When choosing a conveyor type to suit your project, there are many things you should consider. Each item is important and can have an impact on the conveyor choice. To make the best selection for your operation, consider Conveying and Hoisting Solutions.
The following criteria for selection.
- Product Specifications
When choosing a conveyor, the most important thing is the product specification. Let’s begin with the basics of product specifications.
The product’s length, width, height, and weight will be determined. These dimensions will affect conveyor specifications like conveyor width, roller centers, and guide rail specifications.
It is also important to determine the product’s weight. Many aspects of conveyor selection will be determined by the product’s weight. If you’re using a plastic chain conveyor to transport your product, the product weight will dictate how many curves can fit on one conveyor. The product weight of a roller conveyor will determine the roller diameter and gauge requirements. The motor size for your conveyor will also be affected by the product weight.
There are many types of products and each product conveys something different. A live roller conveyor that is driven by a chain may be the best choice if you have a wooden pallet. A large plastic chain conveyor might be better for pallets that are plastic-footed.
- Accumulation Requirements
When selecting a conveyor, it is important to consider the requirements for accumulation. Accumulation is an important requirement in a production environment. It is essential to reduce downtime when equipment like a palletize is down. Also, consider the product information when assessing your accumulation requirements. If you have to accumulate 300 feet worth of cases before you can palletize, then a zero pressure accumulation system is the best option to prevent excessive backpressure.
- Guide Rails
Although guide rails are a great addition to conveyors, they can cause problems if not chosen properly. Although guide rails may not be required in all cases, they can cause problems if placed in the right place. Guide rails in curved areas can pose problems on the conveyor. You should always ensure that you have the proper spacing between rails to allow the product to flow around curves. A curve requires more width than a straight.
Some products are not compatible with the guide rail. Special attention should be paid to how the guide rail is designed to accommodate these products. A bag or pouch with the liquid cheese, for example, is flexible. Instead of hitting the guide rail and reacting like a hard case, it will easily wrap around the rail. If the guide rail system has not been properly designed, the product can jam under the rail or turn the product’s orientation.
- Wash down requirements
The price and construction of a conveyor can have a significant impact on its cost. Mild steel or aluminum bolted conveyor is sufficient for most warehouse environments. However, many industries require stainless steel conveyors to be safe.
Conveyor Wash down Tips
Water Pressure some wash down environments only need to withstand low-pressure cleaning while others must withstand high-pressure water. Items such as motors must be rated to withstand high-pressure water.
Cleaning chemicals: Make sure you look at the washing process and determine the chemical makeup of the cleaning agents. Some wash downs only require water and mild detergent. Others may use chlorine or chemicals like bleach. Make sure you check the compatibility of your conveyor materials with the chemicals. Acetyl plastic, a common material in plastic chain conveyors, can be damaged by high levels of chlorine.
Conveyor Construction Requirements
Conveyor construction is an important component of passing inspections in high-level wash down environments such as those found in the food or dairy industries. While some wash down environments permit bolted construction, others require that overlapping surfaces and bolted surfaces be mounted on stands offs. Some wash down requirements do not permit bolted construction and may require that frames be welded. The chain and belt are another important part of conveyor construction. Plastic chain conveyor is common in wash down applications. However, if you are handling raw meats or cheese, the plastic chain may not work due to USDA requirements. An endless belt without joints should be used.
- Environment Conditions
When selecting a conveyor, environmental conditions are often overlooked or not explored. It is crucial to know the environment in which your conveyor will be installed. If you handle metal parts, for example, you might have cutting oil residues or metal machining shavings that get into your conveyor. This could cause malfunctions.
A leaking bottle can also occur when you handle bottles that are liquid-containing. If the bottle leaks the contents can be transferred to the conveyor, causing the product to slip or causing malfunctions in the drive system if it is not designed for the environment.
- Product Transfer Requirements
The transfer of product from and to a conveyor system is one of its most critical areas. There are many types of product transfers: dead plates, gravity rollers, and powered transfers. A transfer is not necessary if you’re transferring a 24-inch-long case from roller conveyors to roller conveyors, for example. A powered transfer might be required if the product has a short footprint.
- Requirements for Incline/Decline
Floor space is becoming more valuable as the industry grows. Often, products will need to be able to move to other floors or overtake existing equipment. If the conveyor isn’t chosen, elevation change can lead to serious problems. A 24-inch square, the 40-pound case will not be able to incline at 80° on a slider bed conveyor. You may need a spiral conveyor.
There are many types of incline/decline conveyors available, including belted conveyors with different materials, plastic chain conveyors with high-friction inserts, and spiral conveyors. It is always a good idea to test the product before making a decision about which conveyors to use. These are just a few of the important things to keep in mind when choosing a conveyor design for a project.