Automotive conveyor systems

Conveyor belts are an integral part of the automotive industry driving seamless efficiency in daily operations. In the diverse vehicle manufacturing industry, automotive conveyor systems have revolutionised multi-channel inventory management. In this article, we will understand the inherent innovations and the major trends changing the dynamics of car production.

Let’s begin with understanding the science of conveyors used in the automotive industry. 

How do Conveyor Belts Work? – Insider Overview

The basic principle of automotive conveyor systems is creating friction between the belt surface and the objects placed on it. The force moves the belt, carrying the object to its final destination. The belts consist of two or more core layers providing support and strength. The core is made of rubber and plastic with a cover protecting it from regular wear and tear. 

Here are a few key components of conveyor systems. 

Next, let’s focus on the types of conveyor systems used in the automotive industry before understanding the recent innovations in car manufacturing.

The Types of Automotive Conveyor Systems 

1. Roller Conveyor

It can transfer heavy objects and carry oversized pallets in straight rolls. Often, roller belts are used to transport raw materials like aluminium sheets and gears, enabling efficient production at full capacity. 

2. Overhead Conveyor

Warehouses require overhead automotive conveyor systems to hang heavy loads using a hook or attachment. It is ideal for saving space to store heavy components and auto parts required by belt or roller style. 

3. The Classic Transporter

The automotive industry requires faster time-to-market execution with minimal gaps between final production and market launch. Several companies have built-in transporters called specialized trucks that carry finished cars to a dealership or someplace where they will be sold. 

These are specially-made automotive conveyor systems with different sizes to accommodate various car models and vehicles. 

4. Belt Conveyors

The most widely used conveyor belt owing to its versatility and simple construction. A rubberised belt is wrapped around rollers to carry items across different production areas. They can be used horizontally or inclined to facilitate easier loading and unloading access. 

5. Chain Conveyor – The Ultimate Machine

It is used in different sectors of the automotive industry like assembly, manufacturing, and transportation. The conveyor is made using a series of chain-like structures called sprockets that move along a continuous circular motion. The belt runs on two pulleys that move around them to propel forward action. 

Now, that you are familiar with the different types of automotive conveyor systems, let’s understand the significant innovations in conveyor systems. 

Innovations in Automotive Conveyor Systems

The rapid innovations in conveyor belts have paved the way for huge industry-driven transformation. Here are a few dynamic trends boosting the growth of automotive conveyors.

1. Automation in Belts

Automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) are increasingly used in conjunction with conveyor systems for material handling tasks. These flexible automation solutions can navigate around obstacles, transport materials between workstations, and integrate seamlessly with conveyor lines.

These automated conveyor systems utilize artificial intelligence for bulk material handling eliminating the need for human assistance, thus, increasing the efficiency of loading, unloading, maintenance, repair, and sorting. 

2. Modular Systems: 

These systems feature modular components that can be easily reconfigured to adapt to changing production needs. Modular automotive conveyor systems offer flexibility and scalability, allowing manufacturers to adjust layouts and processes without extensive downtime.

3. Smart Conveyors

Incorporating sensors, RFID tags, and IoT (Internet of Things) technology, smart conveyor belts can monitor various parameters such as speed, temperature, and product quality in real time. This data enables predictive maintenance, minimizes downtime, and optimizes efficiency.

4. Vision Systems

Vision-enabled technology is integrated into conveyor systems using cameras and image processing algorithms to inspect parts for defects, ensuring quality control at high speeds. These automotive conveyor systems can detect surface imperfections, dimensional inaccuracies, and assembly errors.

5. Energy-Efficient Designs

Innovations in automotive conveyor systems focus on reducing energy consumption through features such as regenerative braking, variable frequency drives, and optimized motor control. Energy-efficient conveyor systems help lower operating costs and minimize environmental impact.

6. Multi-Level Conveyor Systems 

To maximize floor space utilization, multi-level conveyors utilize vertical space for material handling and assembly processes. These innovative conveyor technologies include lifts, elevators, and spiral conveyors to transport parts between different levels of the production facility.

7. Flexible Chain Conveyors 

Unlike traditional belt conveyors, flexible chain conveyors use interlocking plastic chains to transport items. These innovative conveyors offer greater flexibility in terms of layout design, curve configurations, and elevation changes, making them ideal for complex production environments.

8. Cleanroom Conveyor Systems 

In automotive manufacturing facilities where cleanliness and contamination control are critical, cleanroom automotive conveyor systems feature sealed construction, smooth surfaces, and minimal particle generation. These systems ensure compliance with stringent cleanliness standards for sensitive manufacturing processes.

9. Magnetic Conveyors 

They utilize magnets to move ferrous materials along the conveyor line. These conveyors are suitable for handling heavy or irregularly shaped parts, as well as for applications requiring precise positioning and indexing.

10. Predictive Maintenance Technologies 

Leveraging data analytics and machine learning algorithms, predictive maintenance technologies monitor automotive conveyor systems’ performance and predict potential failures before they occur. By detecting early warning signs of equipment deterioration, predictive maintenance reduces unplanned downtime and extends equipment lifespan.

Next, let’s solve the commonly asked questions for conveyor belts.

FAQs – Innovation in Automotive Conveyor Systems

What is the alternative to the conveyor system?

Tech-enabled robots limiting the need for human intervention in material sorting, picking, and transportation are the next best alternatives to conveyor belts. It is a new approach requiring huge, upfront capital and is at a nascent level of development. 

What are the ways to increase the efficiency of conveyor belts?

It all begins with choosing the right material that matches the workload and operating time limit. Install predictive maintenance systems and implement safety training programs to increase the effectiveness of the belts and reduce downtime. 

What type of control system does a conveyor use?

PLC or programmable logic controller is the widely used control system in the automotive industry. The programming performs various functions like acceleration, deceleration, and modifying conveyor buttons. 


The rapid technological advancements in automotive conveyor systems signify the ever-changing landscape of the conveyor industry.  The need for effective supply chain management will further fuel the impact of belts in the automotive industry. Are you interested in innovating your supply chain visibility, get in touch with Qodenext to amplify your logistical operations.

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