Welcome to this installment of MC² on Conveyors!

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. 

Lisa Eitel

Executive editor, Design World

Conveyor Classroom Sponsored by


Applications •  Pallet Conveyors •  Pitch •  Belting

Differences between conventional belting and plastic modular belting

Technical summary of industrial material-handling options

What is pitch in the context of conveyors?

What are pallet conveyors?

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.

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.

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.

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 are precision-link conveyors? Summary of one type of transfer system

Precision-link conveyors index components with high accuracy, speed, and quality to give manufacturers a way to make assemble, mark, weld, and manufacturing operations more efficient.

Conveyor and material-handling trends (a Motion Trends report)

Conveyors are at the heart of an array of exciting changes in material handling — from the vast installations of automated warehousing to humbler stations only recently automated. 

Power and free conveyors: Where do they excel?

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.


Automation •  Chain-on-edge •  Boost Production •  Knife Edge Conveyor

Conveyors help medical-product manufacturer package + store product

Conveyors with backlighting + robotics automate outlet production

What are chain-on-edge conveyors and where are they used?

What is a knife edge conveyor?

Now, a production line centered around conveyors from QC Conveyors is helping one medical-device manufacturer boost production of sterile product.

Michigan-based Byrne Electrical Specialists designs and manufactures power and data technologies for office, teaching, and hospitality environments.

Conveyors are the backbone of many factories, moving parts and materials through assembly or processing stations via chains, rollers, belts, or pallets.

A knife edge conveyor is a uniquely designed conveyor section used in transferring small parts between sections.

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. 

Conveyor Belt Motors

Reliability and fantastic service are critical in industrial applications where production and processing facilities can often run 24/7. 


The smooth running of any warehouse or factory operation depends on raw, component and finished materials being processed efficiently and safely and getting this right can help a business gain a real competitive advantage. Download this PDF for more information.

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