Differences Between Roller and Belt Conveyors

A conveyor system is a mechanical assembly designed to transport objects or material with very little effort. In principle, most conveyors are the same: a frame is built to stretch from one location to another, and it supports some mechanism that actually supports and moves the load.

Conveyors may be powered or unpowered, and the type of conveyor that’s used usually depends on this difference.

A roller conveyor, for example, uses parallel rollers mounted onto the frame to guide materials from one location to the next. The key advantage here is that a roller conveyor can be unpowered, and probably works best that way.

The rollers take advantage of low-friction bearings to spin freely, so pushing objects along doesn’t require much effort to make sure that the product travels long distances. These types of conveyors are also commonly utilized in gravity-assisted applications, where gravity does the heavy lifting and the rollers simply guide the materials along.

A belt conveyor does the same work, but uses a continuous belt to transport material instead of rollers. The belt extends in an endless loop, supported by two end-pulleys at either end of the conveyor system. Rollers or some soft of sliders support the belt between each endpoint.

Belt conveyors need motor power to propel objects, which adds cost and maintenance to the system, but the type of load that can be moved is far more flexible since a) motors can be sized up to move heavier loads and b) the belt offers and uniform surface. Belts are ideal for moving bulk material, or for irregularly shaped objects that might get stuck on different type of conveyor.

To learn more about conveyors and how to utilize or improve the system in your facility, contact our experts today!

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