What is Conveyor System and its Types? Definition, Need, Selection

In this article, we will learn what is conveyor system and its types, along with the definition, need, all selection parameters, etc.

Let’s explore!

What is Conveyor System and its Types?

From the evolution, humankind has continued its effort to invent new things that reduce time consumption in any work. Whether it is the invention of wheels or fire, everything has its fair share of importance in reducing time consumption.

Gradually when we attained different things, we opted for further advancements. One of the significant advancements that keep a prominent place in these is the Conveyor systems. Time consumption in any work leads to inefficiency of the same which should be minimized at any cost.

  • The conveyor systems are among the core aspect that makes any of the factory or industry quite efficient.
  • In the commercial spaces or factories, it is also being used in common practices such as airport baggage delivery, malls, etc.
  • In this article, we will discuss the conveyor systems with all of their essential information. This vital information holds the need, characteristics, and types of the conveyor system.

Let us delve into the core introduction and need for the conveyor system and then towards the further information:

Why Does Conveyor System Need?

Conveyor systems are the mechanical equipment or the group of parts that helps in transporting material with minimum use of effort and energy. These are the best way to reduce the time invested in transporting any material altogether.

However, there are different kinds of conveyor systems available that normally contain a frame supported by different things such as rollers, wheels belt, or any materials that helps them to move from one place to another.

  • These are powered by a motor or through gravity. These conveyor systems come into numerous varieties that depend upon the requirements of the users. It can be used per the nature of the product and the materials needed to be transported.
  • When it comes to the need for the conveyor system, it is quite true that we need equipment that helps reduce human effort. A conveyor system is just the equipment that helps transport material from one place to another.
  • The advancement and regular development make this conveyor system quite efficient. The fun fact is that in India, these conveyor systems are getting quite popular.
  • We can also take escalators as a conveyor system that helps transport humans from low height to upper ground. These are now being used in railway stations which are among the good use of conveyor systems.

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Effective Parameters Defining an Efficient Conveyor System

There are some of the specifications and parameters that provide all-around information about the conveyor system. These parameters are based upon different measurements as well as the core working of the conveyor system.

The ratio of load-carrying capacity to length

When there is a need for a custom conveyor system length, this parameter is vital. This helps in understanding the capacity of the conveyor system, which shows the quantity of load that can be transported by the conveyor. It also helps the users to determine the loading margins.

Maximum Load Capacity

Maximum load capacity is also known as flow rate for the conveyor system. This parameter is also related to the Load Capacity per unit length. The maximum load capacity can easily be depicted based on the fixed length and for specific purpose conveyors.


This measure of the capacity of conveyors helps us get an idea about the magnitude of materials and bulk products that can be handled by the whole system. In general, this is being signified as volume per unit time or cubic feet per minute. These parameters are specifically applied to Bucket, vibrating, screw, walking beam, and pneumatic conveyors.

Speed of the conveyor belt system or Rated speed

The speed of the conveyor system is rated and provided for efficient understanding. These conveyors are rated based on belt speed which comes in ft. /min. In this, the powered roller conveyors can easily describe the linear velocity. This rated speed is also applied to conveyors such as slat/apron conveyors and chain or drag conveyors.

Structural frame support

The frame is one of the prominent parts that specifically help in deciding the type of conveyor. It basically refers to the structural shape of the conveyor frame. These frames can be curved, straight, or other different shapes.

The shape of the conveyor is decided based on the requirement of the user. It is mandatory to emphasize the frame as it can help increase the efficiency of the conveyor system.

Location of drives

Drives are the part that helps in the movement of the rollers. These can be located in vivid places on the conveyor systems. The head or end drive at the discharge side is among the standard type of all.

In this one-of-a-kind center, drives are attached along the length of the conveyor. These are mounted underneath the whole system. The core use of these is for providing the reverse motion to the conveyor. 

How Many Types of Conveyor Systems are There?

There are numerous kinds of conveyor systems that are available. Some are based on structure, while others are based upon the use of the same. Here we are providing some of the important ones:

Belt Conveyor System

What is Belt Conveyor System?

The belt conveyor system is the conveyor type equipped with a belt extended in an endless loop between two end pulleys. The pulleys end with roll underneath. In this, the power is provided by the motors that are either based on either constant or variable speed gears. These systems are made up of different materials such as plastic, rubber, metal, or any fabric. In this, we can transport heavier load, but that needs proper construction. These are calibrated based on various speeds, which depend upon the required throughput.

Use of Belt Conveyor

Belt conveyors are the material handling system that is used for conveying light products or materials. These conveyor belting systems are specifically for lightweight loads where no need for friction can be applied. These can easily be operated in an inclination or horizontally. Belt conveyors can be easily used for large or heavy materials.

Roller Conveyor Systems

What is Roller Conveyor System?

Roller Conveyors specifically use parallel rollers, which are attached in frames to convey products. These are mainly powered by gravity. In these, the parameters that define the efficiency are the axle center specifications and roller diameter.

Use of Roller Conveyor System

The basic use of roller conveyors is in the material handling of different products. The applications are in baggage handling, assembly lines, or in loading docks.

