Welcome to this installment of MC² on Conveyors!
Conveyor functions are as varied as the applications they complete. Conveyors for discrete product transport benefit from customization to satisfy requirements — including chain and belt size, morphology and material; support frames; controller, drive, and motor or motors; mode of engagement with the drive; encoder, vision, and switch feedback; tracks, bumpers, and gates; and HMIs and plant-level IT integration.
Consider warehouse automation where the objective is ultra-fast sorting and tracking. Such applications need conveyors with servomotor functionality integrated with inspection stations fitted with machine vision. Or consider pharmaceutical manufacturing — now a trillion-dollar industry, even while standards such as FDA CGMP regulations are more stringent than ever. Here, conveyors must deliver top-notch warehouse automation functions and have stainless and aluminum parts to pose no risk of contamination to expensive pharmaceutical products such as pills. Likewise, medical-device manufacture must adhere to FDA regulations that dictate equipment-sterilization schedules so conveyors in these applications withstand harsh washdowns.
In the conveyor installment of Design World’s MC² we’ve written and collected more than a dozen references that detail these and other types of material handling with conveyors. Check it out.