Choosing the Right Parts for a Conveyor Roller System

Conveyor rollers are systems that help to transport material with the least amount of effort, and while they are available in various different types they are normally composed of a frame that is able to support either a belt, rollers or wheels on which materials can be moved from one location to another, either manually or powered by gravity or a motor.

There are numerous different varieties of these sorts of material handling systems that suit the numerous different materials or products that require transportation.

Conveyor types and parts


Belt conveyors are systems that convey material or products via the use of continuous belts, which are extended out in a never-ending loop between a pair of end pulleys. The belts may be manufactured from various materials that need to correspond to the particular conditions that the belt will have to operate under.

Materials that are commonly used in belt conveyors include fabric, leather, metal, plastic and rubber. If a heavier load is being transported then the belting material will need to be of a thicker and stronger construction.

Roller conveyors

Parallel rollers that have been mounted in frames are used by roller conveyors to convey products either manually or via gravity. Vital specs include the axle center dimensions and the roller diameter and they are used on assembly lines and loading docks. Conveyors may be curved or straight depending on the nature of the application and the available floor space.

Powered roller

Powered rollers that are mounted in frames are used by powered roller conveyors in order to move products. Vital specs include the roller diameter and material, the axle center dimension and the drive type. Drive types include the likes of belts, motorized rollers and chains/sprockets.

Slat belt conveyors

These conveyors make use of plates or slats that are made from wood or steel or other material types that are usually mounted atop roller chains to move products. The slats do not overlap or interlock and these conveyors are normally utilized for moving large and heavy objects. Using slats within heavy-duty use cases means that the conveyor will see its service life prolonged over other types of conveyors that instead use belts, which would wear out much more quickly with exposure to such heavy loads.

Ball transfer conveyors

These conveyors utilise a series of ball casters that are mounted to enable the multi-directional, unpowered movement of a product. The ball size and material are key specs, and there are many load carrying capacities and sizes available.


Magnetic conveyors make use of moving magnets situated underneath stationary plates or tables or other types of non-magnetic slider beds so that magnetic materials such as machining scrap can be moved. These systems may be beltless or use a conveying belt in place of a slider bed. A rail featuring an electromagnet attracts magnetic materials to the belt.


Overhead conveyors make use of vacuum or air pressure to move items through or in closed ducts or tubes or along surfaces. Materials used can be non-metallic or metallic depending on the nature of the conveyed media.

Other conveyor system types include bucket, chute, vertical and wheel conveyors which are all available through the extensive RS components conveyor roller range.

Atif Mallo

Atif Mallo is a freelance blogger with huge interest in technology, science, life hacks and health. He loves coffee, cheesecake and chess. Drop a line in comments to leave feedback for him.

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