Conveyor Systems | Boise

Conveyors can greatly improve the efficiency and productivity of your warehouse while reducing labor costs.

Raymond West is the premiere warehouse automation supplier in the Treasure Valley.

To speak with an automation expert, give us a call today at (800) 675-2500

AS/RS systems and conveyors can elevate the efficiency of your warehouse, improve warehouse safety and meaningfully reduce labor expenses.

Conveyors can move everything from heavy pallets to small packages within your material handling system and they are a fundamental component of contemporary material handling design.

Conveyors fall into three different categories for the vast majority of material handling configurations:

  • Powered roller or belt systems (for package handling).
  • Powered chain or roller conveyors (for pallet handling).
  • Non-powered conveyor systems

Powered Package Handling Roller or Belt Conveyors

Powered belt or roller systems are frequently used for smaller pieces like cartons and packages.

Belts are generally used for advancing products along a line, while roller systems are employed for accumulating packages in certain areas along the line.

Belt Conveyors

Invented more than a century ago, belt systems are a staple of many material handling systems. Lower cost than roller options and frequently more appropriate for specific functions like advancing lightweight items, belt systems have a place in most material handling layouts.

Conveyor belts feature a long, looped belt that is positioned on the top of a series of non-powered rollers on a metal substructure called a slider belt. A motor drives a pulley that turns the belt and advances products down the conveyor line.

Conveyor belts can be made of a range of surfaces and materials in accordance with the purpose and role of the conveyor. For instance, a conveyor belt surface may be perfectly smooth in areas where items need to glide off the line and may have a gripping surface on segments where products must be moved up inclines.

Roller Conveyors

Despite the long and successful history of belt conveyors, newer roller conveyors feature a host of more useful benefits in many modern material handling uses.

Most importantly, roller configurations can enable accumulation of items on the line where belt systems can not. This is a meaningful contrast because there are countless scenarios where products must decelerate and accumulate in material handling applications. Common situations where accumulation is important are when products must be paused before being relayed to sorters or palletizers.

Many roller conveyor systems also have the ability to track objects on the line and utilize zero pressure accumulation, meaning none of the accumulating objects come into contact as they slow down and come to stop.

Roller conveyors are comprised of several cylinder rollers that are generally set up in one of three different ways:.

  • Line-shaft conveyors: in a line shaft conveyor, a long steel shaft runs underneath the cylinders perpendicular to them and is attached to each roller with rubber O-rings. A drive mechanism rotates the shaft, and accordingly rotates the cylinders via the attached O-rings. Line-shaft conveyors are the most cost efficient of all roller style conveyors, but they can also demand the most repair because the connections between the rollers and the shaft need frequent readjustment and occasionally fail.
  • Belt-driven roller conveyors: As the name suggests, these systems are powered by a belt that sits beneath the roller platform. A motor propels the belt, which advances the cylinders.
  • MDR conveyors: Motorized roller conveyors, sometimes called motor-driven roller (MDR) systems, are set up in sections where a single cylinder from each section is powered by it's own drive mechanism. That solitary motor-driven roller is joined to the others in that section by way of plastic O-rings, thereby powers all the cylinders in the section. MDR sections are positioned in sequence to configure the conveyor line.
    Motorized roller conveyors are known for their energy efficiency because: a.) they generally are powered by 24V direct current motors and b.) the electric motors are set up to run only when an object is detected on the roller cylinders, meaning they are idle much of the time.
    Although motorized roller conveyers cost more than belt drive and line-shaft systems, electricity expenses and maintenance expenses are generally quite a bit lower than the other types of conveyors.
  • Segmented belt conveyor: the design of motor driven roller systems ultimately begat the development of segmented belt conveyors. Similar to MDR conveyors, segmented belts are powered individually and offer many of the same advantages of MDRs, including accumulation capabilities.

Powered Pallet Handling Conveyors

Powered pallet-handling conveyors are many times paired with automatic palletizers and AS/RS setups. Pallet handling conveyors can typically deal with pallets of up to 2 tons and run at a much slower rate than carton handling systems, often at speeds as low as four pallets per minute.

Pallet-handling conveyors come in two types: chain conveyors and roller conveyors.

  • Pallet-handling chain conveyor: perhaps the simplest of all conveyor systems, pallets on a chain conveyor line are positioned directly on two or more lengths of heavy duty chain. A drive mechanism advances the chain segments which in turn move the pallets along the line.
  • Pallet-handling roller conveyor: comparable to motor driven roller systems, pallet handling roller configurations use large cylinders and sturdy chains to link the powered roller to the remaining rollers in a conveyor unit.

Non-Powered Conveyors

Skatewheel or roller conveyors are the most prevalent types of non-powered conveyors used in material handling. Non-powered rollers or skatewheels use inertia and gravity to advance smaller loads though pick modules, warehouses, workstations, automated sorters, loading docks and package sorting areas.

Skatewheel systems are comprised of many individual wheels and need very little power to sustain the inertia of items as they move down a conveyor line. As a rule, they propel products quicker than non-powered roller conveyors and they have more versatility when it comes to configuration. Given that they're individual wheels in contrast to a belt, they may be used in curved sections of a conveyor system.

In general non-powered roller configurations are not as expensive as skatewheel conveyor configurations. They are frequently utilized for pick modules, workstations, and other areas where it's beneficial to have a level platform to perform tasks. Roller systems may also be utilized to decelerate items that originate from faster moving systems like sorters so that employees can keep pace with conveyor output.

Non-powered systems have a serious handicap compared to powered conveyors: by using gravity and inertia to move materials you forego the option to regulate the force applied to those items. In other words, you don't have influence on the inertia and speed of products on your conveyor line.

Conveyor System Engineering In Boise

If you 'd like a complete evaluation of conveyor system possibilities for your storage facility, distribution center or other material handling operation, you can contact a professional at Raymond West by calling (800) 675-2500.

Raymond West's Boise service center serves most of Idaho, including Boise, Nampa, Meridian, Idaho Falls, Caldwell, Pocatello, Twin Falls, Post Falls and surrounding areas.

Raymond West | Boise Material Handling Equipment Supplier

743 W McGregor Ct #100
Boise, ID 83705
(800) 675-2500