Conveyor technology: Are you thinking differently?

With new distribution requirements and more investment in automation underway, Modern set out to find how readers are now approaching the use of conveyors and sortation systems.
By Bob Trebilcock, Executive Editor
April 01, 2013 - MMH Editorial

While a majority of respondents (56%) plans to spend less than $75,000 on conveyor systems, parts and accessories in the next 12 months, 16% plan to spend more than $500,000, including nearly 11% who plan to spend in excess of $1 million. 

Conveyors at work
From belt to towline conveyors, the conveyor industry offers a diverse mix of products. Modern’s readers are employing them all:

  • 70% are using belt conveyor
  • 51% are using roller conveyor
  • 51% are using gravity flow conveyor
  • 50% are using roller conveyor
  • 44% are using motor-driven roller conveyor
  • 40% are using accumulation conveyor

While fewer readers have installed sortation systems, the mix among those who have is fairly evenly divided among the different speed offerings:

  • 17% are using high-speed sortation (150 cpm & up)
  • 16% are using medium-speed sortation (50 to 150 cpm)
  • 15% are using slow-speed sortation (up to 50 cpm)

For the first time, we asked respondents to describe their handling environment and the types of products they are conveying and sorting.

About the Author

Bob Trebilcock
Executive Editor

Bob Trebilcock, executive editor, has covered materials handling, technology and supply chain topics for Modern Materials Handling since 1984. More recently, Trebilcock became editorial director of Supply Chain Management Review. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Trebilcock lives in Keene, NH. He can be reached at 603-357-0484.

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