Conveyors are devices that are used to carry materials from point A to point B in a quick, simple and energy-efficient manner. As such, it was impossible to imagine what the manufacturing industry would look like without them. In the past, they were used to transport heavy materials, delicate packages, as well as found purpose in a wide array of similar functions.
Due to the fact that they would otherwise have to be transported manually, the increase in effort and probability of injury would completely change the cost-effectiveness of the operation for the worse. Now, even though traditional conveyors were already capable of revolutionizing a number of industries, with the help of present-day technologies, things are looking up once more. With that in mind and without further ado, here are six types of innovative conveyor technology that you should know about.
Traditionally, conveyors had a simple function – get material from point A to point B and that was it. Sure, it sped up the production process substantially and sure, it did make a difference but compared to what present-day smart conveyors are capable of pulling off this really isn’t that impressive. Nowadays, we’re living with a world where every new tech trend is made so that it can easily be integrated with other gadgets and platforms, which is why even conveyors, nowadays, are getting outfitted with all sorts of smart technology. With trends of machine learning and concepts such as the internet of things (IoT), who can tell what the future of conveyor technology holds.
Use of advanced materials
Due to the fact that conveyors are still hardware, the improvement in materials that they’ve been manufactured from can spell a huge advancement. Sometimes, however, the materials from which these parts are made are regulated by all sorts of organizations and governmental bodies. For instance, conveyors that are used in the food industry need to be approved by organizations like FDA and HACCP, so that one can provide a 100 percent guarantee that these belts are bacterial resistant. The ease with which these parts are kept clean and safe for use are also major factors.
The main problem that a lot of people face when planning a workspace is to imagine a huge hall with fixed, massive elements of production. On the other hand, the maintenance of these huge halls and rearrangement of workspace is much easier to handle with the help of flexible roller conveyors. Just because this conveyor is easy to set up it doesn’t mean that it’s not durable. You see, when these conveyors are properly set up, they are more than capable of withstanding loads of over 200 kg per meter, which is substantially more than you are ever likely to need. Also, depending on the size, this conveyor can be longer than 7 meters, making it ideal as both a temporary and permanent production method.
Direct drive makes simpler conveyors
The bigger the number of gearing stages is, the more energy gets lost in the process, which is why direct drive technology makes conveyors simpler and more effective at the same time. The best part of it all is the fact that just because these conveyors are simpler, their motion control abilities are in no way restricted. In order to continue on the topic that we’ve previously discussed, this allows for a much more compact design of conveyor, which allows for easier transportation. You never know when this feature might come in handy.
Active conveyor belts
There are never-ending efforts to make conveyor systems more efficient (in term of product positioning), more economical and, as we’ve already stated more than once – more compact. All of this can be achieved through the notion of active conveyor belts, which are basically belts embedded with a set of actuator-controlled rollers. One of the perks of such a system is the active help that one receives to control the load that it’s carrying, thus benefiting the structure as a whole.
When you take into consideration the fact that the conveyor technology is used in industries like mining, which are widely considered to be massive polluters, you might wonder how conveyor technology may ever be eco-friendly. Well, first of all, the more sophisticated design performs more while wasting less energy, which is, on its own a massive plus from an ecological standpoint. In some instances, these polluting materials are transported for miles and miles across protected rivers and natural parks. A reliable, enclosed system can make all the difference here. Most commonly, a pipe conveyor is used for these purposes.
Due to the fact that conveyors are the heart of the manufacturing industry (well, at least the vast majority of such industries) any improvement related to conveyors will quickly translate to the whole business world. As you could see, the impact of some of these changes could even show on the environment, of course, in a positive light. For this reason alone, the progress of this technology is something that you should closely monitor in years to come.