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Different types of overhead conveyor systems

When considering different types of conveyor systems, the space above the floor can easily be forgotten. Most people have similar requests though – maximize space, speed up efficiency and automate the process. If you can relate to this, an overhead conveyor system may be the answer. Many of these overhead solutions can fall under one of these three categories: power-and-free systems, electrified monorail systems and friction driven power-and-free systems.

1. Power-and-free-system

Power-and-free systems are high-tech overhead chain conveyors, which are comprised of carriers following an independent track from the chain. This allows each carrier to detach and stay at a workstation as the rest of the chain continues to move. While conventional chain conveyors move at a fixed speed, carriers in these types of systems can accelerate and decelerate, as well as following multiple paths, which maximizes operational flexibility.

2. Electrified monorail system (EMS)

The overhead electrified monorail system (EMS) is rail-bound and attached to the ceiling or to a steel structure, if the ceiling is too high. Individually driven carriers move on the rail system and are equipped with a motor, a drive unit and onboard intelligence. It means that each of the carriers can operate independently by receiving pre-programmed directives from a host computer. It’s high-speed and efficient, but the cost per carrier is still relatively high making these systems quite pricey.

3. Friction driven power-and-free system

Just like the regular power-and-free system, this too is space efficient, provides short lead times and enables great flexibility. The friction driven power-and-free technology has one major advantage that differentiate it from the others though – it’s friction-based which makes it chain-free and therefore also oil-free. Unlike the chain-driven components of power-and-free systems and the more expensive EMS, this patented solution also allows parts to move both forward and backward at variable speeds at any point in the system.

An overhead conveyor system will enable you to utilize the entire facility and effectively automate your production process. And unique conveyor technology, such as the friction driven power-and-free system, will improve the modern workplace on a number of additional levels. Something we will discuss further in the next article.