Conveying Large Products

The most common heavy-duty goods are pallets and containers. There is a wide variety of each, so ensuring you know what you’re dealing with is the first step to success when conveying these items. See the chart below that details more information on common pallets and containers.

Quality plays a large role when trying to handle pallets with a conveyor. For example, wood pallets can be constructed with a wide array of materials. If low-quality materials are used and the pallet deteriorates quickly, you may run into issues with the conveyor. Having warped runners, stringers or even “hanging” nails from boards can be detrimental to the equipment.

Selecting the Best Conveyor Solution

Choosing the right equipment for your conveying application is absolutely critical to ensure the product gets from point A to B without any issues. Consider the product, its maximum weight and orientation before conveying. How will the pallet be placed on and picked up from the conveyor?

table with pallet information

CDLR Conveyor

CDLR (Chain Driven Live Roller) is one of the most common types of powered conveyors for heavy-duty applications. A single AC motor drives an entire section of roller conveyor via a chain that is wrapped over sprockets welded to the conveyor rollers. This works exceptionally well for pallets that have runners oriented perpendicular to the rollers. In the figure below, we show a pallet conveying on a roller conveyor. The orientation of the runners to the rollers in Figure 1.1 is perpendicular, while in Figure 1.2 we show runners parallel to the rollers. As a rule of thumb, runners that are perpendicular to the rollers mean you can have wider roller centers than if the runners are parallel.

pallet with blue legs
Figure 1.1 (Runners Perpendicular)
palette with blue legs
Figure 1.2 (Runners Parallel)

In instances where the pallet runners are required to go parallel to the rollers, tighter and closer roller centers may be needed to convey. Alternatively, a chain drag conveyor could be utilized.

Chain Drag Conveyor

Chain drag is also driven by a single AC motor. It has multiple strands of exposed chain (typically two or three), that a pallet will sit on while being conveyed. When conveying a pallet with runners perpendicular to the chain, a chain drag conveyor works exceptionally well.

green conveyor
Figure 2.0 (Runners Parallel)

Curves, Diverts, Transfer Cars, Turntables & Traffic Management

There will come a time when your conveyor will need to turn or divert 90 degrees. Depending on your layout, available floor space, turning radius and more, any of the four options in the figures below is your best option.

The most cost-effective option will likely be the 90-degree curve but will take up a lot of floor space. Other considerations may require either a turntable or a chain transfer—but don’t forget to take into account throughput. While these aren’t the only factors that play into your decision, they’re a great starting point for selecting the appropriate conveyor solution.

chain transfer turntables