Since the implementation of moving assembly line by Henry Ford in 1913 to make the Ford Model T in an industrial scale has brought forth the need of Automated Conveyor Systems. This is a mechanical system that is automated and helps in moving articles from one part of the factory to the other. This entire operation is achieved without the intervention of humans. Several sectors of modern industry make use of the conveyor system and these are commonly found in the manufacturing plants. Since these instruments are not operated by humans, they have the distinct advantage over the other conveyor system of being accurate and working with precision without the chance of human error. Sometimes, these can be even used for transportation of human beings such as in escalators and ski lifts. The varied implementation in different fields has led to rise of popularity of automated conveyor systems.
Types of Automated Conveyor Systems
There are different types of Automated Conveyor Systems which have been developed over the years. They are:
- Belt Conveyors: This involves a steel belt being wrapped over two cylindrical drums at both ends. The object to be carried around is placed on the belt for transport.
- Rail Conveyors: As the name suggests, these conveyors use rails (or a collection of them) to transmit their load form one place to another. They are commonly seen at the dry cleaners and are used for hanging clothes.
- Vertical and Spiral Conveyors: These conveyors usually have pouches or spirals parts to carry their load to the destination.
- Roller Conveyors: These conveyors are commonly employed at the airports to carry the luggage around. These conveyor systems usually have powered rollers which carry the load and are preferred for loads that don’t have many dangling parts.
- Pneumatic Conveyors: This system is bit different from the rest and these utilize the air to move the materials around. The materials usually carried by these conveyors are loosened material, light enough to be carried by suspending in the air.
Care and Maintenance of Automated Conveyor Systems
There are certain important aspects of the Automated Conveyor Systems which require constant care and attention. This ensures the continuous and optimal usage of the conveyor system.
- Take-up adjustment: This is a commonly ignored problem and this happened when the take-up mechanism faces decent amount of wear and tear. The springs controlling this mechanism usually loose force on continual and unmaintained use. This causes chain surging and damage to the track and chain and, if not repaired, can lead the system to serious damage in the future.
- Lubrication: The lack of lubrication in the chain bearings can reduce the smoothness of the operation because of the damage due to friction. This can be repaired by oiling of the conveyor system regularly.
- Contamination: This describes the accumulation of dirt and powder in movable parts of the conveyor belt. This can seriously hinder the movement of the belt and should be removed regularly.
- Drive train: This inspection should be done as the machine is in operation. The inspection of drive train involves the inspection of every moving parts of the conveyor system. This inspection is important because the faulty drive train puts strain on the conveyor system as a whole, which seriously damages the entire system if not repaired quickly.
- Bad timing of the belts: In an Automated Conveyor Systems, precisely controlled belts play an important role. Mistiming and improper speed of the belt system can put stress on the system and can damage the overall productivity.
This tells us what an important role Automated Conveyor Systems play in the industrial scene. This piece of equipment is the backbone of any modern production plant and it causes a huge simplification in the process of transporting materials.