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What is a Conveyor Belt?

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Conveyor belts eliminate manual picking and transport processes, shaving time off the production process and allowing warehouses to operate more efficiently. If you’re interested in learning more about conveyor systems and how they can be leveraged to move items, keep reading.

Where are conveyors used?

Conveyors are often used to speed up material handling by transporting items from one stage to the next on the production line. Conveyors can also speed up palletizing, loading, and unloading operations when deployed at a dock.

Conveyors consist of a heavy-duty, powerful belt, which is able to convey items over some distance with efficiency and reliability. Powered conveyor belts may even utilize different belt materials to create friction, allowing products to safely traverse a steep incline, which is sometimes necessary to maximize floor space and efficiency. 

How do conveyors work?

Conveyors can be broken up into a few different classifications: sortation, accumulation, or transport. Depending on your needs, you might choose a table top chain conveyor or a roller and skate conveyor. These systems function differently, but the result is the same.

Using a belt on top of a motorized base, conveyors move an item from one area to another. The systems are generally modular, which allows them to accommodate a variety of production line sizes and layouts, all while being very cost-effective. 

Types of Conveyor Systems from IFS

Here’s a look at the two types of conveyor systems available from IFS.

Roller Conveyors

Roller conveyors can be manual or powered. Instead of a traditional belt, this conveyor uses multiple rollers, which rotate to push the product along the length of the conveyor system. 

A powered roller turns all of the rollers automatically, which is ideal for flat conveyors and long distances. Meanwhile, a manual roller system allows products to swiftly be pushed along the conveyor system because the rollers rotate a full 360-degrees, reducing friction and helping to carry the product along until its momentum is gone.

ROLLER AND SKATE CONVEYORS

Skate Conveyors

Skate conveyors look and function similarly to roller conveyors, except instead of rollers that span the width of the system, these conveyors employ a number of “skate wheels” (reminiscent of those on roller skates).

Like the rollers, the skates spin 360-degrees to help move products along, but the design makes these conveyors more agile. For instance, many skate conveyors are able to be expanded. In these products, the skates are positioned on bars, which fold into a “V” formation when closed and expand out into a straight line when open. This manual conveyor system offers great flexibility.

Table Top Chain Conveyors
Table Top Chain Conveyors Custom Built At IFS

Table Top Chain Conveyors

Also known as “flat top chain conveyors,” this system is used across industries. Depending on the exact model, this conveyor may range from light to heavy duty, as it varies based on the type of material used to create the “flat top.” 

This system is referred to as a table top conveyor because it provides a flat, table-like surface. This is ideal for transporting small items that may get caught between rollers and for odd-shape items that not sit securely on a roller conveyor as it moves.

Benefits of a Conveyor Belt

Conveyor belts have many places in the production line. Basically any step that would require a person to walk, move, or carry a product can generally be made more efficient by rethinking it with the use of a conveyor belt.

One common example is using a conveyor belt to further automate the packaging process. Conveyor belts can be used to transport bottles under a filling machine, and then move them to a capping station, and then take them to the sealing machine before running them down the line to be labeled and boxes.

Other advantages include:

  • Reduce manual labor necessary on your production line.
  • Eliminate certain hazards, like working near dangerous machinery. 
  • Improve workplace conditions by streamlining the workflow. 

By thinking carefully about how conveyor belts can be used, companies can achieve an almost fully automated production line at a relatively low cost. Plus, since these systems are generally modular, they can be reoriented and repaired with less complication. 

Why Should I Choose an IFS Conveyor System?

The conveyor systems from IFS come in roller, skate, and flat top style, providing options suitable for just about any production lineup. In addition, we also manufacture a variety of other equipment, and can help you plan a semi- or fully-automated production line using our modular solutions. 

Does IFS Offer Customized Conveyors? 

If you are seeking a customized conveyor system, IFS can help you design the perfect solution for your needs. Get in touch with our experienced team and they can walk you through all of the options in your catalog and help you decide how to best approach your production line for the utmost efficiency and scalability.

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