Gravity Conveyor Systems: How They Contribute in Material Handling

November 23, 2018

Gravity conveyor systems don’t need powered motors or special power transmission assemblies. All they really need is a slope. The incline takes the payload from the top, all the way down a series of low-friction deck rollers, straight to their final destination. With little more than a light shove, they contribute a great deal of energy-efficient influence to their material handling surroundings.

Low-Maintenance Features

Gravity isn’t a force that runs out just when a mid-afternoon rush has started. It’s an ever-present physical force that does more than glue people and objects to the ground. Thanks to that freely available force, there are far fewer parts to maintain in a Gravity-feed conveyor system. No motors, no complex drive couplings, and no speed reducing gear trains required, the equipment has few moving parts, so it doesn’t require hours of maintenance every month.

Spotting the Single Drawback

Beyond the fact that they need a little help, either from gravity or a gentle nudge, this conveyor system has one other obvious drawback contained within its moving elements. On the deck, the rollers or socket balls must deliver frictionless motion at all times. Also, since they could be moving food or paper-based packaging, a lubrication-less feature is desirable. Produced from polished stainless steels and shiny ceramic elements, the finely manufactured rollers, bearings, and balls spin freely. If some foreign matter does interfere with their freedom of movement, it should be cleared immediately. Otherwise, the mechanism will squeak loudly and fail to deliver its rolling payload in a reliable manner. 

Assessing Their High-Functioning Contributions

Galvanized or finished in polished stainless steel, the rollers turn smoothly. Some of the finer systems even add plastic-coated metals, all the better to assure a smooth rotating element on the deck, one that’ll work companionably with its neighbours. The system is typically modular, too, so gravity conveyor decks can expand as the need requires. They’re also quite inexpensive, so a newly set up business should consider this option before ever turning to a powered conveyor equipment configuration. After all, just by raising one end of the deck, by keeping it at a predetermined height and tilted angle, smaller businesses can get their work done fast and without incurring a massive maintenance bill. 

Utilizing one or more gravity conveyor systems, a production line or packaging room expands modularly. There are no cables to lay and no intricate maintenance schedules to devise. The gear just works. As a single sentence of advice, though, remember that there are different types of gravity feed mechanisms on the market. Gravity doesn’t change, but deck configurations do, however. Consider roller feeds, skatewheels, interspaced wheels and cylinders, and other job-specific options before committing to an equipment purchase.

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