Gravity Roller Conveyor Pulley Systems: Uses for Production Efficiency

Blog | December 6th, 2018

A fascinating knock-on effect takes place when gravity conveyor pulley systems first get moving. Perhaps it’s the laws of energy conservation that are responsible for the following piece of mechanical hocus-pocus, or perhaps it’s good old-fashioned equipment excellence that keeps the momentum going. Either way, production managers love the effect that you’re about to hear about.

The Rotation Multiplication Effect

The production enhancing momentum takes place when the first package moves down the inclined slope. Pushed by hand or imparted with energy by another part of the conveyor system, a package gets moving. The rollers are still spinning, though, so the second package rides the existing rolling force like it’s on the crest of a wave. Therefore, it takes less force to get succeeding items moving along the rollers because they’re still in free-spin. Essentially, the force of gravity works with the laws of energy conservation, the still spinning rollers, to efficiently accelerate the packages as they speed down the roller-equipped conveyor decks.

Retarding Excess Package Carriage Energy

During the course of a day, the energies multiply until trains of items speed along gravity roller conveyor pulley systems. Cleverly installed curves and force retardation mechanisms dampen the momentum. Otherwise, they would end up rocketing off the terminating station, and the equipment really shouldn’t be discharging crushed boxes of costly merchandise. No, the speed of the system is regulated, controlled by the aforementioned curves, and there’s also an optional brake roller that’s designed to dynamically controls the flow rate. In summary, although little energy is needed to get items moving on roller decks, the residual energy effect increases again and again as other packages follow.

Some Assorted Production Enhancing Musings

To take advantage of the above efficiency boosting effect, coefficients of friction must be worked out by the design engineers and passed on over to the installation technicians. Knowing the roller materials and friction factor, the inclination angle is adjusted until items move smoothly along the decks. Production efficiency peaks. Being modular in nature, if one section, one deck, impacts this coefficient, then it can be replaced by a new segment. Maintenance techs stroll the length of the equipment, seeking out such momentum hampering sections. Finally, keeping the system truly productive, it must be used with flat-bottomed packages. If the boxes sag or flex, contact caused by the box material will steal gravity-fed energy.

It’s almost mesmerizing, the way in which gravity roller systems take advantage of the least amount of energy. With a light push, the first package gets moving. Soon, though, a whole train of boxes absorbs the multiplied roller energy, and the items fly, at least until the brake roller slows things down.

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