Conveyor systems are generally designed to move large amounts of materials along at a quicker pace and at a fraction of the cost of manual labor. The most well-known type of conveyor system is the conveyor belt. Conveyors are basically commercially used, motorized contraptions that are used to transport material from point A to point B. Most conveyor systems are used in industrial, food processing and agricultural settings to move products such as ore from mines, grain in a feed mill, packages in a warehouse, and items in an assembly line, etc. However, they are also used in various other walks of life.
Conveyors are useful in sorting warehouses such as post offices and courier hubs. They are often used in the loading and unloading of trucks and freighters. Some conveyor systems are also used in such places as supermarkets when the cashier pushes a button to move your groceries closer to the cash register.
Conveyor systems can also transport human beings along and these types of conveyors such as moving sidewalks and escalators are often found in large airports around the world. Of course your luggage is usually also checked in and out at an airport via a conveyor system and most ski hills have one or more conveyors to take people to the top of the ski hills. Magnetic conveyors are used in machine tools to drain the oil and move only the burr.
While most conveyor systems are motorized, there are some types that are still propelled by manual labor. These often consist of workers pulling a rope to move the pulleys which in turn move the belt. You can also use a non motorized conveyor system if it is built on a slope or facing downhill. There are also conveyor systems in which you can push items along them, however, some people may argue that these are technically rollers and not conveyor systems. Most motorized conveyors can be stopped anywhere along the line and can also be reversed. You can usually control the speed on most motorized conveyors as well. To retain the components being conveyed, restraining flaps, slats, etc. are used.
A basic motorized conveyor system usually consists of a belt that continuously moves over top of rotating drums or two end pulleys or a system that is pulled by motors. In a pulley system, the motor is used to turn the pulleys, which moves the belt and the materials on the belt. Most conveyor systems have to be strong and powerful as they are often used to move tremendous amounts of weight. The whole conveyor system therefore needs adequate support and usually a metal stand.
There are various types of types of conveyors systems such as:
- Bucket type, where the material is filled in buckets attached to a conveyor.
- Cart track type, where carts or pallets are pulled by the conveyor.
- Chain type, which is the most common and is used to move components in assembly lines, packaging lines, etc.