For the general public, conveyor systems are just a piece of standard equipment. But things are different for those professionals working in the logistics chain. For them, a world without conveyors would be a world in disarray. Industries would come to a screeching halt, warehouses would be in chaos, and the flow of goods and products would be severely disrupted. These systems are essential for efficiently transporting materials and products in various workplaces, including airports, factories and supermarkets.
However, there is no one-size-fits-all conveyor. Each type has unique characteristics and uses, from the old-school screw conveyor to the ubiquitous belt conveyor. So, if you’re wondering how to make your processes more efficient, buckle up and get ready for a ride through the world of conveyor systems.
Types of Conveyor Systems
Conveyor systems come in different types, each with its own set of applications, advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the most commonly used types of conveyor systems:
- Belt conveyors: These are the most widely used type of conveyor system. They consist of a belt made of rubber, plastic or other materials driven by a motorised pulley. Belt conveyors transport bulk materials such as grains, coal and ore. The devices are easy to install, maintain, and operate. However, they are unsuitable for transporting fragile or small items, such as those manufactured in the electronics or pharmaceutical industries.
- Roller conveyors: Basically, a series of rollers mounted on a frame. They transport heavy items such as pallets, drums and crates. Roller conveyors are ideal for warehouses and distribution centres because they can be customised to fit the available space. They are also easy to maintain and operate. Nevertheless, they require more power than other conveyor system models, which can impact the cost of operation.
- Chain conveyors: These use a chain to transport materials. It is commonly used in the automotive industry to move car parts through the assembly line. Chain conveyors are durable, can handle heavy loads, and are easy to install and maintain. However, they can be noisy and less energy-efficient.
- Screw conveyors: This type of conveyor uses a screw that rotates to move materials along a trough. They move, for instance, powders, granules and pastes. Screw conveyors are quickly and easily installed and maintained. Their use is excellent for transporting materials over long distances but is not appropriate for transporting delicate or little items.
- Overhead conveyors: Used to transport materials overhead, such as in a paint or welding shop. They consist of a track mounted on the ceiling and a trolley moving along the track. Overhead conveyors are ideal for transporting heavy or bulky items. They are also easy to maintain and operate. There is, however, a high initial investment required.
What to Know About Conveyor Maintenance
Regardless of the type of conveyor you use, one thing is for sure: maintenance is crucial for the smooth running of any system. Failing to care for a conveyor system can lead to several negative consequences. Firstly, a poorly maintained conveyor system is more likely to break down, leading to unplanned downtime. This can lead to delays in production and shipping, resulting in lost revenue and dissatisfied customers.
Secondly, conveyor systems that are not properly maintained can pose safety hazards to workers. Loose or worn belts, for example, can cause items to fall off the conveyor and create tripping hazards. If a conveyor system is not regularly inspected and repaired, it can contribute to accidents and injuries.
Thirdly, conveyor systems that are not correctly maintained may not function as well as they should. For example, a dirty or clogged conveyor belt may not move materials as fast as it is supposed to, slowing production and reducing overall efficiency.
Finally, neglecting regular maintenance can lead to more extensive damage to the conveyor system, which can be costly. Preventative maintenance and inspection are essential to keep a conveyor system functioning safely and efficiently.
The Importance of Choosing a Dedicated Maintenance Provider
Choosing a dedicated maintenance provider is essential for ensuring the long-term performance of a conveyor system. Joloda Conveyor Service, for instance, has extensive experience in maintaining conveyor systems of all types and sizes. The company is a subdivision of Joloda Hydraroll. It provides regular maintenance schedules, uses appropriate spare replacement parts, and is available 24/7 to address any issues.
Different industries and applications require specialised conveying systems to transport materials efficiently, safely and cost-effectively. Conveyor systems can be customised to meet the specific needs of each application, and technological advancements continue to expand the range of conveyor options available. By selecting the correct conveyor type, industries can improve their productivity, reduce downtime, increase safety and optimise their operations.