What are Roller Conveyors, and how are they Used?



A conveyor system is a piece of mechanical equipment used to move material from one point to another in a warehouse. The system allows for efficient and quick movements making it popular in packaging and material handling. Different types of conveyor systems operate differently, but the basic components include a frame that houses rollers and a belt, or wheels from where the material is placed. This guide focuses on how roller conveyor works and where it is used in a warehouse.


How Does A Roller Conveyor Work?


From the name, a roller conveyor involves a set of rollers used to carry the load. The rollers (mostly metal cylinders) are spaced to allow the material to slide across its surface. The system can be powered by a small motor or use gravity. The latter is unsurprisingly beneficial because it doesn’t require any energy to move material. It is also friendly to the environment.


Elements of a Roller Conveyor System


A complete conveyor system features three main components:


  • The Frame: This is the metal housing and legs from where the rollers are supported. The most common material of construction is steel, as it is big on sturdiness.


  • Driving Unit: Can be gravity or motor-powered. For the latter case, the power requirements largely depend on the load weight and speed desired.


  • Safety Details: To effectively monitor the load and communicate accordingly, gravity roller manufacturers add specific safety devices such as sensors and stops.


Types of Roller Conveyors


Rollers conveyors come in several designs. The most common ones are powered and gravity conveyors. Others include the belt-driven versions which utilize motorized belts to move each roller. The chain-driven conveyor looks like the belt-driven type except that it uses a chain, rather than belts to power the rollers.


Applications of Roller Conveyor Systems


In a typical warehouse, a gravity roller conveyor is used in many applications. These include the following:


  • Material Reception and Dispatch: From receiving raw materials to dispatching finished products, a roller conveyor has plenty of uses in the reception/dispatch department. It is often utilized to deposit boxes or pallets waiting to be unpackaged or during automatic loading/unloading.


  • To Link Two Warehouse Zones: When a connection is required between two related warehouses in a single building, several circuits can be built with roller conveyors.


  • To Overcome Height Difference Within A Building: Roller conveyor systems can also connect two floors.


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