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Conveyors. By Scott Wood Ryan Huff October 31, 2007. Introduction Definition As an engineer, consider: Types(400) (Applications/capabilities/programming/etc) Costs Applications Example/Problem Summary References. Introduction.

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Scott Wood

Ryan Huff

October 31, 2007

    • Definition
  • As an engineer, consider:
    • Types(400)
      • (Applications/capabilities/programming/etc)
      • Costs
      • Applications
  • Example/Problem
  • Summary
  • References
  • Conveyor- a mechanized device used to move materials in relatively large quantities between specific locations over a fixed path. (Dr. Red)
  • There are over 400 types of conveyors we are only going to discuss 7 of the most common conveyors that can relate to all others.
as an engineer consider
As an engineer consider:
  • Different types of conveyors
  • Different applications
  • Different limits

A roller track for a storage rack or roller conveyor, comprising a wall arrangement, and a longitudinally-extending array of freely rotatable roller units supported on the wall for supportive engagement with a load, the roller units being disposed for rotation about generally parallel horizontal axes which are horizontally spaced along a longitudinally-extending conveying direction, each roller unit including an annular roller housing supported through an annular array of antifriction bearing elements on a support spindle for rotation about the respective horizontal axis.

  • Most common are free floating, no mechanical or electrical system used
  • $60-$1000
  • Can safely go up to 60 fpm (depending on size of material)
  • Up to 25,000 lbs (for most depends on support and material used)
  • No real restrictions on volume of objects used on conveyor
  • Roller conveyors are one of the most common conveyors used in industry because they are inexpensive, simple to use and can vary depending on the needs of the business.
  • Chain-A conveyor on which material is transported along solid pans by the scraping action of crossbars that are connected by chains.
    • Chain conveyors use belts or rollers to move objects
    • Can handle loads of up 20,000 lbs
    • Speeds of up to 60 fpm, but depend on size of object, for safety reasons
    • Relay logic and pneumatic control devices used to control and program the chain
    • Costs range from $2000-$60,000 (depending on amount of control logic needed)

Portable conveyors are used primarily for applications involving mobility and space is a high priority.

  • Portable conveyors are very versatile
  • Loads of up to 1000lbs (depends on the angle)
  • Can fold up 5-10ft and extend up to 17ft
  • Have multiple capabilities depending on need.
  • These are more common for small scale production, where use is temporary.

Vibrating conveyor’s operation is typically based on the natural frequency principle. At the natural frequency, the conveyor will vibrate indefinitely with only a small energy input. Once the drive initiates the conveyor's vibration, the supporting springs, by alternately storing and releasing most of the required energy, help maintain constant motion under the conveyed load.

  • Depending on the frequency and the size of the object can reach speeds as high as 35 fpm
  • No programming is needed, uses an on or off system to control it
  • Can handle objects <1 - 90lbs
  • Can handle various sizes and shapes
  • Used in pharmaceutical and mining industries
screw spiral

Spiral conveyors are used mainly for heating, cooling or accumulation

Screw conveyors use a rotating screw in a channel or tube to move material

  • Primarily run on a continuous motor that is simply on or off
  • Costs range from $500-30,000
  • Sizes up to 48” diameter tubing and can stack as high as 50 ft
  • Used in the pharmaceutical, food, and manufacturing industries
  • Useful for accumulation, drying, or moving vertically in a small space

Conveyor belts are used in a wide variety of material transport applications such as manufacturing, food processing, and heavy industry.

Commercial applications include:

  • Agriculture
  • Construction - heavy building materials
  • Food and beverage processing
  • Forestry - logging, sawmill, paper pulp, etc.
  • Mining and quarrying
  • Factory production line

Belt Width ranges from 12” to 120”

Belt Speeds determined by loads and speed required. Ex: Bushels/hr dictates size.

Prices range from $500 to $30k or more for custom applications. Depends mainly on Length, Width, and Speed


Overhead Conveyor Systems are typically used to convey unit loads in a variety of industrial applications, such as:

  • Painting - Electrostatic, powder coating, fluidized bed, dip and conventional spray.
  • Washing - Parts and dunnage.
  • Oven - Pre-heat, baking, drying, flash off and curing.
  • Transporting - Products between work stations or plant operations to maximize floor space and increase efficiency.
  • Storage - Finished Goods, raw materials, work in process, and tooling.

Speeds can range from 3 fpm to 60 fpm and more based on application.

Capacities per unit load range from 30 lbs to 1200 lbs (based on load connector type).

Unit spacing should be taken into account when determining length and operating capacity (varies by connector type).

Cost is determined by unit load, speed/motor size, and length. Price ranges from $30 per foot to $100 per foot.

new high tech innovations

New/High Tech Innovations

A recirculating conveyor has a total length of 300 m. Its speed is 60m/min, and the spacing of part carriers along its length is 12 m. Each carrier can hold two parts. The task time required to load two parts into each carrier is 0.20 min and the unload time is the same. The required loading and unloading rates are both defined by the specified flow rate, which is 4 parts/min. Evaluate the conveyor system design with respect to the Speed Rule based on Kwo’s principles.



The lower limit on speed is set by the required loading and unloading rates, which is 4 parts/min.

npvc/sc > Max {RL, RU}

(2 parts/carrier)(60m/min)/(12m/carrier)=10 parts/min > 4parts/min

The lower limit

(60m/min)/(12m/carrier)= 5 carriers/min <Min{1/(0.2),1/(0.2)} =Min{5,5}=5

The Speed Rule is satisfied.

major venders
Major Venders
  • Hytrol Conveyor Company ( all sorts of conveyors, does well with rollers and skate wheels)
  • Multi-Conveyor (manufactures for many different company types)
  • Titan Industries (custom made conveyors)
  • New London Engineering (has a wide variety of exchangeable conveyors)
  • Dorner Conveyors (primarily a belt company)
  • Ryson International (new and high tech conveyor types)
  • Conveyors are very versatile and can be an inexpensive way to move things
    • Rollers- are cheap and can move heavy objects
    • Chain- are more expensive but can do more complicated tasks
    • Portable- can be useful for small applications and are easy to store
    • Vibrating- useful for moving lots of small parts or things that are misshaped
    • Screw/Spiral- are useful for accumulation, drying, and moving things vertically in a small amount of space
    • Belt- are the most common type of conveyors and are very versatile
    • Overhead- take up less room than other conveyors and can deliver vertically