Roller conveyor: a complete warehouse guide

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Conveyor roller is an industrial system designed to transport, accumulate and distribute goods between different points in a warehouse. They can also be used to connect various logistics warehouses or production centers to the company's own warehouses.


The conveyor roller saves time by reducing the pre-arranged goods manually and improves the repetitive goods movement efficiency through the pre-drawn circuit.


In our article, we will analyze the main functions of conveyor rollers, their main applications in warehouses and the pros and cons of using them.


How does the conveyor roller work?

Conveyor is an automatic system used to transport goods. These roller sets carry the load and push it along the circuit. Generally, although they can also be driven by gravity, their motors move the unit load in a safe, controlled manner.


Main components of conveyor roller

Roller: A metal cylinder is inserted into the structure together with a metal shaft and two bearings. This component is different in other types of conveyors and is replaced by belts or chains. Rollers, belts and chains are usually combined in the same circuit.

 conveyor rollers

Metal structure and feet: support the rollers and are made of different types of steel, depending on the weight they must bear. Their function: The component determines the direction of travel of the circuit.


Curve: The bending motion can be generated by different methods (for example, curved conveyor roller, the length of the turntable) or by inserting a chain into the conveyor unit (changing the direction of travel).


Electrical components: the entire electrical equipment, so that the load can move along the circuit as well as the motor and power box. The power requirement will depend on the speed to be moved and the weight of the load.


Safety elements: mechanical equipment (such as stoppers) or sensors (such as detection photocells). Therefore, you always know where the load is and can communicate this information to the control software.


In any complex circuit powered by an engine, the conveyor roller runs under the authorization of the control software (Galileo in the case of Interlake Mecalux). It performs movement and belongs to the advanced system WMS as the core of the warehouse in an automatic storage facility.


The photoelectric cell installed on the conveyor roller circuit can locate the goods.

The main application of conveyor roller in warehouse

1. Receiving, distribution and dispatch of goods

Conveyor rollers are often installed in the receiving area and dispatching area. Whether we are talking about pallets or small packages (such as boxes), conveyor rollers are installed near these areas.


Prepare pre-load aisles: Enable conveyor roller aisles in the cargo distribution area, especially when handling pallets. As a result, the pallet is placed in front of the loading area by order or route. Now they can usually be loaded onto trucks using manual or electric handling equipment.


There are accumulation channels for truck unloading: If the goods receiving process is for pallets or boxes, and the origin is a production facility or truck, the receiving process will be very different. The conveyor belt is then used to store pallets waiting to be slotted or unpacked/bundled. If boxes are used, another way to use conveyor rollers is to build the starting point of the track near the dock.


Automatic loading and unloading: This operation can be performed automatically with the help of a series of built-in chain conveyor platforms in the loading dock. Therefore, they look like Siro Group's automated warehouses in Spain.


Sometimes, hydraulic lifting tables are used to transport heavy objects onto the conveyor roller circuit. The table lifts the tray to a suitable height. If the loop is flush with the ground, the end of the conveyor is an E-shaped outlet for forklift operations.


At the beginning of the circuit, it is best to install checkpoints to verify that the goods entering the circuit are in the ideal condition (size, weight, pallet condition).

 conveyor rollers

2. Connection between different warehouse areas

Various circuits can be designed using conveyor rollers to link different areas in the warehouse. With the help of a plug-and-play system, the simplest products can be quickly integrated into a standard warehouse. They have a single origin and a single destination.


However, conveyor rollers occupy a central position in automated warehouses: they are an essential element of high-tech cycles for all types of loads.


Advantages and disadvantages of warehouse conveyor roller

Now that we have understood the main internal applications of conveyor rollers, let us start with the advantages and disadvantages of using them.


Advantages of conveyor roller

Highly versatile circuit design. There are solutions designed for almost any situation: route, load, slope...


Thanks to various sensors and equipment, this is a very fast and safe load transport system. It reduces the risk of cargo damage. They also bear heavy loads.


Conveyors are a very reliable and long-standing solution in the field of warehouse logistics, which undoubtedly proves their value. Its parts are sturdy and durable, so this investment will pay off, and it will pay off in the next few years.


Disadvantages of conveyor roller

Cleaning: Although Mecalux has designed a special solution to solve this problem, the complexity of the system makes the warehouse difficult to clean compared to overhead conveyors.


Occupied space: Of course, installing conveyor belts limits the available space in the warehouse layout (for example, the passage of operators and handling equipment).


Designing automation projects requires an in-depth understanding of warehouse operations and automation system functions (such as conveyor rollers). Are you considering automating the warehouse? keep in touch! We can answer all your questions. Let us analyze your situation and tailor an improvement project for you.


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