Belt or Roller Which One to Choose?

Over the years, conveyors have revolutionized industries eliminating the overreliance on human labor to transport products from one point to another. Automation makes them suitable for large processing and manufacturing industries. They can also be ideal for transporting products in warehouses and fulfillment centers.

You can use different types of conveyors for your company or factory. The most common types of conveyors are belts and rollers, which are nearly used in all factories and warehouses. When selecting the best conveyor, you should consider these factors and critical differences.   For instance, you may want to consider partnering with a company like fluentconveyors.com to access a wider range of conveyor types and customization options that best fit your specific business needs.

Conveyor belt curve showing brown packed postal boxes Conveyor belt for postal boxes belt and roller conveyor stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

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How to select the best conveyors?

These two conveyors are standard; however, you should carefully select the ideal one. When choosing them, consider the following factors:

  • Product nature: Consider the weight of the products, the shape, vulnerabilities, and other factors.
  • Industry: These conveyors are suitable for different sectors; hence you need to select the best one for the industry, such as farming, mining, manufacturing, food processing, etc.
  • Transportation speeds: When you need to transport products at higher speeds, the belts will be more suitable than rollers. 
  • Additional activities: You can use belts to perform other functions, such as product counts. 

When to use a belt conveyor

The items to transport

They are the most suitable and convenient conveyors for transporting various items. It is suitable for small, medium, and large products. It is ideal for smaller products and goods; it can be ideal for small-size grains such as sand, soil, grains, flour, and other smaller-size products. Moreover, they are mostly suitable for drinks, food items, bags, packets, light boxes, loose materials, and packaged products.

Nature of the products to transport

They are also more versatile than roller conveyors. A belt conveyor is generally a flat surface and does not matter the size of the products you need to carry from one point to the other. It is a more cost-effective method of transporting lighter materials. 

When using it, you need to avoid bulky items, which can make the belt sag and affect the flow of things or the movement of products. It is also not ideal for sharp objects that can cut through or cut through the belt surface. 

Cardboard boxes on conveyor belt at distribution warehouse Cardboard boxes on moving belt conveyor at distribution warehouse. Modern warehouse with automatic moving conveyor machine. belt and roller conveyor stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

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The ideal industry

They can be suitable for industries such as farming, mining, supermarkets, greenhouses, warehouses, e-fulfillment centers, and other factories that deal in ideal products suitable for belt conveyors. 

Additional functionality 

Consider conveyors when you continuously need to scan the items and products. It keeps the products stable when transporting them, enabling the scanner to scan the bar codes effectively when they pass through the belts. This makes them ideal for stock-taking processes or uses in supermarkets. 

They are also ideal for counting and scanning products since the products move at set intervals and at the same pace. It also grips the products firmly and in position to prevent them from hitting the other. You can also rely on them for product sorting, picking, and packaging. 

Workers working on conveyor belt in packaging plant Workers working on conveyor belt in packaging plant. Cropped shot of worker hands takes parcel from moving belt conveyor at distribution warehouse. belt and roller conveyor stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

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Other features

When using them, you need to consider the inclines and declines. These features enable smooth product flow and gain momentum up and down the conveyors. They have a good grip on the items; hence no need to worry about the products falling off up and down the belts. You can also choose to use inclining or declining belt conveyors. 

They are also designed differently, i.e., the inclining conveyors are designed with rollers to support the belt, reduce the friction and keep the horsepower at a minimum. The declining belt conveyors are made of steel slider pan to support the belt as it rolls down, transporting the products. They are also fitted with a brake motor to stop the product flow when the belt stops. However, you should monitor them continuously to prevent friction. 

When to use roller conveyors

Nature of the products

When using roller conveyors, you should beware that the items can quickly get stuck on the rollers, causing a jam. They are only suitable for rigid, more essential items to avoid getting stuck between the rollers. They are unsuitable for loose materials, bags, packages, or items such as clothes and drinks. They are also not suitable for food products.

You can use them for bulk items and products since they are made of solid metal rollers that can easily withstand the weight of products. You can also rely on rollers for transportation when conveying large products.

The industry

They are suitable for more oversized items and industries producing more significant items in warehouses, factories, and assembly lines. You can use them for cartons, trays, totes, boxes, pallets, and crates. You can also use them for items loaded in pallets and boxes, especially when transporting fragile items such as glasses and bottles. 

They are more durable than belt conveyors. They hardly wear out due to friction; hence, they can be used longer without damage as long as you maintain them regularly. 

Boxes On Conveyor Belt Cardboard boxes on conveyor belt in a distribution warehouse. belt and roller conveyor stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

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Additional benefits

The rollers can be reliable when you need to control the products’ quality and inspect them on the rollers. You can raise the rollers to stop them on the tracts. You can lift the bar, inspect the products and lower them back after inspection. 

They can also be ideal for packaging and packing; you can pick the products off the conveyor and then package them in boxes and pallets. The products may not travel at constant speeds, and there are incidences when the products can hit one another and possibly cause jams when not tightly controlled.

Conclusion

When selecting the ideal conveyor, focus on the industry, the material to transport, product size, and dimensions. You also need to compare their shortcomings and strengths to ensure you have the best and ideal conveyor for your factory.