Tips From a Gravity Guru

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Whenever someone has a question about UNEX’s gravity conveyor, chances are pretty good that the answer is coming from Ed Zurzuski. I like to refer to him as our gravity guru. So when someone approached me and asked, “How many wheels per foot should I have in my gravity conveyor?” I naturally turned to Ed for the answer.

The answer is: It depends!
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Many variables effect the efficiency of a carton flow solution. Our skatewheel gravity conveyor is no exception: load characteristics, operating conditions, and many other factors play a part in designing the proper conveyor solution for your specific operation.

First, let’s tackle load characteristics. The size, weight, and conveying surface are all variables that must be considered. Firm, flat bottoms are recommended for use with skatewheel. If your cartons are susceptible to imprinting, you may want to look into roller options, or increase the amount of wheels per axle in your conveyor. Some items will not carry at all on skatewheel, such as containers with ring banded bases, pails, drums with chines, and most bagged items. Skatewheel performs best when flowing cartons or totes with solid, uniform surfaces.

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Operating conditions are another major factor. Our gravity conveyor provides excellent service for clean and dry indoor applications. Humid conditions will effect your cardboard cartons, so if you’re looking to outfit your facility in Orlando, an increase in the amount of wheels per axle may be required. Our skatewheels have bearings that are lightly lubricated and are effective in environments as cold as twenty degrees below zero. If your facility is in Anchorage, we’ve got you covered.

Our skatewheel gravity conveyor works best when the load in question is supported by a minimum of three axles. UNEX recommends that the load being flowed be supported by seven or eight wheels at all times. If your product is going to remain stationary on the conveyor for long periods of time, the number of wheels underneath the load should be increased.
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UNEX’s skatewheel gravity conveyors are available with steel or aluminum frame. Your load capacity will change based on which selection you make. Steel is a great option for permanent conveyor lines that require a tough, durable frame. Aluminum works best when flowing lighter product, and allows for more portability due to its light weight. Load capacity will also be impacted by the distance between supports. For example, a steel frame supported every five feet has more than three times the load capacity than a steel frame supported every ten feet.

Despite the many variables that go into selecting the proper type of conveyor, UNEX is determined to make the choice simple and easy for you. We analyze almost everything about your operation to design an optimal product for your facility. You don’t have to be an expert to get the right solution- gravity guru Ed and the rest of the team have years of experience in tailoring our solutions to overcome any variable your operation presents.