What Goes Into Designing A Conveyor System?

Designing a conveyor system for your facility comes down to creating a system that meets your very specific needs. Your system design will depend on your choice of conveyor, your system process, the application the system is needed for, tools used, and any other considerations.

Product & Application

What exactly are you using your system for? Are you moving food product? Are you moving automotive parts?

Many conveyors are specifically designed to meet industry standards. Especially in the case of food, certain conveyors meet medical-grade standards set by government organizations.

Application also means determining the size, shape, and mass of the product that will be moved. This impacts what kind of conveyor is best suited for the job. In addition, you should consider the packaging material because this can impact the type of equipment that is able to move this material.

Finally, you may want to determine whether the product in the application is delicate or durable. This will impact exactly how your system is set up.

Application Process

Conveyor system design also will depend on the actual process of your specific application. You should consider:

  • The cycle time or production rate (this impacts belt speed)
  • If the process is continuous, accumulated and or indexed
  • If the application is a new one or an add-on to an existing line
  • How the product is added to the conveyor
  • How the product will be removed from the conveyor
  • What specific conveyor you have in mind (flat and straight, elevated or curved conveyor)

Operational Environment

Similar to the application section above, you will want to consider any environmental factors that may impact the conveyor or the product being moved.

Food grade applications require a different conveyor than some other applications. If a conveyor is used in a cleanroom, you will need to consider the addition of water onto the conveyor. You may also require the conveyor to be washed down or cleaned after use, so this will impact where the conveyor ends up being during its use and “rest” time.

In addition, you will need to consider if there are any contaminants that may be distributed onto the conveyor. This can include substances like dust, debris and chemicals.

Other Design Criteria

There are many other types of criteria that you may have to consider including safety and industry protocols. To help you, we are going to list a few questions you should ask yourself before committing to any one conveyor design.

  • What safety or code compliance is required?
  • Will guiding be needed?
  • What is the space envelope the system must operate within?
  • Will the speed of the system be fixed or variable?
  • What is the belt height?
  • Are there specific power requirements that are needed or required?
  • How will the process be controlled and what type of controls will be utilized?
  • How will the system be integrated with other pieces of equipment?

What Tools Do I Need To Configure My System?

Knowing what tools you will need to configure a system set up especially for your needs can be difficult. However, we do recommend a tool that can help you answer all the questions required to create a conveyor design system perfect for your application.

Dorner’s DTools online configuration tool is the industry leading tool to help designers, engineers and production personnel build complete systems.  The tool also generates product descriptions, part numbers and CAD drawings – literally within minutes!

Wrapping Up

There are many considerations you must think through before you can find your dream team in a conveyor. We recommend using the DTools online configuration tool or contacting one of our specialists by email or phone to create a system fit for your needs.