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Complete Guide to Motorized Roller Conveyors: Benefits and Tips

Motorized roller conveyors are key components for optimizing pallet movement within warehouses and production facilities.

Motorized roller conveyors are equipped with an electric motor that, by driving the series of rollers, enables smooth and continuous, yet most importantly, autonomous movement of palletized loads, ensuring excellent load grip during handling.

The primary task of roller conveyors is to move goods along a predefined circuit, effortlessly distributing items from one location to another without the need for human intervention.

In summary, their main tasks include:

  • Automatically connecting internal areas of facilities and warehouses
  • Eliminating the manual pallet transport work of operators
  • Speeding up internal movement

Since they perform all these operations automatically, motorized roller conveyors are synonymous with efficiency, safety, and increased productivity. Let’s explore why.

Advantages of Motorized Roller Conveyors

Motorized roller conveyors are designed to simplify the transport of palletized loads.

Imagine a standard warehouse without motorized roller conveyors or other automated pallet handling solutions.

Transporting goods from one place to another or performing loading and unloading operations requires the involvement of multiple operators using machinery such as forklifts or pallet jacks, manually loading, moving, and unloading goods.

Aside from consuming a significant amount of time (including time spent coordinating operator flows) with a risk of delays, manual handling often involves a percentage of human error, leading to potential damage to goods or, worse, workplace accidents.

Described this way, the entire operation appears inefficient. Moreover, when dealing with heavy loads or covering long distances, the risk of inefficiencies and damages only increases.

In such situations, delegating the work to an automated system offers numerous advantages.

Increased Safety

The first and foremost advantage is safety. Thanks to motorized roller conveyors, operators no longer need to manually handle loads, reducing the risk of accidents. Not to mention the features of motorized conveyors, specifically designed to ensure maximum safety during load transport, preserving both goods and the health of operators.

The use of motorized roller conveyors also allows reallocating employees previously engaged in cargo transport to other more useful and strategic operations for the facility or warehouse.

Time Optimization

Another advantage is time savings: automatic conveyors not only replace manual work by operators but do so faster and more precisely, streamlining the picking phase, the activity that typically consumes the most time in end-of-line operations.

Increased Productivity

If efficiency increases, so does productivity. Motorized roller conveyors can work continuously, executing their loading, transport, and unloading movements without stopping. Their continuous workflow allows managing more orders, increasing productivity and revenue.

Transport of Heavy Loads

Motorized roller conveyors are designed to offer excellent resistance to heavy loads. This means they can support a pallet load of significant weight without compromising load stability and unintentionally causing damage to goods during transport.

Design Flexibility

Finally, we must not forget that motorized roller conveyors are extremely versatile tools. There are numerous types of motorized roller conveyors, each capable of meeting specific end-of-line system needs.

Configuring the most suitable circuit, adding extra safety features, customizing equipment with switchers and rotating stations: choosing to install a motorized roller conveyor means designing a machine tailored to the company’s needs.

Applications and Sectors for Motorized Roller Conveyors

The versatility of motorized roller conveyors allows finding the right solution for any type of application and industry, from automated warehouses to traditional ones.

One fundamental aspect is the design of circuits along which the movement of palletized loads will occur. In this regard, we can identify some typical situations where motorized roller conveyors are the ideal choice.

For example, a motorized roller conveyor can be used to store and move goods within a distribution center.

This applies both to goods entry and truck unloading, where conveyors are used to move pallets waiting to be stored, and to goods shipping and truck loading, where they facilitate the organization and sorting of goods onto trucks. In these cases, the motorized conveyor is usually installed in a position almost adjacent to the loading bay.

In reality, the most common application is the use of motorized roller conveyors to connect different areas of the warehouse in production plants.

Usually, motorized roller conveyors are used to connect two separate warehouses or to link a production facility with its corresponding storage facility.

Another very common application is the use of motorized roller conveyors to connect automated facilities with picking stations, for example, for order preparation.

At this point, it is clear that motorized roller conveyors offer incredible flexibility in handling. Of course, provided high-quality solutions are chosen, designed to meet the specific end-of-line needs of a distribution center or production facility.

PIERI is one of the most renowned companies in the design of motorized roller conveyors and end-of-line solutions for palletized loads.

For over 40 years, the company has offered a wide range of integrated solutions for existing lines or new projects, producing motorized rollers of various types, shapes, and sizes, including solutions with roller chain drives and flat belt conveyors.

Let’s analyze them in detail.

Types of Motorized Roller Conveyors

There are various types of motorized roller conveyors, but the main ones are flat belt conveyors and those controlled with roller chain drives. Let’s look at the main differences and their respective advantages.

Flat Belt Motorized Roller Conveyors

Flat belt motorized roller conveyors consist of:

  • A belt
  • A series of pressure rollers
  • A series of supporting rollers (in contact with the loads)

The belt moves between the two types of rollers and serves to impart movement for pallet handling. The pressure rollers, on the other hand, maintain the belt in contact with the supporting rollers, i.e., the rollers in direct contact with the pallets. The supporting rollers have the task of supporting and moving the pallets smoothly along the predefined circuit, ensuring excellent load adhesion.

The flat belt motorized roller conveyor is suitable for:

  • Flat or slightly inclined circuits
  • Light loads

The solution is not suitable for heavy loads exceeding 30 kg.

Roller Chain Drive Motorized Conveyors

Motorized conveyors with roller chain drives are nothing more than conveyors with rollers controlled by a tangential chain or chain rings.

  • Motorized roller conveyors with tangential chain: These are roller conveyors driven by a straight chain that connects the crowns of each roller. In this way, the system reduces friction and ensures agile movement of pallets or palletized loads, even over long distances. This system has the best performance, the least structural constraints, and easy maintenance.
  • Motorized roller conveyors with chain rings: In this case, the chain is not straight but connects each roller to the next, creating a “ring” system. Although simple, the mechanism requires more attention during construction. It is recommended especially for handling heavy loads or in systems where frequent stops and starts are needed. On the other hand, they are only suitable for short circuits.

In addition to these advantages, systems with roller drives ensure a high level of robustness and rigidity. In this way, motorized roller conveyors guarantee significant operational advantages, especially in these situations:

  • Horizontal movement or with slight incline;
  • Handling both light and heavy loads;
  • Handling loads of regular and irregular shapes;
  • Applications for automating end-of-line processes (automatic transport systems, assembly stations, operating machines, etc…).

Our Conclusions

Resistance to heavy loads, ease and speed of movement, safety: in this guide, we have seen how many and what advantages motorized roller conveyors bring to warehouses, production facilities, and distribution centers.

Whether they are flat belt conveyors or roller chain drives, motorized roller conveyor systems are always a strategic choice for managing and transporting pallets, especially when opting for customized solutions based on the specific needs of your end-of-line.

In this regard, PIERI designs and produces customizable motorized roller and chain conveyors upon the request of each customer.

Available with 2 to 5 chain sections, PIERI’s motorized roller conveyors guarantee stability, robustness, and maximum safety in handling both light and heavy loads, meeting the needs of both short and long circuits, even on a slight incline.

Discover the entire range of PIERI solutions for pallet handling.