The basic structure of roller conveyors can be inclined or horizontal. These can be if different shapes such as curved or straight that specifically depends based on requirements.

Powered Roller

What is Power Roller System?

These kinds of conveyor systems use powered rollers mounted in frames that help in conveying the products. The prominent specifications in these conveyors are roller diameter, material, drive type, and axle center specifications. Various kinds of rollers are used in these, such as motorized rollers, belts, and chains sprockets.

Use of Power Roller System

The powered roller conveyors are commonly used in material handling applications, specifically for products that require the conveyance of products with effective power. These are used for food handling, packaging, and steelmaking.

Slat Belt Conveyor

What is Slat Belt Conveyor?

Slat conveyor systems are the conveying medium that basically uses slats of plates manufactured with the help of wood or steel, or other materials mounted explicitly on the roller chains.

Interlocking or overlapping is not the core design through which these rollers are attached to each other. These slats are used basically the reason that it provides prolonged service life for the conveyors.

Use of Slat Belt Conveyor

The slat conveyors are generally used to convey and handle heavy and large materials such as drums, pallets, and crates.

These are prominently used in heavy industries setups such as steel mills, foundries, manufacturing units, etc. these conveyors come in numerous sizes and load capacities. These are powered by motors or engines.

Ball Transfer Conveyor

What is Belt Transfer Conveyor System?

Ball transfer conveyors use a series of ball casters that are mounted to provide continuous movement. It enables multidirectional and unpowered conveyance to the materials. In these, the vital specifications are the materials used and the ball size.

In these, numerous sizes, as well as load-carrying capacities, are present. These are the best alternative for those who want to use a powerless conveyor system that relies on external force to convey the products.

Use of Belt Transfer Conveyor

These are used explicitly in manufacturing units’ packaging or assembly lines’ material handling usage. These are apt for those places where there is a need for positioning multiple conveyors and the linkage between one conveyor system to another. It is used in sorting systems such as warehouses of products.


What is Magnetic Conveyor?

Magnetic conveyors are conveyors that use moving magnets. These magnets are mounted beneath the tables or stationary plates.

One of the primary considerations for using the plates is the availability of non-magnetic slider beds that helps in moving the ferrous materials.

Use of Magnetic Conveyor

The prominent use of magnetic conveyors is in chip conveyors that help in removing the ferrous scraps or chips from the machining area.


What is Bucket Conveyor?

Bucket conveyors are the commonest of all the conveyor system that uses multi-sided containers which are buckets and linked with the help of belts, chains, cables, etc. in these containers or buckets remains upright in the system and are designed for releasing the materials.

The materials that can be handled are of different forms such as sand, sugar, sand, sludge, etc. This system can convey the materials to a horizontal, inclined, or vertical position easily.

Use of Bucket Conveyor

The core applications of bucket conveyors are in industries based on bulk materials, handling of materials, food processing, etc.


What is Chute Conveyor?

Chute conveyors are also known as trough conveyors. These are basically used in those places where there is a need for material handling that can be done with the help of gravity. It also helps in providing the materials to another level.

The optimal specifications mainly contain the material of the chute and the dimensions, such as its length and width. These are designed specifically on the low basis coefficient of friction, which helps in sliding the material easily. The motion of the materials can be curved or straight, which specifically depends on the application.

Use of Chute Conveyor

Chute conveyors are mainly used for packaging, mail handling, scraps handling, postal service packing, etc. 


What are Overhead Conveyors?

As the name suggests, the overhead conveyors are installed on ceilings that basically use the trolleys and move continuously with the help of chains or cables. These overhead conveyor systems come in different configurations, including monorail, electric tracks, inclined, ramped, and trolley.

It depends upon the application of the same. These overhead cranes are generally power controlled though several others are also hand-operated.

Use of Overhead Conveyors

The primary use of overhead conveyor is for material handling in which the product lies in a hanging position. For example, in dry-cleaning industries, garment factories, paint shops, and curing and cooling.

Wheel Conveyor

What is Wheel Conveyor?

These are the unpowered conveyor system that susses unpowered wheels for conveying objects to different lengths with the help of manual power or gravity. These are configured and designed based on wheels, spacing of wheels, and load requirements with specific applications.

Use of Wheel Conveyor?

These conveyors are used for handling packages. These are basically employed to load and unload pallets or move packages through a defined line such as assembly lines.

Selection Parameters for Choosing an Efficient Conveyor System

When deciding the type of conveyor system best suited for your need, numerous considerations should be considered. One of the main parameters that define the conveyor system is the material that will be conveyed.

Their variety of parameters has different aspects, while selecting a capable conveyor system, such as,

  • flowability,
  • abrasiveness,
  • size,
  • moisture content,
  • temperature,
  • corrosiveness, and many more.

Apart from that, some other factors of the products are also being considered, such as its composition that holds different aspects such as granules, powders, fibers, pellets, flakes, etc.

If these are going to be conveyed, then the need for a conveyor system totally changes. Apart from these, particle weight, size, and density also hold practical importance.


The basic usage of any conveyor system is for the movement of material through conveying or feeding. In this conveying is the movement of materials from one specific point to other drop points. These three things are considered to pick up and drop points, and the time is taken to convey the materials.

