Conveyor Systems | Seattle, WA

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

Raymond West is the premiere warehouse automation supplier in King County.

To speak with an automation expert, give us a call today at (253) 333-2100.

Automated conveyors and AS/RS implementations can boost the performance of your storage operations, improve warehouse safety and substantially reduce labor expenses.

Today’s conveyor systems can transport both individual cartons and entire pallets throughout your warehouse and they are an integral component of contemporary material handling design.

Conveyor systems are classified in three distinct categories for almost all material handling operations:

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

Powered Package Handling Roller or Belt Conveyors

Powered roller or belt conveyors are generally used for lighter weight pieces like cartons and packages.

Belt systems are usually employed for advancing products along a line, while roller conveyers are used for collecting packages in specific areas along the line.

Belt Conveyors

Used since the beginning of the 20th Century, belt conveyors are an indispensable piece of most material handling operations. Less expensive than roller options and oftentimes more appropriate for certain functions like moving lightweight products, belt systems are used in many material handling layouts.

Conveyor belts utilize a long, looped belt that sits atop a metal slider belt substructure or an array of non-powered rollers. Motor driven pulleys turn the belt and move items down the conveyor line.

Betl systems can be configured with an assortment of surfaces and materials depending on the purpose and role of the conveyor. For instance, a conveyor belt surface could be totally flat in areas where cartons need to be pushed off the line and may have a gripping surface on segments where products must be moved up inclines.

Roller Conveyors

Although belt conveyors are time-tested workhorses, newer roller systems offer a set of more useful benefits in many modern material handling applications.

Principal among these, roller systems can enable accumulation of products on the line where belt conveyors cannot. This is a critical distinction because there are endless scenarios where items must decelerate and accumulate in material handling configurations. Accumulation is often necessary when objects must be temporarily halted before being forwarded to sorters or palletizers.

Advanced roller systems also have the capacity to supervise items on the line and utilize zero pressure accumulation, meaning none of the products collecting on the line come into contact as they decelerate and finally stop.

Roller systems are comprised of several cylinder rollers that are generally set up in one of these ways:

  • Line-shaft conveyors: in a line shaft system, a long steel rod runs beneath the cylinders at a right angle to them and is connected to each cylinder with rubber O-rings. A drive mechanism rotates the shaft, and consequently rotates the rollers by way of the connected O-rings. Line-shaft systems are the least costly of all roller setups, but they can also demand the most repair because the O-ring connectors between the rollers and the shaft need frequent readjustment and occasionally fail.
  • Belt-driven roller conveyors: As the name suggests, these conveyors are driven by a belt mechanism that sits beneath the roller platform. A motor powers the belt, which advances the rollers.
  • MDR conveyors: Motorized roller conveyors, frequently referred to as motor-driven roller (MDR) systems, are built in sections where only one cylinder from each section is powered by it's own motor. That solitary powered cylinder is joined to the adjacent rollers in that segment by way of flexible O-rings, thereby powers all the rollers in the section. Motorized segments are positioned in sequence to configure the conveyor line.
    MDR systems are known for their energy efficiency because: a.) they typically run on 24V direct current motors and b.) these motors can be configured to engage only when an object is present on the roller cylinders, meaning they are inactive most of the time.
    Although the cost of MDR conveyors is higher than belt drive and line-shaft rollers, power expenses and maintenance expenses are usually far lower than the other options mentioned.
  • Segmented belt conveyor: the design of MDR systems ultimately led to the development of segmented belt conveyors. Similar to motor driven roller conveyors, segmented belts are powered as discrete independent units and feature several of the same advantages of motor driven rollers, including accumulation capabilities.

Powered Pallet Handling Conveyors

Powered pallet-handling conveyors are frequently used with automatic palletizers and AS/RS setups. Pallet handling conveyors can generally handle pallets of up to 4,000 lbs and proceed at a much slower pace than package handling conveyors, often at speeds of two to four pallets per minute.

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

  • Pallet-handling chain conveyor: perhaps the most basic of all conveyor methods, pallets on a chain conveyor line are positioned on top of segments of heavy duty chain. A drive mechanism advances the chain segments which in turn move the pallets down the line.
  • Pallet-handling roller conveyor: similar in concept to motor driven roller conveyors, pallet handling roller systems use larger rollers and heavy duty chains to link the motorized roller to the rest of the cylinders in a conveyor section.

Non-Powered Conveyors

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

Skatewheel systems are made up of many independent wheels and require very little energy to prolong the inertia of items as they progress along a conveyor line. As a rule, they advance products faster than non-powered roller conveyors and they have more flexibility when it comes to layout. Considering they’re separate wheels as opposed to a belt, they may be put to use in curved segments of a conveyor arrangement.

Typically non-powered roller conveyors are less expensive than skatewheel conveyor systems. They’re often utilized for work stations, pick modules, and other sectors where it’s useful to have a level platform to work on. Roller systems also decelerate items that are coming from higher speed mechanisms like sorters so that human laborers can keep up with conveyor output.

Both types of non-powered systems have a serious handicap compared to powered systems: by employing gravity and inertia to move items you lose the ability to regulate the force applied to those materials. In other words, you don’t have control of the speed and inertia of products on your conveyor line.

Conveyor Companies Near Me

If you’d like a full analysis of conveyor system options for your warehouse, DC or other material handling operation, speak with an expert at Raymond West.

Raymond's Seattle service operation includes most of Western Washington, including Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, Bothell, Woodinville, Lynnwood, Everett, Tukwila, Renton, SeaTac, Burien, Kent, Federal Way, Fife, Sumner, Auburn, Tacoma, Lakewood, Puyallup, Olympia, Lacey and surrounding areas.

Raymond West | Seattle Material Handling Equipment Supplier

6607 S 287th St
Auburn, WA 98001
(253) 333-2100