10 Terms to Help You Learn the Language of Conveyors

Throughout the world, different languages are used for communication. At PHC, we use the language of conveyors. Since we are know for our conveying and product handling solutions, the language of conveyors comes naturally to us. 

In the attempt to help you understand our conveyor slang, here are 10 conveyor terms that are used on a regular basis.

1. Conveyor Chain

The conveyor chain is the moving surface of the conveyor system. Since there are several types of conveyors, a chain specifically refers to a type of surface made of individual slats, or links, pinned together to make the surface. A great example of a common conveyor that uses chain is the baggage claim at an airport.

2. Slats

Slats are the individual parts of a table top conveyor chain that are pinned together to make up its whole.  They can be added or removed to change the length of a conveyor chain.

3. Links 

Links are the same things as slats, but are typically referred to when talking about modular belt conveyors. 

4. Table Top

A particular type of conveyor, table top conveyor, gets its name from the profile of the individual slats in the conveyor chain. They look like a table with a flat top with the design allowing for a narrower conveyor frame.

5. Modular Belt

This belt is known as the table tops brother. A modular belt conveyor is just like it sounds; a belt made of modules called links. This design allows for a lower and more stable profile than the design of the table top.

6. Straight Running

Once again, this is another straight forward term. A straight running belt can only travel in straight lines and is unable to go around curves.

7. Side Flexing

Side flexing is the opposite of straight running in that it can flex from side to side, allowing for curves in its design.

8. Minimum Radius

The minimum radius of a side flexing belt is the smallest radius that the belt can turn around. For a table top conveyor the minimum radius is measured at the center of the chain, while for modular belts the minimum radius is measured at the inside edge of the belt along the curve. When it is possible, PHC uses the minimum radius for curved sections because it creates the smoothest running conveyor.

9. Collapse Factor

The collapse factor is part of the calculation for the minimum radius of a side flexing modular belt. To determine the minimum radius you simple multiply the width of the belt by its collapse factor.

10. Accumulation

Accumulation is where product builds up on a conveyor belt system. Depending on the in feed and discharge rate of the machines feeding and being fed by the conveyor belt, there may be a need for a large amount of accumulation to ensure that every machine is being used to its maximum capacity.

Learning the language of conveyors can be fun! Hopefully these terms will help you better understand the language we speak routinely. As you get more familiar with it, you will know exactly which kind of conveyor system will best fit your needs both now and in the future. 


10 Terms to Help You Learn the Language of Conveyors was posted to Words in Motion - A blog created by Product Handling Concepts, your source for conveyor, conveyor equipment, and automation solutions.