A vertical conveyor is an elevator type lift used to move products from one floor to another. It is often referred to as a freight elevator. The main difference between a freight elevator and a vertical conveyor, however, is that the former can travel between several floors while the latter typically only travels between two. There are often a series of vertical conveyor systems used to access several floors when the need arises to do so.
Often called an elevator, a vertical conveyor is not considered to be an elevator. It does not adhere to the same codes as elevators and is not intended to be transportation for people. These are used solely to transport materials and products from one floor of a manufacturing or storage plant to another. This type of conveyor can be installed as an interior or exterior unit as well as a through floor unit. Unlike an elevator which is cable driven, this type of conveyor is hydraulically actuated.
Often used as an option to alleviate crowded working space, the vertical conveyor system is utilized to move products overhead in manufacturing and shipping companies. By placing a roller or conveyor system in the unused overhead space of a building, products can be moved from location to location within the building in what was previously wasted space. The addition of a vertical conveyor system is equaled to adding another floor to the building at a fraction of the cost. As the products move unrestricted in the overhead space, critical floor space can be better utilized for manufacturing or production tasks.
This overhead system is also optimized for transporting manufactured goods to packaging stations as well as shipping stations within the same building. A system of conveyors can be arranged to move the goods from each location totally unobstructed and with minimal manpower. A single worker manning each conveyor is able to direct the packages to an intended destination. This not only saves on labor costs, it also shaves production costs by speeding the process over conventional material handling methods.
Using conventional material handling methods, goods would be manually transported to a holding area by workers using hand carts and dollies. Once in the holding area, the goods would be stacked on pallets and then wrapped once the pallet was fully loaded. When several pallets were ready, a worker would then move them individually to the next work station. This process would require a great deal of time and space. The vertical conveyor allows the non-stop transportation of goods within the facility, saving countless man hours.