A conveyor system: what is it? Definition as well as additional information

A conveyor system is a mechanical handling device that moves loads and materials automatically across a space quickly and effectively. Among its many advantages, this system lessens human error, lowers workplace risks, and lowers labor costs. They come in handy when transferring large or heavy objects from one location to another. A conveyor system can move objects using a chain, wheels, rollers, or a belt.

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The operation of conveyor systems

Conveyor systems usually consist of a belt that is stretched over two or more pulleys. To enable it to rotate continuously, the belt creates a closed loop around the pulleys. The drive pulley is the single pulley that moves objects from one place to another by driving or towing the belt.

The drive pulley and belt in the most popular conveyor system designs are powered by rotors. Because of the friction between the two surfaces, the belt stays attached to the rotor. The drive pulley and idler must rotate in the same direction, either clockwise or counterclockwise, for the belt to move efficiently.

While moving walkways and grocery store conveyors are examples of conventional conveyor systems that are straight, occasionally the unit must turn in order to deliver the items to the correct location. The belt is able to follow bends and twists without becoming tangled thanks to special cone-shaped wheels or rotors.

Advantages of conveyor networks

A conveyor system’s primary function is to transfer items from one place to another. Things that are too big or heavy for people to lift by hand can be moved thanks to the design.

Time is saved when moving goods from one place to another with conveyor systems. They facilitate the easier task of moving items up and down floors, which can be inclined to span multiple levels. Manually performing this task by hand can be physically taxing for humans. Material can be automatically unloaded by inclined belts, doing away with the need for a person to be at the other end to receive the pieces.

Conveyor system types and examples

Although this is just one type of conveyor system, you can probably picture a big warehouse full of conveyors moving boxes and other heavy equipment with the help of belts and rollers. Conveyor systems are also utilized for luggage transportation in airports. Lifts for skiing and escalators are two more examples. These devices still transfer heavy objects from one location to another using a belt, chain, and pulleys.

Every kind of conveyor has a distinct function. For instance, a slat conveyor is intended to move heavy materials; it is constructed of slats or plates rather than a belt. Usually, slat systems are used to convey materials that are too big or heavy for conventional belt movement.

There are many types of conveyor systems, including:




Ball transfer








Walking beam




One type of chain-driven conveyor system is an escalator. The chain conveyor uses a towing system that pulls the steps either upward or downward in place of a pulley system that moves objects along.

An illustration of an overhead conveyor is a ski lift. These devices pull the chairs up or down the mountainside using an electric track that is inclined. These systems employ a chain-driven towing mechanism, just like an escalator.

Components that make up a conveyor system

A conveyor system consists of three main components: the drive unit, the pulley, and the belt support. Every part is necessary for the conveyor unit to function. Although these components are present in all conveyor systems, designs differ in terms of the building materials used and the locations of each component.

The part that makes sure the belt moves smoothly is the belt support. When workers place a heavy object on top of a sagging belt, the support unit gives way and the belt moves more slowly than it should. The belt is kept taut and functioning effectively by using a firm support unit.

An external part that regulates the movement of the belt is the pulley system. At least two pulleys—one idle and one that runs on electricity—are present in every unit. More rotors dispersed throughout the frame may be found in more sophisticated conveyor systems.

The system can move thanks to the drive unit. A counter bearing in the unit maintains the components’ smooth motion. Additionally, this unit controls the direction changes that some systems require frequently and permits the belt to move in reverse. Certain conveyor systems are run by hand. The drive unit in these systems is still in use, but it is not motorized.