Conveyor engineering is the development and implementation of conveyor systems for moving materials in industrial and commercial settings. Some firms may specialize in handling particular types of products, like bulk materials or packages, while others can install systems designed to address a range of issues. Consultants may offer ongoing support after a system is installed for the benefit of clients who may need to repair, retrofit, or enlarge their conveyor systems to met changing needs. Companies offering conveyor products are typically found in regions where there is a high demand for industrial engineering services.
In this branch of engineering, technicians work with clients to determine the needs of a system and figure out the best way to meet them. Conveyor engineering can start with a conversation about what a company needs to move, and how it is handling it currently. If an existing facility is already in place, technicians may need to work within limitations to design and configure a system. This can include replacing systems with a minimum of downtime to allow a factory to keep running while working on the conveyor system.
Entirely new systems can also be built from the ground up. A conveyor engineering consultant can work with a design firm to develop a building that will accommodate a custom conveyor system and create room for expansion. Systems can be built into facilities like mail handling warehouses, where materials move down a conveyor for sorting. Technicians can also work on projects like portable conveyor systems to take to job sites or use at temporary installations.
Numerous systems including belts, chains, rollers, and scoops can be used in conveyor engineering. The designer needs to consider the current needs of the system and future expansions that might occur. This can include building conveyors to handle larger and heavier loads than a company currently deals with, to reduce the risk of failure as the firm expands operations. Conveyors may need to be rugged and able to withstand hard conditions that may include chemical exposure, dust storms, and very high weights.
Some jobs can require working within an existing conveyor system. A specialist in conveyor engineering can address health and safety issues along with the needs of a facility to determine how to retrofit a conveyor to make it work more effectively. This may include activities like adding shields and guards to prevent worker entrapment, or adding modules to a conveyor to allow it to carry goods along a greater distance.