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"Rules of the Road" for Conveyor

Bastian Media | 28 May 2009

There are basic rules of the road for designing a conveyor system. Here are a few.

  • Determine the size curve required for your conveyables before picking the width of the conveyor for your system.
  • Be sure to select straight tangents before or after curves depending if you are entering or exiting a belt conveyor or a live roller conveyor.
  • Never skimp on horsepower. It doesn’t cost much more before the system is installed but it’s always more expensive to upgrade later.
  • Unless you have first hand knowledge of how a product conveys, test it. Inclines and declines can surprise you since boxes or totes may be slippery or unevenly loaded. Airborne particulates can be a gotcha.
  • On conveyors having right angle gear reducers, always make sure that the high speed shaft is in the “up” position to keep from immersing the input seal in oil continuously.
  • Rollers that convey abrasive materials like sugar should have sealed ABEC 1 bearings.
  • Always have the pneumatic demand and sizing done by someone that understands the conveyor equipment devices. Improperly sized compressors and air lines can lead to starvation of your system.
  • A system rarely available for maintenance or one running in a severe application should be heavily upgraded to avoid costly down time. Some items to upgrade are belts, pulleys, shafts, bearings.
  • Larger pulleys rotate at less rpm at a given speed so bearings will last longer.
  • Leave yourself an “out” for the installation. We always measure twice, but if possible, having one conveyor that can be cut to fit in the North/South and one in the East/West direction can be a huge benefit.

Author: Bastian Media


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