Zero Pressure Accumulation Conveyors
Zero-pressure accumulation conveyors consist of rollers divided into zones that drop in sequence as products accumulate.
The system uses a flat, narrow belt or padded chain as the drive mechanism, raised or lowered by pneumatic actuators to apply drive pressure to rollers and move product. Before a product runs into an accumulated item downstream, the pneumatic actuators release air to lower the drive mechanism and remove pressure on rollers to allow the item to coast to a stop.
The ideal zero-pressure accumulation conveyor lets off the drive pressure to the rollers early enough to prevent any side-by-sides, jams or product damage, but late enough to remove all air gaps from a line of accumulated items. In a zero-pressure accumulation conveyor system, items coast to a stop and contact the next downstream item. After accumulation, there should be no driving pressure on accumulated items, hence the term “zero-pressure” accumulation.
Zero-pressure accumulation conveyors often operate in distribution and fulfillment facilities where the product mix consists of a wide range of sizes and weights. This variable product mix means that any back pressure during accumulation could cause sideby–sides, which may lead to downstream operational problems. Within these operations, zero-pressure accumulation conveyors are often positioned before and after sortation systems, feeding merges and also leading to shipping docks. In these applications, high throughput rates and smooth product flow are critical to keep high-speed sorters continually supplied and meeting daily shipping demands.
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(Information courtesy of Modern Material Handling)