Conveyors, Casters, and Wheels

Conveyors, Casters, and Wheels

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3064-0.ch004
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This chapter introduces various concepts related to industrial conveyors, casters and wheels. At first, conveyors are discussed. Various types of conveyors are presented along with their characteristics. After describing the general components common to all conveyors, a chronological history is overviewed, followed by the introduction of the various types of conveyors. Each of the conveyors is described as minutely as possible. After this, the list of leading manufacturers, followed by an example scenario for the application of conveyors is presented. Then, some notes about the guidelines of the conveyors is discussed and recent conveyor technologies are discussed. Next section focuses on casters and wheels. After describing the basic structure of the casters, various types of casters are discussed along with details about the various aspects. The next section discusses various types of wheels. The last section discusses the applications of various intelligent techniques, especially on conveyors.
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2. Conveyor

Conveyor is continuous common piece horizontal, inclined or vertical equipment that moves materials from one place to another place quickly and efficiently in a manufacturing or distributing facility. Conveyors are generally used for transporting bulky or heavy materials. The general components of a conveyor are shown in Figure 1 (“Conveyor Systems”, n.d.; “Conveyors”, n.d.) The components are described in brief.

Figure 1.

General components of a conveyor

  • Head/Drive Pulley: Head pulley is generally a fixed and essential component of a conveyor. It is located at the discharging end. This is basically a drive pulley.

  • Tail Pulley: This pulley is located at the tail end of a conveyor. This is either a drive pulley or idler.

There may be other types of pulley in the system. Some of them include, snub pulley (to increase the angle of wrap around the drive pulley); take-up bend pulley (to change the direction of the belt); take-up pulley (to adjust the change in length of the belt, to maintain proper tension).

  • Conveyor Belt: This is the belt that actually carries the material. The belt generally contains two layers. The lower layer is generally made up of nylon or cotton or polyester fabric and provides the shape of the belt and linear strength. The upper layer covers the lower layer and is generally made up of non-frictional material such as silicon or rubber.

  • Idlers: Idlers are used to support the conveyor belt. It generally consists of rollers with ball bearings. The idlers are properly spaced so as to fully support the conveyor.

  • Belt Cleaner or Belt Streamer: These are used to clean the belt. It removes any material left. If the materials are not removed then it can be accumulated over the belt, causing the spillage and blockage of other incoming material, misalignment of the material resulting in the accumulation of material caused by spillage, under the belt, which ultimately leads to reduction in efficiency of operation for the entire conveyor.

  • Discharge Chute: it refers to the chute which discharges material either to another conveyor or to a stockpile. It is located at the discharging end or head pulley.

  • Feed Chute: It refers to a chute which feeds a conveyor, that is, brings material from another conveyor.

Before going into the depths of various aspects of conveyors, let’s first take a glance at the history of conveyors.

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