Conveying systems are at the very heart of manufacturing and industrialization. Henry Ford revolutionized manufacturing by developing the assembly line, which consists of interchangeable parts moving along a conveyor belt. Without conveyor belts and other conveying systems many of the manufacturing and industrial processes we take for granted today would not be possible. In this article we’ll discuss what conveying systems are, the major types, and why they are so important.
What Are Conveying Systems?
A conveying system is an automated system of conveying something from one area to another. It utilizes mechanical energy, often via a system of belts and pulleys, thereby avoiding the necessity of human or animal labor while simultaneously achieving highly predictable, repeatable speeds and performance levels. Conveying systems may be designed to transport solids or liquids and may move massive materials, lightweight materials, or anything in between. The speed and capacity of the conveying system can be adjusted depending on the needs of the circumstance and the conveying system may operate horizontally, vertically, or at an incline.
The Main Types of Conveying Systems
Naturally different types of conveying systems are better suited for different applications. Three of the most common types of conveying systems include the following:
Belt Conveyors – Belt conveyors, which are also often referred to simply as conveyor belts, are perhaps the most commonly thought of and widely recognizable conveying system. The typically operate across horizontal spaces; however, they can also be designed to work on an incline. Belt conveyors utilize a system of two or more pulleys to continually rotate a belt on an endless loop. The item being moved is placed on one end of the belt and conveyed to the other. Rotating the belt more quickly will of course increase the speed of the system.
Screw Conveyors – Screw conveyors are a conveying system that utilizes a rotating, helical screw blade. As the blade turns it pushes materials forward. Screw conveyors are especially useful for moving thick liquids, or small, granular materials. For example grain and aggregates are often conveyed using screw conveyors. To prevent the liquid or small, granular substance from spilling away, screw conveyors are usually encased in a tube. By turning the screw blade more or less quickly the speed of transfer can be adjusted.
Bucket Elevators – Bucket elevators are a conveying system that utilize a series of buckets attached to a belt and pulley system. As with belt conveyors, the pulleys turn the belt in a continuous loop. However, the buckets are used to contain liquids or other flowable substances. Bucket elevators are often used to move fertilizer, dirt, or grain. As their name implies, they typically operate vertically or at an incline, thereby elevating the material against gravity. They also commonly utilize a discharge chute to empty the buckets once they reach the top of the system. This process typically relies on centrifugal force to operate properly and for that reason bucket elevators must often be rotated at relatively fast speeds.
What Are the Benefits of Conveying Systems?
The major benefit of conveying systems is that they provide a very efficient means of conveyance that is not dependent on human or animal energy. They are also relatively low maintenance yet provide great returns on efficiency and function very dependably. Finally, they are highly customizable and can be designed to move just about anything and can operate in a wide array of different conditions and settings. Conveying systems are thus found in factories, plants, warehouses, and manufacturing facilities all over the world. In addition to being staples of indoor facilities they are also extremely useful outdoors in industries such as agriculture and construction.
Semco Custom Designs Conveying Systems
Due to their versatility, conveying systems are useful in a huge array of different industries and applications. However, to most benefit from these systems they should be designed specifically with the needs of the application in mind. Semco custom designs and installs high quality, dependable conveying systems. We also provide maintenance and replacement parts and components. Please contact us for more information.