Types of conveyors

Conveyor belts are a boon for manufacturing assembly lines, however, different types of conveyors perform different functions. Whether it’s food and beverage, pharmaceutical, or automotive, conveyors play an important role and choosing the right belts is critical to supply chain operations.

The rise of modern technology has expanded the role of belts and they are no longer limited to material transportation. 

Let’s understand conveyor application in detail.

Types of Conveyors – General Guide 

1. Belt Conveyors

One of the most common types of conveyors found in manufacturing facilities worldwide, these conveyors utilise a continuous loop of material, typically made from rubber, fabric, or plastic, to transport goods. They are versatile and suitable for conveying various products, from bulk materials to packaged goods, across various distances. 

Applications of Belt Conveyors

2. Roller Conveyors

The conveyors feature a series of rollers mounted on a frame, allowing for the smooth movement of items along a predetermined path. They are particularly effective for transporting heavy loads or items with irregular shapes. 

Applications of Types of Conveyors – Roller

3. Slat Conveyors

These conveyors utilize slats or plates made from steel, wood, or plastic, which are linked together to form a continuous surface for conveying goods. They are well-suited to carry heavy or bulky items that may not be suitable for other types of conveyors. Slat conveyors are widely used in industries such as automotive manufacturing, construction, and material recycling.

4. Chain Conveyors

Chain conveyors employ chains or chains with attachments to move materials along a predefined path. They are robust and capable of handling heavy loads, making them ideal for applications involving supply chain management or high-throughput operations. Industries such as mining, cement production, and industrial manufacturing rely on chain conveyors for efficient material handling.

5. Screw Conveyors

Screw conveyors consist of a rotating screw or auger enclosed within a trough, used to move granular or powdered materials horizontally or at a slight incline. These conveyors are highly versatile and can handle various types of materials, including grains, powders, and chemicals. Common applications include agriculture, chemical processing, and wastewater treatment plants.

6. Bucket Conveyors

Bucket conveyors feature buckets or containers attached to a rotating chain or belt, used to scoop up and transport bulk materials vertically or horizontally. They are particularly suitable for handling abrasive or fragile materials, as well as those with high temperatures. Industries such as mining, agriculture, and construction utilize bucket conveyors for efficient material handling and transportation.

7. Overhead Conveyors

Overhead conveyors are mounted above the production floor, allowing for the efficient movement of goods in a vertical or horizontal direction. They are space-saving and suitable for transporting items through various stages of the production process, such as painting, curing, and assembly. Overhead conveyors find applications in industries such as automotive manufacturing, aerospace, and garment production.

8. Pneumatic Conveyors

Pneumatic conveyors use air pressure or vacuum to transport materials through a pipeline, eliminating the need for mechanical components like belts or chains. They are ideal for handling fine powders, granules, and other lightweight materials, offering flexibility and efficiency in material handling processes. Industries such as pharmaceuticals, food processing, and chemical manufacturing benefit from the clean and hygienic operation of pneumatic conveyors.

9. Gravity Conveyors

Gravity conveyors rely on the force of gravity to move items along a downward slope or decline. They are simple in design and require no external power source, making them cost-effective and easy to maintain. Gravity conveyors are commonly used in warehousing, distribution centers, and order fulfillment operations for transporting goods over short distances with minimal effort.

9. Magnetic Conveyors

Magnetic conveyors utilise magnetic fields to transport ferrous materials such as steel or iron. They offer precise control over the movement of materials and are suitable for applications where traditional conveyors may not be feasible, such as handling hot or sharp-edged objects. Magnetic conveyors are utilised in industries such as metal fabrication, recycling, and mining for efficient material handling and separation.

Finally, let’s address the commonly asked queries of conveyors to gain a complete understanding of the subject. 

FAQs – Types of Conveyors and Their Applications in Manufacturing

What are the basics of a conveyor?

It is a machine strapped across pulleys to form a closed loop for consistent rotation. The drive pulley tows the belt to move items from one place to another.

What are the common maintenance requirements for conveyor systems?

The maintenance depends on different types of conveyors and their operating conditions. However, routine tasks typically include cleaning and lubricating moving parts, inspecting belts and chains for wear, checking for loose or damaged components, and addressing any issues promptly to prevent downtime and ensure reliability.

Are there any environmental considerations associated with conveyors?

Yes, it is increasingly important in modern manufacturing. Conveyor systems can impact energy consumption, emissions, and waste generation. Choosing energy-efficient components, implementing recycling and waste reduction measures, and optimizing material flow can help minimize the environmental footprint of conveyor systems.

What are some emerging trends in conveyor technology?

Advancements in different types of conveyors continue to drive innovation in manufacturing. Some emerging trends include the integration of IoT (Internet of Things) sensors for real-time monitoring and predictive maintenance, the adoption of robotics and automation for enhanced flexibility and efficiency, and the development of eco-friendly conveyor materials and energy-saving technologies.

How can I ensure compliance with industry regulations when implementing conveyor systems?

Compliance is a must for installing different types of conveyors and their applications. Working with reputable suppliers and manufacturers who adhere to relevant regulations, conducting thorough risk assessments, and staying updated on industry best guidelines can help ensure compliance and mitigate potential risks.


Many different types of conveyors have various applications in multiple industries and help cut labour costs, speed up production and maintain order and hygiene. They significantly improve efficiency in manufacturing and enhance worker safety. In addition to conveyor belts, there are many solutions to tackle the challenges of supply chain operations. Get in touch with Qodenext to drive expert-led solutions for your logistical problems. 

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