The Benefits of Conveyors
Conveyors are used for movement of materials, products and loads throughout a manufacturing or distribution facility. They can be horizontal, inclined or vertical devices. Product transport is powered by gravity or by hydraulic or electric power. Loads ride on rollers or a belt that travels along a fixed path with specific points for loading and unloading. As they enable large volumes of material to be moved rapidly through a process or facility, conveyors reduce staffing costs by speeding up processing. Typical conveyor applications include movement of cases, totes or pallet loads into and out of transport, to and from static or automated storage systems, or from a picking area to packaging for shipping.
There are two primary types of Conveyors. These include:
Gravity conveyor: - The simplest kind, gravity conveyors feature an incline and/or use the force of gravity, or of a person, to push the load along the conveyor surface.
Powered conveyor: Driven by either an electric or pneumatic power system, a powered conveyors’ movement is driven by motors and drives.
Conveyors are used in a variety of areas to move materials throughout a facility:
- Assembly: Moving products through production processes;
- Transportation: Moving pallets, cases and totes throughout a facility;
- Staging: Accumulating and holding items for further processing or packaging;
- Warehousing: Moving products from receiving to storage;
- Order Picking: Moving ordered products from storage to picking areas, and completed orders to trailer-loading area for distribution.
Conveyors provide a variety of benefits:
- Ergonomics – Because they do the work of load movement, conveyors eliminate the chance of operator injury from pushing or pulling a load
- Process flow - Conveyors can be used as a part of an assembly or manufacturing process
- Safety – Because they move loads along a fixed path, conveyors eliminate the chance of collisions associated with forklift or manual product movement
- Speed – Conveyor speed can be set to accommodate slow and peak demand periods
- Transportation – Conveyors facilitate the internal movement of totes, cases or pallet loads throughout a facility with minimal or no labor required
Conveyors provide internal material movement for facilities in nearly every industry, including:
- Consumer goods
- Materials processing
- Warehousing and distribution
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