What is a Gravity Conveyor?
This article discusses what a gravity conveyor is, what gravity conveyors are made of, and some of the ways gravity conveyors are used in industry today.
Conveyor systems seem to keep the world's industries in motion. Since the early 1900s and the onset of mass production on a scale never seen before, especially with the automotive industry, conveyor systems have been a standard sight in factories and assembly lines. It used to be that in order to produce mass quantities of anything (think back to the original mills in England and the United States) it required mass amounts of people. The creation of conveyor systems, however, cut back on the amount of employees required to do the job and actually increased the amount of products that could be made at a time. Instead of many hands to do the job, it became many conveyors.
Just as many industries use conveyor systems, there are just as many options for types of conveyor systems. Belt conveyors, low profile conveyors, gravity conveyors. These and more serve various purposes and are found in industries across the board -- automotive, food processing, textiles, aggregate. You name it, they use conveyor systems. While many of these options require a motor to keep the line moving, one variety uses a basic principle of physics -- gravity. The gravity conveyor is one of the more low-fi conveyor systems but is still used plentifully in many businesses.
What is a gravity conveyor? A gravity conveyor consists of a series of skate wheels or rollers attached to a metal frame. They may be straight or curve around. You'll find gravity conveyors sometimes in luggage receiving areas at airports, in grocery store checkout lines, and other places. Because it's not motorized, gravity conveyors either need to be on an incline to send products down the line, or they need a push to get them from A to B. Despite this, even large corporations make use of gravity conveyors. Packing and distribution centers are a good example of gravity conveyors in action. Such centers may have networks of this type of conveyor, some on inclines, others flat. They may not work for all production settings, but they are a less expensive conveyor system and will still save companies money on labor.
Gravity conveyors on top of being less expensive conveyor systems are also quite flexible and useful for many applications. A gravity roller conveyor works for heavier products and is often seen in shipping and receiving applications. Skate wheel gravity conveyors are recommended for smaller parts or bags as they may slip between rollers. An infeed system can shoot materials or parts onto the gravity conveyor to make use of natural laws of gravity, especially if the conveyor is on an incline. Gravity conveyors are also the only type of conveyor system that allows for accumulation. If that is a necessary component of your industry, then gravity conveyors are your system.
Gravity fed conveyors have a long history and despite being pretty low-tech are surprisingly common in today's industries. From short lines to complicated networks, gravity conveyors find applications in an assortment of companies. Maybe a gravity conveyor system is the one for you.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
After a succesful life in trading, importing and exports, Rupert now spends his time writing freelance articles for many well-known publications, as well as various educational institutions. For more of Rupert's articles regarding gravity conveyors, please visit http://www.conveyorbeltreviews.com