It also includes the time amount of material conveyed and the assortment through which the materials don’t get mixed up.

The feeding is comparatively more delicate and requires precise equipment and components. In this also the material is picked from one point and delivered to the drop point. The materials are delivered in different batches at a continuous and controlled rate.


One of the core selection parameters for the conveyor system is the environment in which it will be installed. It is pretty important to consider the different factors that define efficiency and movement.

It includes temperature, pressure, vibration, types of materials such as hazardous or fragile, maximum humidity, flammable materials, and many more.

These factors should be considered while finalizing any of the conveyor system designs with the manufacturer. It helps in determining the potential measures and the alternative measures needed.

The size of the system is also dependent upon the workspace, as it should be installed as per the available space so that the workspace doesn’t get clogged.

Design and construction

The design and construction hold practical importance in the making of the conveyor system. The complexity of the design in the conveyor system occurs due to the large-scale need and complicated integration technique in the industrial processes.

However, the modular structural nature and the components make it quite practical to achieve the design. The design assistance can be taken from professionals so that the conveyor system effectively suits the space installed in the desired space.

Prevention of product slippage

The mechanism for withstanding the product slippage while conveying materials is also an important parameter. Buckets, cleats, high friction belting is the standard types that help in preventing the same. Backstopping brakes is quite effective as it engages automatically when there is a chance of slippage of heavy load.

It engages automatically and helps in the de-energizing of the motor. Though some conveyors systems allow a minimal slippage, which is a significant relief for some industries, such as bottle industries, for feed and cap attachment filler.

Minimal use of electrical components

Conveyor belts are pretty equipped with those parts which need static electricity. This occurs since the belt is being pulled continuously against the pulleys. If any of the electrical components get conveyed, then it could be dangerous.

Conductive belts or static control brushes are the alternatives for keeping the static electricity at bay, and it also helps protect the products that are being conveyed. 

Safety considerations

Safety is among the core aspects that should be considered while selecting any of the conveyor systems. Numerous conveyor systems have close proximity to the personnel. Different components should be given proper consideration to reduce the probability of a hazardous situation.

These components help in making the conveyor system more usable. For example, pop-out rollers in live roller conveyors disengage from the drive if a person’s foot or hand slips over between the rollers. The roller-style conveyors are equipped with powered or manual gate sections that provide utmost safety.

Minimal setting changes

Some conveyors systems are equipped with minimal controlling systems, which makes them quite efficient. The attachment of clutch mechanism ad internal motors and drive gears helps substantially reduce the power transmission equipment and external mounting equipment such as motors.

Portable and easy to handle

Numerous conveyor systems remain at a permanent or fixed place; however, there are many which are portable and designed explicitly for silos, railcars, loading-trucks, etc. in feed and outfeed conveyor systems are designed especially for packaging and other subsidiary operations that can easily be transported to within the desired workspace.

The above are the core parameters that define the proper selection of conveyor systems. This selection is also based on more parameters such as elevation change, product type, speed or throughput, and industry.

However, conveyors can also be hand-powered in which the products are moved along manually with the help of roller or wheels attachment. These can be engine or motor powered or gravity powered. Considering these parameters, selecting an efficient conveyor system is relatively easy as per the specific requirement.

Applications of Conveyor System

The applications of the conveyor system are pretty vivid, and it has been used for numerous purposes. Here we are going to discuss the common as well as industrial applications of the Conveyor System:

  • Overhead conveyors are commonly used at dry cleaners, slaughterhouses, etc. the core reason for overhead conveyors is the unavailability of floor space. Those places are equipped with overhead conveyors to which the loads are suspended from trollies.
  • Screw and pneumatic type conveyor systems are generally used for conveying the products from semi-enclosed tubes or troughs. These are typically used in the handling of powders and dry products.
  • Walking beam conveyors are used for mobbing the products accurately between different manufacturing operations.
  • Some other conveyors systems can easily handle delicate products such as cosmetic bottles, labelers, fillers, and other processes that have a core need to handle pallets.
  • Numerous other conveyor systems are custom-designed for essential components: curves, transitions, dividers, and many more. These components define the core structure of the conveyor needed. Most of the time, manufacturers specifically customize the whole conveyor system that helps attain maximum efficiency for material movement.
  • There are also other kinds of conveyor systems available that are only being used for practical control settings. There are some of the industries that need delicate soft start type’s conveyor system which is equipped with variable frequency or gets cushion loads upon start-up. These are effective for controlling the acceleration as well as the speed of the AC motors installed.
  • The long belt conveyor system is used in different kinds of transporting industries that specifically transport ores and other materials from one place to another.


This excerpt helps us understand the conveyor system, types, parameters that are prerequisites for effectiveness while choosing, applications, and commercial use. With this plethora of information, we can get all-around ideas about efficient advancements that help us convey materials or different things from one place to another.

Following that, we also got some of the additional specifications that make it quite adequate for the readers to understand the crux of the conveyor system. However, this can be much elaborated with some of the additional information, but for the time being, this is ample. We will try to provide some more insights about the conveyor systems in our next article.

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