Accumulation conveyors move and hold product as necessary. They also provide operations the ability to merge product lines. This helps maximize space in your warehouse.
There are a few different accumulation conveyor belts to choose from, zero pressure, zero contact, and minimum contact. Which you choose depends on your operation and product type. Read below to find out more about each type.
How Accumulation Conveyors Work
Accumulation conveyors move loads from point A to point B, allowing them to accumulate when necessary. The ability to hold/store product within the belt allows time for equipment or other material handling resources to become available down the line.
Once these resources become available, the system gives a signal to release the next queue of products.
The ability to slow down or speed up processes at different points within the same operation makes accumulation conveyors very effective for high throughput operations.
If an accumulation conveyor sounds like the type of conveyor belt you are looking to implement into your warehouse, continue reading to learn more about their advantages and the different types available.
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Advantages of an Accumulation Conveyor
Accumulation conveyors can offer many advantages. Some of the most beneficial are listed below:
Increases employee productivity.
Accumulation conveyors allow staff to supervise a number of stations at the same time.
Decreases damage rates.
Accumulation conveyors range from no contact/pressure to minimum contact between products, making it a great transportation option for fragile products.
Increases product throughput rate.
As stated above, staff can supervise a number of stations simultaneously, which leads to quicker product turnaround times.
Types of Accumulation Conveyors
When it comes to accumulation conveyors, there are a few different types to choose from. Read about what each accumulation conveyor type can offer you below.
Zero Pressure Accumulation Conveyor
Zero pressure accumulation conveyors are a great option if you are transporting fragile items of any weight. This is because of the light contact between product which decreases damage risk.
How It Works
Zero pressure accumulation conveyors allow for light contact between products when the system signals the queue to accumulate. Once these products come into contact, the system stops the moving pressure so that products are gently touching but at rest. These conveyors are typically made up of photo-electric sensors and on-board zone logic to control this movement.
There are a number of instances a zero pressure accumulation conveyor may be optimal, such as:
- Operations with a wide variety of products that range in size and weight.
- Transporting fragile product.
- Using these conveyors as a transportation method between picking and packing areas.
Zero Contact Accumulation Conveyor
Zero contact accumulation conveyors are the most optimal choice when transporting fragile product. This is because the conveyor does not allow product to touch at all.
How It Works
Zero contact accumulation conveyors leave space between products when the system signals a queue to accumulate. This is typically accomplished by dividing the conveyor into zones that each hold one item, the item being smaller than its designated zone.
The best application for zero contact conveyors are:
- Fragile items that cannot withstand pressure.
- Example: Products packaged in bags.
- Transporting items of varying sizes and weights.
Minimum Contact Accumulation Conveyor
Minimum contact accumulation conveyors are a cost effective solution that are great for transporting product of consistent size. Due to the nature of minimum contact, avoiding the transportation of fragile product is recommended.
How It Works
Minimum contact accumulation conveyors allow for light contact between products when the system signals that queue to accumulate. Unlike zero pressure accumulation conveyors, this type of conveyor maintains a light but constant drive force on products waiting in accumulation, typically belt-driven roller or modular plastic conveyor belts.
Utilizing minimum contact accumulation conveyors are ideal for:
- Transporting products of consistent size in operations that require only short sections of accumulation.
- Allowing product to accumulate before sorting and packing.
Your Next Steps For an Accumulation Conveyor
Now that you have a better understanding of accumulation conveyors, contact a REB professional today. Whether you are certain which type of accumulation conveyor is right for you, or if you need more guidance, REB experts are here to help.
REB is a highly experienced systems integrator, in business since 1962. REB currently has 17 in-house project managers and engineers, all highly experienced in the material handling industry. These professionals know this industry inside and out.
We’d appreciate the opportunity to help you further, whether that be more information or a quote. Fill in the contact form on this page or call us at (800) 252-5955 to get in touch with a REB representative.