and the environmental conditions. The conveyor belt is powered by a motor that drives the belt and moves the product along the conveyor system. 

The Different Types of Conveyors 

There are different types of conveyor systems available, and each type has its unique features and capabilities. The most common types of conveyor systems include:  

  • Belt Conveyors – These are the most common conveyor system types used in various industries. Belt conveyors consist of a flat or inclined conveyor belt driven by a motor. 
  • Roller Conveyors – Roller conveyors use rollers to move products along a conveyor belt. They are ideal for transporting heavy products. 
  • Chain Conveyors – Chain conveyors use chains to move products along a conveyor belt. They are ideal for transporting products that cannot be transported using a belt conveyor. 
  • Slat Conveyors – Slat conveyors use slats to move products along a conveyor belt. They are designed to handle heavy loads and can transport products at steep angles. Slat conveyors are commonly used in the automotive industry for assembly line processes. 
  • Roller Conveyors – Roller conveyors use rollers to move products along a conveyor belt. They are famous for material handling applications due to their simplicity, reliability, and versatility. Roller conveyors can be gravity-driven or powered and handle various products of various sizes and shapes. 
  • Belt Conveyors – Belt conveyors are the most common conveyor system used in manufacturing facilities and warehouses. They use a belt to transport products along the conveyor belt, which can be made from various materials such as rubber, PVC, or fabric. Belt conveyors are versatile, efficient, and reliable and can transport products over long distances and up inclines. 
  • Bucket Conveyors – Bucket conveyors are designed to transport bulk materials vertically using buckets attached to a conveyor belt or chain. They are commonly used in the agricultural and mining industries for handling materials such as grain, sand, and minerals. 

Conveyor Technology Is On The Rise 

  1. Conveyor Belts

Conveyor belts are an essential component of conveyor systems. They are made from a range of materials such as rubber, PVC, and fabric and can be designed to transport products of various sizes and shapes. Conveyor belts can also be equipped with specialized application accessories such as tracking guides, cleats, and sidewalls. 

  1. Conveyor Motors

Conveyor motors are used to power conveyor systems. They can be electric, hydraulic, or pneumatic and can be designed to suit various types of conveyors. Conveyor motors are available in multiple sizes and power ratings, depending on the specific application. 

  1. Conveyor Controls 

Conveyor controls regulate the speed, direction, and operation of conveyor systems. They can be manual or automated and can be designed to suit various types of conveyors. Conveyor controls are essential to conveyor systems and play a critical role in ensuring efficient and safe operation. 

Applications of Conveyors 

  1. Manufacturing

The manufacturing part is one of the crucial stepping stones. Here, conveyors are widely used in manufacturing facilities for transporting raw materials, components, and finished products along assembly lines. They are an essential component of mass production and are used in various industries, such as automotive, electronics, and textiles. 

  1. Distribution and Warehousing

Conveyors are used in distribution centers and warehouses for transporting products to and from storage areas, loading docks, and trucks. They help to streamline logistics operations and improve efficiency and productivity. 

  1. Food Processing

When it concerns food processing, a unit can utilize conveyors in the food processing industry for handling raw materials, ingredients, and finished products. They help to ensure hygiene, reduce contamination, and improve food safety. 

  1. Mining and Quarrying

Talking about mining and quarrying, they can be used in mining and quarrying operations for transporting minerals, ores, and other materials from extraction sites to processing plants. Additionally, they are an essential component of the mining and quarrying industry and are critical in improving efficiency and productivity. 

Advantages of Conveyors 

  • Improved Efficiency – Conveyors can help to streamline material handling processes and improve efficiency and productivity. They can transport products quickly and efficiently, reduce labor costs, and minimize the risk of product damage. 
  • Increased Safety – Conveyors can help to improve safety in the workplace by reducing the need for manual handling of heavy items, which can lead to injuries. Conveyors also have safety features such as emergency stops and guards to prevent accidents. 
  • Versatility – They can be designed to transport products of varying sizes, shapes, and weights and can be used in a wide range of industries such as food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, automotive, and more. 
  • Reduced Downtime – Conveyors are built to last and require minimal maintenance, which can help to reduce downtime and increase productivity. They also have a lower risk of mechanical failure than other material handling methods, reducing the need for costly repairs and replacement parts. 
  • Improved Quality Control – Conveyors can be equipped with sensors and other monitoring systems to ensure the quality and consistency of products. This can minimize defects and waste and improve overall product quality. 
  • Environmental Benefits – Such equipment can be designed to be environmentally friendly, reducing energy consumption and emissions. They can also be designed to use renewable energy sources such as solar power, further reducing their carbon footprint. 

The verdict  

Conveyors play a vital role in the material handling process for many industries. They offer numerous benefits, including increased efficiency, improved safety, versatility, reduced downtime, improved quality control, and environmental benefits. Several types of conveyors are available, each with unique features and advantages. As a result, choosing a suitable conveyor for your specific needs is vital to ensure maximum efficiency and productivity.