Conveyor systems are the root of warehouse automation, allowing for a controlled flow of goods throughout the warehouse with:
Conveyor systems are used at all stages in the warehouse from goods in, putaway, picking, packing and goods out.
The belt conveyor is one of the most versatile conveyors and are renowned for smooth running with low wear and tear. They are able to convey at speed and carefully handle of products.
A belt conveyor consists of two or more drums, with an endless loop of belt that rotates around them. One or both of the drums are powered, moving the belt and the material on the belt forward.
Roller conveyors are a collection of rollers that are powered either individually or within small groups (via a chain, drive bands or a drive belt) to spin the rollers and in turn transfer the product on the conveyor.
The roller conveyor is often a cheaper alternative to belt conveyor and particularly useful in small runs.
The lineshaft conveyor is a form of roller conveyor that is powered by a central rotating shaft. This central shaft offers more efficient conveying and in turn requires less drive to power the conveyor.
Other products such as the switch sorter, blade stop, pusher unit, belt transfer and chain transfer are also able to be powered by the lineshaft motor. Again, the reduction in number of drives can result in a more economical solution.
The gravity conveyor is a form of roller conveyor that isn’t powered at all. Gravity conveyor relies on the conveyor being on a slight decline to allow the products to freely flow along the rollers.
This type of conveyor is the most cost effective method of conveying and are typically used at the end of a conveyor system.
A Zero Line Pressure (ZPL) conveyor is a form of roller conveyor that is built up from designated zone modules. Each zone is designed to hold one unit/product, the zone will be automatically switched off when filled. The result of this design is to allow for no contact between each unit/ product on the line. This is especially important when working with fragile material.
This is an expensive form on conveyance due to the high drive & controller count required (typical zone length is 1-1.5m).
An accumulation conveyor is a form of roller conveyor that is built up from designated zone modules. Each zone is designed so once it has one unit/product within the zone. The accumulation zones behind it will be put into a slower speed mode to prevent backup. The result of this design is to allow for slow speed contact between each unit/ product on the line. Accumulation conveyor is much more cost effective than zero line pressure conveyor and results in a higher throughput.
A boom conveyor is a telescopic belt conveyor that is designed to extend into the back of a lorry. The benefit of a boom conveyor is to allow quicker loading and unloading of goods by bringing the conveyor to the exact location where the goods are to prevent further handling.
A boom conveyor can connect to the rest of a conveyor system and seamlessly transfer product in or out of the conveyor system with minimal human interference.
Flexible conveyors can be both powered and unpowered and allow for temporary roller conveyor to be put in place. This is great for when loading and unloading without consuming the bay area, as it can be pushed away when not in use.
Flexible conveyor is easily moved, shaped and used by simply pushing it into place.
Spiral conveyors allow for vertical transport of goods in either direction and can be roller conveyor or belt conveyor, depending on the task.
Spiral conveyor is used when there is little space for vertical transport or where a conveyor belt incline is not appropriate. Powered spiral conveyor allows for controlled transportation.
For situations where downward transportation movement of goods is required, then a gravity spiral conveyor is a great option. These can be either in the form of roller conveyor or an aluminium/ fibreglass chute that allows for transportation using gravity.
Goods on a gravity conveyor are more uncontrolled and often grouped together, proving a far more economical option. However a gravity conveyor is only useful when it’s okay for said product to group together.
Pallet conveyor is used to solely move pallets. Due to the standardised pallet sizes, they only come in 1 size and allow all pallets to be conveyed within a single system. You can get pallet conveyor in either gravity roller conveyor, powered roller conveyor, chain conveyor or ball and roller decks.
Goods lifts and vertical conveyors can be used as an alternative to spiral conveyor. These can vary from heavy duty lifts that take trolleys, pallets and other goods that require manual handling – through to single zones of conveyor that rotate to transport products vertically.