Warehouse Conveyors 101: Key Knowledge
Warehouse conveyors have been an essential component for maximizing efficiencies in modern material handling systems for decades. As technology continues to grow, with the use of important tools like automation and robotics, the need for versatile conveyors of all types has become increasingly important.
The material handling industry has produced many different types of conveyors ranging in style and application. Each operation comes with its own unique needs depending on overall layout and purpose. Modern warehouse conveyors have been engineered and designed to handle all kinds of different setups and arrangements to fit lucidly with the package movement goals of the warehouse.
The main types of warehouse conveyors used today are either powered, belt or roller systems, or non-powered conveyors, usually as a skate wheel or rollers. These main two types of warehouse conveyors come in many different variants, as we will touch on some of the differences and details here.
Powered Warehouse Conveyors
Powered warehouse conveyors are the most common systems used for handling relatively small packages. They either come as a belt driven or roller system. The kind you choose depends on the goal you have in the movement of product. Belt driven systems are ideal for transporting products, as rollers are best suited for handling accumulation of packages. Size and application of your products helps to determine the best fit as well.
Typically, belt driven warehouse conveyors will benefit your operation best if you need something with a stable surface that is versatile enough to handle different products. Belted warehouse conveyors can also be run on an incline or decline, to move product to other levels of the warehouse.
On the other hand, powered roller conveyors come in handy when you want to accumulate product to store for a certain amount of time, which can then be released into sorters or other organizational systems like palletizers. This is why you see them so widely used in many modern warehouse facilities, because it gives you some control over prioritizing product movement.
Non-Powered Warehouse Conveyors
The other main type of warehouse conveyors are considered non-powered. Conveniently, as the name suggests, they use no power to move the product, and instead rely on the laws of physics to keep everything moving. You may commonly see non-powered warehouse conveyors used to assist moving product into trucks, or as a means to move product coming out of sorters to be moved to another area or pick modules.
The two major variants of these systems as mentioned are either skate wheel or roller conveyors. Skate wheels are built for maintaining the speed of moving products. They are engineered to fit nicely with curved sections of conveyor, as each wheel operates independent from all others. Non-powered rollers are best suited for pick modules or employee workstations since they provide a means to slow the product down as it comes from high speed sorters.
Warehouse conveyors do not come in once size fits all packages or applications. We have barely scratched the surface without getting into more technical details and variants that exist with powered and non-powered warehouse conveyors. We invite you to bookmark our page and check back on the next article that will go into further detail, and discuss other applications in which conveyors can be used.
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