Accumulation Conveyor

Queue, buffer & zone products consistently for improved throughput

Consistently and efficiently timed transportation of unit loads through automated systems means more reliable throughput capabilities for operations. Whether a distribution or manufacturing operation, accumulation conveyors are commonly used to transport and accumulate cartons or unit loads so that they are efficiently queued up and fed into sorting, wrapping, palletizing, strapping or various other processes.

Accumulation conveyor technology, including zero or minimum pressure accumulation, provide a buffer zone where a steady supply of product can be oriented or held back when downstream processes are not ready. In addition, they can be used to smooth out fluctuations in production line rates.


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How Accumulation Conveyor Works

Accumulation conveyorAccumulation conveyors offer a controlled method of transporting products and loads from one process to the next in an operation. With either the use of a roller adjustment, in the case of minimum or medium pressure accumulation, or photo eye sensors in zero pressure accumulation, the conveyors can be adjusted to meet an appropriate speed rate and maintain spacing between products to smooth product flow fluctuations, prevent jams or damage.

Product Detection

Photo eye sensors used in each accumulation zone sends a product presence signal to a zone controller. If there is a product present in the immediate downstream zone, then the zone controller prevents the drive rollers from activating. Once the zone controller receives a signal indicating that the next zone is clear of product, the drive rollers are activated thereby conveying the product to the next zone.

Product Release

Accumulation conveyors can help contain overflow, buffer items and merge products from multiple lines. They also offer a variety of product release options once products reach downstream processes. Some of these include:

  • Standard – Creates an empty zone between each product 
  • Slug mode – for quicker throughput, all product can be released together at once.
  • Cascade mode – programmable timed releases between products.

Features & Benefits

  • Controlled product flow – start, stop, restart
  • Adjustable product spacing and speed
  • AC and DC power options available
  • Available in belt or roller options to accommodate product type
  • Accommodate straight or curved routes
  • Maximize system efficiency and effectiveness
  • Prepare products for downstream operations
  • Prevent system backups


For the most effective accumulation conveyor solution, Bastian Solutions’ experts will work with you to explore potential turnkey or custom options. Consider the following details:

  • Product size, weight, durability and mix
  • Throughput rate requirements for downstream processes
  • Expected density of accumulation


Belted or live roller, straight or curved, fixed or dynamic zones; accumulation conveyors can accommodate to your specific product flow and facility layout for better downstream processes and reduced product loss from appropriate buffering and programmable timed releases. As an independent integrator, our brand-agnostic approach, allows our engineers to leverage the best available technologies for your project, whether it’s Hytrol, Bastian Solutions’ Conveyor or others. Below are the most common accumulation conveyor options:

  • Zero Pressure – A flexible solution, zero pressure accumulation conveyors ensure that contact is not made between products during accumulation. This technology can work with different product sizes, fixed or dynamic zone allocation, and various release methods – singulate, slug or cascade. These conveyors consist of multiple zones that can be independently controlled to slow, stop or restart as needed. Photo eye sensors help to ensure the right spacing and speed to prevent pileups and damaged products.
  • Minimum or Medium Pressure – Minimum pressure accumulation conveyors are a cost-efficient solution that typically consists of a belt-driven roller conveyor with an adjustment that allows the drive of rollers to be increased or reduced, ensuring that products don’t get crushed or jammed. This option is most effective when conveyed products have a consistent size and weight.
  • Custom Accumulation Conveyors – Looking for a specific technology that doesn't align with standard applications? Our custom automation solutions are tailored to fit the needs of your business objectives. Our engineers are available to talk to you about your project details.

See Accumulation Conveyor in Action


Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits | Puyallup, WA


DICK'S Sporting Goods


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