Conveyors are the lifeblood of many distribution and manufacturing operations. Conveyor systems can increase efficiency, improve material flow, and transform operations.
When a conveyor system is installed, accidents decrease. Consequently, product breaks and damage are also fewer, and, in general, plants become more productive. Nothing is more important than the safety, security, and productivity of your warehouse or factory.
There are as many types and configurations of conveyor systems as there are uses. In this blog, we’ll discuss gravity conveyors and help you determine which type is best for your application.
What Is a Gravity Conveyor?
A gravity conveyor is an unpowered conveyor that uses the force of gravity to move loads, either with the help of an incline or manual force, such as a person physically pushing the load. These loads move down the conveyor line along a series of metal rollers or wheels, which transport products from one designated work area to another.
Gravity conveyors are a popular choice due to their:
- Modular design: They can be fitted into and used in a wide range of industrial environments, including those where space is limited or awkwardly shaped rooms.
- Ease of installation: They can be easily installed and are reliable with minimal, basic maintenance needed.
- Cost-effectiveness: Because there is no actual power needed, they are cost-effective and work efficiently, saving money on electricity.
- Compatibility: Due to their simple design, they’re compatible with powered systems and can easily be connected to larger systems.
Types of Gravity Conveyors
Gravity conveyors may be metal or composite chutes, rollers, or skatewheel conveyors.
Chute Gravity Conveyor
A chute gravity conveyor is one of the most basic methods of gravity conveyance and is used to link two handling devices, provide accumulation in shipping areas, and transport items between conveyors on different levels.
These systems are designed to have a low coefficient of friction, allowing the product or material to slide easily, and can be straight or curved depending on the needs of the application. The design allows for efficient transport without spillage or blockage.
Relatively inexpensive to use and maintain, chute gravity conveyors are used in bulk handling operations, such as when moving powders and liquids, and are ideal for lightweight products with a variety of package types, including cardboard, corrugated boxes, flexible packaging, and pouches.
Gravity Roller Conveyor
Gravity roller conveyors are just that—they transport materials on either rollers or wheels. Depending on the application and available floor space, the conveyors can be designed in four different style types—straight, curved, spur, or merged.
Primarily used in industries that handle distribution, packaging, and manufacturing applications, roller conveyors are assembled from a series of metal tubes with bearings or rollers mounted on axles and fastened to the conveyor frame. Because the rollers and axles have very low friction, it takes little gravitational force to rotate the rollers.
Additionally, roller gravity conveyors are simple to install, require little maintenance, and work well in combination with powered conveyor systems.
Skatewheel Gravity Conveyor
Skatewheel gravity conveyors are often used in applications handling lightweight packages or containers with smooth, flat bottoms.
Used in shipping, receiving, and assembly areas, these systems are comprised of wheels placed on axles and separated by spacers to keep them from moving from side to side on the axle. While the number of wheels on each axle can vary based on the size and weight of the item being conveyed, there should always be a minimum of 10 wheels underneath each item.
Industries that can benefit from skatewheel conveyor systems include those that specialize in handling parcel, food and beverages, and consumable goods.
Which Gravity Conveyor Do You Need?
There are many options to choose from when it comes to gravity conveyor systems. At Conveyer & Caster, we’re eager to help you find the right one for your application. We work with only the most respected gravity conveyor manufacturers and have the solution for you. Contact us with your application so that we can customize the solution to what it is you’re trying to achieve.