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A Guide for Conveyor Proposals & Specifications

18th September 2018

Conveyors are a critical part of warehousing operations, but there are many options, providers and variables. To help clear that up, we have created a quick download for your use. Let’s break down what you need to know beyond the obvious.

Specification information

There are specifications you’ll need to know. Don’t sweat it if you don’t—we can assist you with all of this.

Conveyor type

There are many options, and options within those options. If you aren’t sure what is needed, let us know and we can work with you to specify it. Usually this depends on your environment, load type/dimensions/weight, facility factors and other factors.

How long does your conveyor need to be?

Most types of conveyors can be fit to most any length, but there are potentially some limitations. Conveyors are measured by bed length and overall length. Typically you are more concerned with the amount of conveying surface (bed length) than facility size (overall length), but when space is tight all of this matters. Most conveyors’ overall length isn’t too much different than its bed length. If there are multiple conveyors, note the length you have available for each to get started.

How wide should it be?

Conveyor widths, like lengths, come in two dimensions—overall width (the dimension from the outside of your frames) and belt/roller width. What you’ll need to know:

The width of your widest load. This dictates your roller/belt width so that your conveyor can accommodate the load. Some conveyor types let the load hang over the edges, if rollers are set high (above the frame so the load can hang over as it travels).

The amount of side-to-side space available for your conveyor. Usually not an issue, but could be in very tight applications

Keep ergonomics in top-of-mind. For very wide conveyors, use skewed rollers or other means to guide product to the working side of the conveyor so that people don’t have to bend over to reach it. This will help with both ergonomics and safety. You don’t want people leaning needlessly across a running conveyor.

Heights and supports

When conveyors are mounted on the floor, you’ll need to set the height based on the way the conveyor is being used. If people are working on product, picking or packing on the conveyor, the primary driver should be ergonomic working height. Usually this means setting the height for a “golden zone” that lets people work easiest. This article breaks that situation down in detail, but it’s mostly about setting conveyors for “knuckle height”, with is 30″ from the floor to the center of the operator’s hands for the average person.

Conveyor heights are defined as top-of-roller or top-of belt. The The height of the load should also be considered if people are working on the loads. You can set the conveyor lower if there is a 12″ tall load to make it easier for operators to work with the load. Take guards into consideration when setting the heights.

For ceiling-mounted or overhead conveyors, there are different considerations. Usually people aren’t working on those, but you will need to set them to safe clearances for people or forklifts passing beneath, and be sure they interface correctly with processes on the floor, mezzanines, machinery, etc.