Does Your Warehouse Need A Roller Conveyor?
Moving products from one place to another is darn near 90% of a warehouse’s job description – but how you move those products can depend on a lot of different circumstances.
One of the most popular ways to help transport goods within the warehouse itself (that is, goods that have already been received but need to be sent either to your pallet racking or to the shipping/receiving area) is with roller conveyors. Also known as gravity conveyors, these conveyors work similarly to the belt-style conveyors you see in many factories, except they’re simply powered by gravity and the natural motion of products going down the belt via a series of rollers and wheels.
These conveyors can offer specific advantages over other types of product conveyance (including motorized belt conveyors) but their effectiveness largely depends on the needs of your warehouse. Size, for instance, is one of the biggest factors. Conveyors need a wide berth in aisle space between warehouse shelving, and you’ll want to make sure you actually have the space for these conveyors when you start planning your belt route.
Belt route is another strong factor in deciding where you should place your conveyors, and how helpful they can be to your warehouse overall. Will your conveyors be moving from the product locations straight to shipping/receiving, or will they have to stop off at various points along the path? Will these belts get in the way of vehicles like forklifts, or do you have the space to make sure they won’t be interfering with your traffic?
Of course, a lot of these questions can be answered quickly by figuring out exactly what role the conveyors will be fulfilling in your warehouse. Does your warehouse deal in assembly or work-in-process, or are the goods already finished and packaged by the time they get to you – that is to say, are you using these belts to help assemble products or just to transport them? Will the belts be going between pick stations, or will it serve as one long path from the inventory to the shipping/receiving area? Will additional picks need to be made along the way?
Luckily for a few needs, roller conveyors can be pretty easily customized. Curves can be easily installed to help reach around tougher areas, and gates can be added to help traffic cross through the conveyor without needing to interrupt the flow of products. The biggest question, then, is how it’ll be used – but if your warehouse deals in a large volume of products, you’ll be happy for the added versatility.