Though some systems utilize motorized conveyors, gravity conveyors remain a popular option for light-duty industrial applications in warehouses and factories. These conveyors rely on gravity to move products from one place to the next. They are typically installed at a slight decline so the conveyor moves goods with little-to-no external power applied.
Gravity conveyors use either rollers or skate wheels to move goods. Skate wheels are better for moving lightweight goods with flat bottoms. Rollers can be used for a larger variety of goods. For heavy-duty applications, 2-5/8” diameter rollers support large amounts of weight without sacrificing speed.
In some cases, a gravity conveyor may contain sections that are horizontal, or completely horizontal. Those systems sometimes rely partly on humans to push the products manually.
Gravity roller conveyors don’t need motor power sources to move materials, so companies can reduce overall operating costs by relying on gravity conveyors.
They work best if materials are gently pushed onto the roller or skate wheels from another source since the momentum of the goods can be maintained easily on the gravity conveyor’s rollers. However, a steep enough decline can cause the products to gain sufficient speed on their own.
Since gravity rollers don’t have the same braking mechanisms as motorized systems, there is a limit to how fast they can safely operate with larger items. Gravity rollers work best over relatively short distances in assembly areas, unloading and loading zones, and picking systems.
Gravity conveyors typically don’t require as much space to install as motorized conveyors, so they are easier to install overhead or in tight spaces. Skate wheel and roller curves require about as much space as other conveyor systems’ curves, so there are no significant downsides to gravity conveyors.
Uneven and heavier items are a little more difficult to move on gravity conveyors. However, they can be moved with the right technical expertise and maintenance.
Turn to SRS-i for all your material handling solutions. We have years of experience in providing everything from gravity conveyors to refurbished warehouse racking. Whether you use an automated system or rely heavily on manual labor, we can furnish the right conveyor systems for any large or small facility.