Product Characteristics and Conveyors
One of the single biggest influences on conveyor design is the product being conveyed. In this post we’ve broken down the top five product characteristics to keep in mind when selecting a conveyor type.
The five product characteristics to consider when selecting a conveyor are as follows:
- Shape and Size
- Edges and Surfaces
- Unique Characteristics
Continue reading to learn more about each of these.
Weight can be broken down into three smaller, but equally important sub-considerations.
- The weight of each individual product
- The total load on the conveyor – this is the individual weight of each product multiplied by the total number of products expected on the conveyor at once.
- Will the weight of the product change as it’s conveyed? It is common for products to be assembled directly on the conveyor so knowing if the weight of each product is going to increase (or decrease) is important, along with how many products are expected at the final weight.
2) Shape and Size
Not only do the shape and size of the product need to be considered, but so does the contour of the product on the conveying surface. Parts that are highly irregular in shape and face contour may be best conveyed on a pallet-handling style conveyor – with larger size products being conveyed on conveyors such as mk’s VersaMove line and smaller products on mk’s VersaFlex line.
3) Edges and Surfaces
Complimentary to knowing the product’s shape and conveying surface contours, it is also important to understand the product's edges and surfaces.
- Does the product have sharp edges or rough surfaces? Corners or finishes that could cut?
- Does the product have a slick or sticky finish?
- Does the product have “finished surfaces”?
- Does the product have a leading edge that should be maintained during conveying?
The temperature of the product is an important detail to know. Additionally, if the product is going to be cooled or heated on the conveyor it is important to know as well.
5) Unique Characteristics
It may seem like asking about a product’s unique characteristics is a catchall category, and in a way, it sort of is. But these unique characteristics can, at times, be the ultimate deciding factor in what type of conveyor to use.
These unique characteristics include:
- Is it food? And if it is food, what type and is it packaged?
- Is it explosive?
- Is it fragile or sensitive to shock?
- Does the product have electronic components?
- Is the product coated in machining oil or another chemical?
- Is the product going to vary in physical characteristics or is there more than one product?
Check out our infographic to learn more about the other factors, such as environmental, that are necessary considerations for selecting a conveyor.
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