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What Is a Conveyor System?

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  • Written By: B. Turner
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 02 November 2016
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A conveyor system includes one or more mechanical devices used to move goods from one area to another. These systems play a key role in many types of industrial and manufacturing processes, where they may be used during production or storage of products. A conveyor system may also be used in packing, shipping, and transportation facilities. Companies can choose from many types of systems, depending on the type of product and how far it needs to be transported.

Standard conveyor belts are one of the most widely-used conveyor system devices. These belts carry goods along an assembly line, where machines or laborers manufacture or inspect each component. For heavy goods, a roller made from steel bars may be used in lieu of a standard belt system. Vibrating trays and roller beds can also act as a conveyor system for everything from rocks and minerals to food products. As they carry a product, they also vibrate to sort or screen unwanted materials.

Very large industrial and mining companies may rely on a track- or rail-based conveyor system. These systems use carts or trains to carry heavy materials like rocks or metal. At the opposite end of the spectrum, pneumatic or vacuum conveyors can be used to transport very fine products like oats, powder, or chemicals. Vertical or spiral conveyors take products up or down from different levels within a building, while horizontal conveyors operate on a single level in most applications.

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One of the primary advantages associated with using a conveyor system is the ability to quickly and efficiently transport heavy or high-volume goods. These devices are much safer than relying on human labor to lift heavy objects, and can operate much more quickly than humans when it comes to moving hundreds or thousands of smaller components. Many systems are also highly customizable, and can be designed or modified to meet the demands of each facility.

Companies have many factors to consider when choosing a conveyor system. Each system must be powerful enough to easily transport heavy or high-volume products, yet delicate enough to avoid damage to the products or the machines themselves. Buyers should also consider the maintenance requirements and durability of each system. In many manufacturing applications, downtime can have a significant impact on production and profit. Proper lubrication, alignment, and adjustment can help to reduce downtime, thereby allowing the company to meet its production goals.

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