On the surface, conveyor belts are just about as simple to understand as a machine can be. Conveyor belts, after all, have the same broad purpose: to convey things from one place to another. There are, however, many variations of the conveyor belt. There are as many different styles as there are applications. Conveyor belts are used in everything from mining to food service. Here are five of the most popular and useful kinds of conveyor belt systems in use today.
Small, plastic-plated conveyor belt systems are famously used to serve sushi in some restaurants. Yoshiaki Shiraishi opened the first conveyor belt sushi restaurant, Mawaru Genroku Sushi, in 1958. As well as introducing an element of sci-fi novelty to the dining experience, conveyor belt systems help restaurant owners serve lots of people in a very small space. The conveyor belt sushi experience was popularized in the West by chains such as Yo! Sushi!.
Roller Chain Conveyors
Conveyor manufacturers in USA produce roller chain conveyors of all sizes. Roller chain conveyors push items forward by means of a series of cylinders, all connected to a chain drive. You may have used a roller chain conveyor at the airport when checking your bag into security. These conveyors are easy to maintain – the individual rollers can be easily removed and replaced. They are not able to take especially massive loads.
Slider Bed Conveyors
Instead of rollers, slider bed conveyors have a single, unbroken surface on which cargo is conveyed. The surface is usually made of a flexible material like rubber. These conveyors are particularly useful in settings where workers are required to constantly place objects on the belt without activating it themselves – such as at recycling plants. Recycling is one of the main applications of slider bed conveyors. As humanity begins to recycle on an unprecedented scale in order to tackle landfill use and global warming, sales of slider bed conveyor systems have skyrocketed worldwide.
Trough Idler Conveyors
Trough idler conveyor belts are similar in build to slider bed systems, but feature a banked conveyance surface. This makes them ideal systems for conveying sand, concrete or cement without creating spillage waste. The ‘idler’ is the part of the conveyor system that supports the belt. In a trough idler system, the idlers are arranged in a shallow V shape, which forms the banked conveyor surface once the belt has been attached.
Package Handling Conveyors
Companies such as Amazon rely upon package handling conveyors to transport thousands of items around their huge warehouses every single day. Package handling conveyors have to be very versatile: there is no standard package size and weight. These conveyor systems often have steep sides and strong support structures in order to accommodate the most unbalanced and heavy packages. They must also be designed for ease of maintenance: package delivery is a competitive market, and any stoppage caused by a broken conveyor could seriously damage the standing of a company.