Businesses that load, ship, or store large, heavy products or large quantities often incorporate pallets into their operations. However, it is not always an easy task to handle these pallets and the products that are loaded onto them in a timely and cost-effective way, making conveyor systems a necessity.
With the right specifications and customization, pallet conveyor systems and other pallet unloading equipment can increase the flexibility and productivity of your production line, while reducing the total costs of your daily operations. They are designed to carefully move large and heavy loads safely and efficiently, while also maximizing floor space and minimizing load handling.
However, with a variety of pallet conveyors available, there are a few key things to consider before selecting the right one for your application:
- What is your load?
- What is your environment?
- How will you load/unload it?
With this information, you can begin to compare the various pallet conveyor system types—whether they utilize conveyor belts, chains, skate wheels, or rollers for various applications for transport—and when you might specify them. Roller, drag, and specialty pallet conveyor systems are among the most common.
Types of Roller Conveyor Systems
Pallet roller conveyor systems provide a series of rollers supported within a frame, allowing products to move easily through the system. Depending on the type of roller conveyor, products may be moved by power, gravity, or even manually.
Chain-Driven Power Roller Systems
Chain-driven power roller systems can be specified for a variety of accumulation and transport applications for pallets, heavy components, drums, and other unit loads. These systems drive their rollers with chains, which gives them the power they need to move heavyweight loads. They are available in straight and curved configurations and are easily integrated for angled transfers.
Gravity Roller Conveyor
Gravity pallet roller conveyors for pallet handling are excellent for lighter, larger loads that can be pushed manually or conveyed safely at an appropriate pitch. You can also transfer many types of loads with short runs of gravity or ball transfers configured the right way.
Floor-mounted gravity rails set at the correct angle can handle some palletized loads to make conveyance easier, lower maintenance, and more efficient, particularly compared to other alternatives.
Drag Chain Conveyors
Drag chain pallet conveyor systems are a great solution for loads that aren’t easily conveyed on roller conveyors. They are also excellent for high-temperature applications and can handle loads up to 6,000 pounds.
Since there aren’t any rollers, drain chain conveyors are relatively compact when space is critical, and are also fairly low maintenance. Additionally, drag chain conveyors are reversible and can be configured in curved or straight formations.
Types of Specialty Conveyors
There are many types of specialty pallet conveyor systems, as well. With different designs and uses, these pallet conveyors can be personalized to the product being moved.
Slat conveyors are a type of conveying technology that utilizes a chain-driven loop of slats to move products from one of its ends to another. The result is a conveyor that provides a rigid, flat surface for every item on the conveyor, which is ideal for many kinds of products that cannot be used on rollers or belts due to their irregular shape.
Because the slats are typically made of engineering plastic or metal, they are most useful for heavy products that would normally damage most conveyors, as well as in high-temperature, hazardous, or harsh environments.
Heavy-duty slat conveyor systems are vital components of the automotive manufacturing market, as they are the heart and soul of assembly lines.
Plastic Belt Conveyors
Plastic belts are excellent for full-load support, such as footed pallets, slip sheets, and unitized loads. They are ideal for applications where the load cannot be supported by rollers or drag chains, and the modularity and flexibility can satisfy most layout requirements.
Plastic belt conveyor systems are utilized to convey a variety of products, from lightweight packaged or unpackaged to heavy loads requiring extra support. They are commonly found in packaging, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, and Food & Beverage applications.
These conveyors can be designed with a steel or aluminum base for easier installation and washdown applications.
Finding the Best Pallet Unloading Equipment for Your Application
Need assistance finding and selecting the best pallet conveyor for your application? Leave it to our Conveying Systems and Engineering experts.
IBT specializes in specifying the proper pallet conveyor for your unique load and environment. When it comes to moving large, heavy products, there are many key considerations we take into consideration, such as:
- Spacing rollers
- Recognizing the right footprint of the pallet for the conveyor
We will team up with you to find the perfect, most efficient, and cost-effective system for your operation—whether you need standard or zero pressure accumulation! We can also provide conveyor belt troubleshooting if there is a problem with your pallet unloading equipment.
Are you concerned about your staff unloading heavy, 50-pound bags from full pallets? IBT’s Custom Pallet Unloading System can do the heavy work for you—and prevent injuries along the way.
Request a FREE EVALUATION or Learn More
Your one-stop industrial shop is also your conveyor expert. Schedule a FREE EVALUATION today or contact IBT’s Director of Conveying Systems Jim Boatright at (913) 261-2116 to learn more.
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