What Is an Industrial Conveyor?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari
Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

Various manufacturing companies often require the use of an industrial conveyor within a factory or warehouse. This piece of machinery is used to transport materials or objects from one fixed location to another within a certain space. The specific function of the industrial conveyor can vary significantly according to the types of goods or materials it is designed to move. Some conveyors are powered by electric motors, while others are unpowered entirely and require an operator to move items along the system. Some systems are even portable and can be broken down quickly and easily for transport.

One of the most recognizable industrial conveyor types is the belt conveyor. This system uses a rubberized belt wrapped around a series of rollers, some of which are connected to a motor that turns the rollers. The turning rollers then move the belt, which can transport heavy or bulky items along a track. The belt must be tensioned properly to ensure it moves smoothly along the track and does not get caught on any components within the system. Sometimes the rubberized belt is replaced with a metal chain belt or with a plastic belt. The best industrial conveyor belt really depends on the intended application.

Another type of industrial conveyor is the auger conveyor. This system features a large screw or auger contained within a chamber. As the auger turns, fine particulate matter such as soil or even grains can be propelled forward along the length of the system. This is a very efficient way of moving fine particles from one area to another, but the system must be laid out in a straight line because the auger itself must be straight. Systems that are required to run around corners or in other non-linear fashions usually employ a drag chain system.

Instead of containing an auger, the chamber will contain a long chain or cable to which discs are secured. These discs will be pulled by the chain through the chamber; in between each disc, fine particulate matter can be loaded and pulled along through the system. There will be little or no clearance between the discs and the side walls of the chamber, thereby preventing the materials from backsliding. The discs will therefore need to be made from a durable material that can withstand the constant friction of being pulled along through the tube or chamber. Chains are preferred over cables for this system because they have less of a tendency to stretch out or otherwise break down.

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