Conveyor functions are as varied as the applications they complete. Conveyors for discrete product transport benefit from customization to satisfy requirements — including chain and belt size, morphology and material; support frames; controller, drive, and motor or motors; mode of engagement with the drive; encoder, vision, and switch feedback; tracks, bumpers, and gates; and HMIs and plant-level IT integration.
Consider warehouse automation where the objective is ultra-fast sorting and tracking. Such applications need conveyors with servomotor functionality integrated with inspection stations fitted with machine vision. Or consider pharmaceutical manufacturing — now a trillion-dollar industry, even while standards such as FDA CGMP regulations are more stringent than ever. Here, conveyors must deliver top-notch warehouse automation functions and have stainless and aluminum parts to pose no risk of contamination to expensive pharmaceutical products such as pills. Likewise, medical-device manufacture must adhere to FDA regulations that dictate equipment-sterilization schedules so conveyors in these applications withstand harsh washdowns.
In the conveyor installment of Design World’s MC² we’ve written and collected more than a dozen references that detail these and other types of material handling with conveyors. Check it out.
Technical summary of industrial material-handling options
Conveyors are automated tracks that move bulk material or discrete products from one area to another. They’re the backbone of myriad material-handling applications to improve efficiency and throughput.
What are pallet conveyors?
Pallet conveyors transfer discrete products on carriers referred to as pallets typically transported by belt, roller chain, flat-top chain, or for extremely high loads, powered rollers.
What is pitch in the context of conveyors?
Roller chains are one of the most common types of transport media for conveying systems. While they’re available in many designs and variations to meet different application requirements, they all have one thing in common.
Differences between conventional belting and plastic modular belting
Plastic modular belting has transformed manufacturing. Understanding the differences between it and synthetic fabric belting can help engineers plan and determine the most suitable conveyor for a given application.
Power and free conveyors are designed for manufacturing environments where products need to be transported in a non-linear fashion — that is, where materials aren’t necessarily delivered in the order they were loaded or at the same pace. Traditional “linear” conveyors, on the other hand, lack the flexibility to handle manufacturing environments where different production processes run at different cadences or where various materials have different flow paths.
Five conveyor trends — including new materials, drives, and pallet-carrying variations
As technologies develop and factories get leaner and smarter, so does the conveyor. Big, bulky conveyors with oversized drive rolls and large industrial motors and rubberized belts are relics of a bygone era.
mk North America offers the most comprehensive selection of standard and custom engineered conveying solutions in the industry. From off-the-shelf to modified standard designs and truly one-of-a-kind custom conveyors, mk can build a solution for you. Founded in 1988 mk North America is located in Bloomfield, CT.