Conveyor Systems | Long Beach
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 Long Beach area.
To speak with an automation expert, give us a call today at (562) 444-1222.
AS/RS systems and conveyors can boost the productivity of your warehouse, strengthen safety practices and substantially lower human resource costs.
Modern conveyors can move both individual cartons and entire pallets throughout your facility and they are a fundamental piece of contemporary material handling design.
Conveyors fall into three separate categories for most material handling operations:
- Powered belt or roller systems (for carton handling).
- Powered chain or roller conveyor systems (for pallet handling).
- Non-powered conveyor systems
Powered Package Handling Roller or Belt Conveyors
Powered belt or roller systems are often used for less bulky pieces like cartons and packages.
Belts are usually used for moving cartons along a line, while roller conveyers are used for collecting packages in certain areas along the line.
In use since the early 1900's, conveyor belts are an indispensable piece of most material handling configurations. Less expensive than roller conveyors and frequently better suited to specific functions like moving lighter weight items, conveyor belts are used in many material handling configurations.
Conveyor belts utilize 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. Motor driven pulleys turn the belt and move products down the conveyor line.
Belts are configured with a range of materials and surfaces in accordance with the function and role of the conveyor. To illustrate, a belt surface might be perfectly smooth in portions where items need to be pushed off the line and may have a ridged texture on segments where items must be advanced up gradients.
Although belt conveyors are time-tested workhorses, newer roller systems offer a number of more useful benefits in many modern material handling uses.
First and foremost, roller configurations can allow for accumulation of objects on the line where belt configurations can not. This is a meaningful distinction because there are endless scenarios where products must hold and accumulate in material handling configurations. Accumulation is often necessary when items must be temporarily halted before being forwarded to sorters or palletizers.
Advanced roller conveyors also have the capacity to track items on the line and implement zero pressure accumulation, meaning none of the accumulating objects directly touch as they decelerate and come to stop.
Roller conveyors are comprised of several cylinder rollers that are typically controlled in one of three different ways:.
- Line-shaft conveyors: in a line shaft system, a long tubular rod runs underneath the rollers at a right angle to them and is attached to each cylinder with rubber O-rings. A drive mechanism turns the shaft, and consequently rotates the rollers by way of the attached O-rings. Line-shaft configurations are the most cost efficient of all roller style conveyors, but they can also demand the most service because the connections between the shaft and rollers need frequent readjustment and often break.
- Belt-driven roller conveyors: As you may expect, these conveyors are driven by a belt that lies underneath the roller platform. A motor drives the belt, which propels the rollers.
- MDR conveyors: Motorized roller conveyors, sometimes called motor-driven roller (MDR) conveyors, are configured in segments where only one roller from each section is powered by it's own motor. That solitary powered cylinder is linked to the adjacent rollers in that section via rubber O-rings, and therefore powers all the cylinders in the section. MDR units are placed in sequence to configure the conveyor line.
MDR conveyors are very energy efficient for a couple of reasons: a.) they usually are powered by 24 volt DC motors and b.) the motors can be set up to run only when an object is detected on the rollers, meaning they are motionless much of the time.
Although the cost of MDR conveyors is higher than line-shaft and belt drive rollers, electricity costs and service expenses are usually quite a bit lower than the other types of conveyors.
- Segmented belt conveyor: the concept of MDR conveyors ultimately inspired the birth of segmented belt conveyors. Similar to MDR systems, segmented belts function as discrete independent units and feature a lot of the same benefits of MDRs, including accumulation capacity.
Powered Pallet Handling Conveyors
Powered pallet-handling conveyors are frequently coupled with automatic palletizers and AS/RS setups. Pallet handling conveyors can generally accommodate pallets of up to 2 tons and run at a much slower pace than carton handling conveyors, sometimes at speeds of just a few pallets per minute.
Pallet-handling conveyors come in two types: chain conveyors and roller conveyors.
- Pallet-handling chain conveyor: perhaps the most rudimentary 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 consequently advance the pallets along the line.
- Pallet-handling roller conveyor: somewhat like motor driven roller conveyors, pallet handling roller configurations use large cylinders and sturdy chains to join the motorized roller to the rest of the cylinders in a conveyor unit.
Roller or skatewheel systems are the most prevalent types of non-powered conveyors used in typical warehouse operations. These types of systems use inertia and gravity to move smaller products though pick modules, warehouses, workstations, automated sorters, loading docks and package sorting areas.
Skatewheel systems are made up of many independent wheels and need minimal energy to prolong the inertia of objects as they advance along a conveyor line. In general, they propel items faster than non-powered roller conveyors and they have more adaptability when it comes to setup. Considering they're individual wheels as opposed to a belt, they may be put to use in curvilinear sections of a conveyor arrangement.
Typically non-powered roller conveyors are less costly than skatewheel conveyor configurations. They're frequently used for work stations, pick modules, and other zones where it's beneficial to maintain a flat surface to perform tasks. Roller systems may also be utilized to slow products down that originate from higher speed systems like sorters so that employees can keep pace with system output.
Both types of non-powered conveyors have a distinct handicap in comparison to powered conveyors: by employing gravity and inertia to move products you forego the option to control the force applied to those products. In other words, you don't have influence on the speed and inertia of products on your line.
Conveyor System Engineering In Long Beach
If you 'd like a complete evaluation of conveyor system options for your warehouse, DC or other material handling operation, you can speak with a professional at Raymond West by calling (562) 444-1222
Service Area Long Beach, North Long Beach, Wilmington, San Pedro, Lomita, Torrance Phone: (562) 444-1222