Keeping Things Moving Along: 6 Key Types of Conveyor

A conveyor is a conveyor is a conveyor, right? Wrong. There are two basic types of conveyors: powered and gravity. Powered conveyors have some sort of external energy source to keep the items on the conveyor moving, typically by manipulating the conveyor surface. Gravity conveyors (as the name suggests) use the weight of the items being conveyed to propel them where desired.

Of course, there are plenty of limitations for gravity conveyors, but the flip side is that they don’t have a motor system to maintain – or to fix in the event that it breaks down. Powered conveyors do run that risk, but can move all sorts of items (of just about any weight), even up an incline.

But the options don’t stop with powered or gravity; there are many varieties of warehouse conveyor technologies.


Gravity Conveyors

  • Chute conveyors employ smooth, flat surfaces to limit friction and encourage movement down the line.
  • Roller conveyors use a series of rollers to accomplish forward motion.
  • Wheel conveyors have row after row of skate wheels to drive the inventory or items forward.

Powered Conveyors

  • Belt conveyors may be the most familiar conveyor type of all thanks to the iconic chocolate factory scene from I Love Lucy; the continuous flat surface moves across rollers in an endless loop.
  • Accumulation conveyors manage loads by slowing them down and gathering items in certain areas.
  • Chain conveyors typically are used with heavier loads such as pallets or larger containers. A single or double chain traverses the materials as required.

These are just a few major types of conveyors – there are numerous other types and variations of conveyor, such as powered roller conveyors that have individual motors inside each roller that are activated by sensors when items come down the line.

If you are not sure which kind of warehouse conveyor technologies are right for your operation, give us a call today at Outsource Equipment Company at 866-971-1032 or 407-695-5545. One of our material handling equipment specialists will be happy to discuss the various options. What’s more, Outsource Equipment specializes in sourcing pre-owned equipment for those times when your budget does not allow the capital expenditures that sometimes are necessary when purchasing brand-new equipment. So whether you are looking for new or used material handling equipment, Outsource Equipment is the company to talk to.