Can Roller Conveyors Do All This Stuff?

By: Simon Stylles

Roller Conveyors forms an integral part of any industry be it construction, food packaging, waste recycling or warehousing. They are available in two basic types, either powered or unpowered. The latter relies upon gravity to move the load.
The concept of the Gravity Roller conveyor has been around since the beginnings of recorded history. It is thought that the roller technique was used in the construction of the Pyramids and Stonehenge, amongst other things. Whilst the principle remains the same, modern designs have refined the system considerably since prehistoric times!!
Roller conveyors are ideal for transporting dry, solid items with a low centre of gravity (e.g. cannot topple) and a flat base, with no protrusions. (e.g. nothing to 'jam' between conveyor rollers). The items will experience a small amount of vibration as they pass from roller to roller.
The kind of items they are not suitable for include Very small objects, or those with an irregular shape, that could jam 'between' conveyor rollers. Also problems occur with items that have a high centre of gravity, or a narrow base, which could topple as they pass from one conveyor roller to the next.
Of course wet, sticky, or semi-solid items such as clay, bread dough, Liquids, powders, aggregates are also unsuitable for roller conveyors. For such kind of materials, Chain Drive rollers are the best option.
A major attraction of roller conveyors in general is the low capital cost, combined with negligible maintenance cost. Short of an all-out attack by a fork-lift truck or similar, there is very little that can go wrong with them. Individual components - such as the rollers - can be easily and cheaply replaced in the event of accidental damage.
Gravity Roller Conveyors are available at a varied price range depending upon the bed used. Plastic bed rollers are cheaper than the mild steel, galvanized steel or the stainless steel roller beds. The usage depends upon the sort of load and usage you require, and on what environment you wish to operate the machine in.
Roller Conveyors can be set at any angle of slope and at any height as per the requirement. They are usually custom built as no industry needs are alike. They can also be fitted with variable-height feet to allow both adjustment of overall height, as well as minor adjustments to slope angle. For larger adjustments, the units can be fitted with variable-angle legs, or even telescopic legs.
When loads are required to move against the gravity, Chain Roller Conveyors or Power Conveyors replaces the Gravity Conveyors. LineShaft-Drive roller conveyors are used for lightweight (up to 20Kg or so) packages. By the means of rubberized bands, the drive shaft in the power roller conveyor provides an interesting feature of 'Accumulation which allows a package to stop at any place in the Conveyor without stopping other packages to move. Hence packages can gradually "accumulate" at the end of the conveyor, awaiting human intervention or automatic transfer to another conveyor etc.
Finally, for heavier loads still then chain drive roller conveyors can be used. The principles are the same but, as the name suggests, chains are used to provide a more heavy duty drive mechanism.

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