Gravity conveyors are an effective and popular option for moving various goods through a manufacturing plant, warehouse, or distribution center. Efficient material handling is crucial to ensure a factory’s workflow is as smooth as possible, eliminating unnecessary delays and ultimately increasing your profitability.
While motor power conveyors are also a good choice, gravity conveyors can be advantageous due to their versatility and intelligent design. When choosing your next conveyor system, you should know the multiple benefits of a gravity-powered conveyor belt system.
Advantages of a Gravity Conveyor
Gravity conveyors can be useful for many industries, moving various goods with ease from the collection point to the delivery point. Whether your operation is small, large, or growing, you could find a gravity conveyor is the right option for your business.
Because the system uses gravity to move merchandise, there is no need to install expensive motors. A powered engine runs off your electricity supply or a battery, so there is a cost each time your staff turn on the machine. Motors can break down, leading to costly downtime while you wait for the repairs and the cost of paying an engineer or outside contractor to carry out the work.
A gravity conveyor belt has fewer moving parts and does not require a power source, so they are easier to install and less likely to break down. They require minimal maintenance to operate smoothly, and staff can easily keep the rollers or wheels clean. Preventing the build-up of dirt or grime keeps the parts in good condition, reducing the need for expensive replacements.
Gravity conveyors are suitable for use in many environments. Shipping and receiving companies, order picking businesses, and warehouse and distribution centers can use gravity conveyors to move their goods quickly and cheaply. The conveyor systems can manage food packaging, vehicle parts, furniture, and medical supplies.
Choose from various roller widths, heights, and lengths to build a customized conveyor that meets your precise requirements. Because a gravity conveyor is easy to assemble, you can change the configuration according to your changing needs.
It is possible to build a conveyor that moves in a straight line or one that snakes around other materials and machines in your factory. The feature is also excellent for keeping employees safe because you can ensure the conveyor is not too close to other dangerous machinery.
How a Gravity Conveyor Works
There are gravity skate wheel conveyors and roller conveyors, and each has its advantages. Gravity skate wheel conveyors use a series of individual wheels that sit on shafts attached to the conveyor frame’s side, preventing them from moving side to side.
The wheels are excellent for moving lightweight items that have a flat bottom. Boxes, trays, and crates can all fit on the system and gently move to their destination. Many food and beverage companies, such as larger grocery stores, use gravity conveyor systems to transport their goods.
Since skate wheels space over the attached shaft’s length, they are easy to keep clean, preventing the build-up of dust or grime that could stop a wheel from turning. If a wheel suffers from wear-and-tear after long-term use, you can easily replace one part, rather than facing an expensive repair bill.
Gravity roller conveyors are suitable for heavy-duty items with an uneven surface. They use several metal tubes with rollers to transport merchandise. The rollers are low friction, so they turn evenly when carrying a heavy weight. Depending on the bulk of the inventory, you can choose the incline’s angle to ensure goods move smoothly and gently to their point of departure.
Spring-loaded roller axles allow you to remove individual sections, which is ideal for cleaning purposes. You can replace each roller separately, keeping the ones that are still in excellent condition, and replacing worn items, keeping your conveyor system operating at peak performance.
While a gravity roller system can involve more upfront investment, a skate wheel conveyor can accommodate a broader range of goods. Construction or timber yards can use a gravity roller system to transport heavy drums or bulky timber lengths.
Whether you use wheels or rollers, it is possible to choose a level-push line or a gravity-pitched line system. A push line requires some assistance employees to move the goods along the conveyor.
While the wheels and rollers do most of the work, it still requires human intervention in a high-output facility. An incline system uses gravity to move the goods without extra help. It’s excellent for staff handling a substantial amount of goods and don’t have time to follow their cargo along the conveyor and manage heavy stock.
The Bottom Line
Gravity conveyors require less up-front investment than motor powered conveyors, and they can move goods throughout a warehouse safely and efficiently. A gravity conveyor does not require a power source, so there is no need to worry about a motor breaking down or a power outage that could render your machine inoperational.
You can choose a skate wheel conveyor system that is excellent for moving smaller, smoother, lightweight goods. If you handle heavier or unevenly shaped stock, then a roller gravity converter system is ideal for your needs.
Because they are easy to clean, you can keep your equipment in good working order, ensuring you receive a good return on your investment and keeping the resale value high. The modular design means it is inexpensive and convenient to replace parts that show signs of wear-and-tear.
To discuss how a gravity conveyor system could benefit your business, contact the Shelving + Rack Systems, Inc. sales professionals at (800) 589-7225.