A hot debate in our industry is often what’s best; a belt conveyor or roller conveyor? They’re both the most popular types of conveyors and do come in some variations too. In this article we will discuss both, go into their specific features and offer some pros and cons for both and potentially why one may be better for you than the other.
First off, let’s go into detail about belt conveyors. Conveyor belt systems are mechanical devices that transport objects and products, they are common throughout all industrial applications usually in e-commerce warehouses and the like.
Conveyors are present in most material handling industries for transporting large amounts of materials, or packets and parcels. In essence, conveyor belts work on a continuous loop of belt that is wrapped around and driven by one or more pulleys (known as drums) and powered by an electric motor.
A metal plate bed or rollers usually support the belt from the underside. The pulley that is powered is called the drive pulley, whilst the unpowered is known as an idler pulley.
Belt Conveyors vs Roller Conveyors
Belt conveyors are considered a lot more versatile than roller conveyors due to their build and structure. Because products are literally running on a belt, there are no cracks or rollers on them that may not suit certain types of products. For example a business needing to transport small items would potentially prefer a belt conveyor because it can deal more easily for intricate products.
A major advantage of a belt conveyor is also that they can incline or decline for transportation, whereas roller conveyors cannot. What’s more is that on average, a belt conveyor is cheaper to install and maintain than a roller conveyor which is something to consider too.
Roller conveyors use lots of rollers that are mounted on a series of axles and are attached to rigid fixed or telescoping frames. The rollers let loads ‘roll’ along a path from one place to another, reducing the effort it takes to move the loads.
Thus straight off the mark, you may be considering a roller conveyor better for your requirements because it can move heavier loads. You could also argue that a roller conveyor is more easily customisable.
Things like pneumatic stops, diverts, merges, scanners that need to see the underside of a product, etc are all easily added to roller conveyors. And another reason why you may choose a roller conveyor is the ease of human intervention.
If you need to remove, flip, turn or re-label a product, it’s easier to get to it on a roller conveyor than a belt conveyor due to there being less friction applied. Finally, there is a strong case for roller conveyors being more energy efficient to which in this day and age is ever more important.
Belt Conveyors vs Roller Conveyors? Contact Us Today
So, what’s the best conveyor to go for overall? We feel it very much depends on your business type, the items you’re looking to transport and move as well as your budget, requirements and preferences. We hope this article has shed some light on some key areas for both a roller and belt conveyor and of course if you need further assistance or information, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here at Diamond Phoenix. Our teams are available via call on 01908 592 354 or use our online contact form and we’ll get back to you promptly.