7 Tips For Selecting The Optimum Conveyor Rollers

This tips on how to choose the correct guide roller for your application.

Tip #1: Determine the load profile.

The conveyor system designer should first determine the requirements of the drive rollers and then the guide rollers. Often, they will find that guide roller are more cost-effective than standard rollers designed for high speed and/or loads. The user can reduce costs without compromising the roller’s performance or life.

Example: If you need a low load capacity, then plastic rollers made of PVC (or carbon) or aluminium rollers can be used. The modular design allows for adaptation to each application. They are also cost-effective. They are also lighter and corrosion free, which makes them a better alternative to standard rollers.

Tip #2: Check to see if you can eliminate the need for external grease.

The deep groove ball bearings used in conventional guide rollers require continuous lubrication. This can be a problem in some situations. Some of these cases include hygienic areas in food production where lubricant must not touch the product and harsh environments, such as conveyor belts for agricultural machinery where dust and lubricant can mix.

Example: Guide rollers are available with deep groove ball bearings. A material combination of tribologically optimized polymers and stainless steel balls ensures outstanding performance without external lubrication. The low breakaway torque, as well as the high resistance to corrosion and chemicals, are other advantages. These ball bearings are ideal for low speeds and loads that occur in material handling.

Tip 3: Ensure maintenance friendliness.

Quick guide roller maintenance is recommended during servicing to minimize downtime.

Example: guide rollers, are designed to be easy to install. Modularity is a key design element, allowing for quick replacement of individual components.

Tip #4: Be aware of energy efficiency.

The energy efficiency of driven rollers is becoming increasingly important when selecting them. Interior friction (ball bearings, seals) and roller weight are major factors.

Example: Guide Rollers with Aluminum or Plastic Jackets are lighter than those with Steel Jackets. When used as drive rollers, they consume less energy, allowing for a rapid start-up with minimal energy consumption. They are therefore well suited for dynamic applications that require a limited amount of transported goods.

Tip #5: Optimize the integration of the design.

It is important that the design engineer considers how the guide roller will be integrated into the structure. Are there any advantages to using non-standard sizes?

Example: Today, this question is openly posed because the product line includes guide rollers which are 3D-printed and customized according to customer needs. Combining  bearings with 3D printed housings, attachments, and guide rollers, allows for rollers that are perfectly tailored to the overall design. They can also be made with special surface characteristics and have additional functions integrated. The 3D printing process allows for the production of customer specific pillow blocks and fixed flanges bearings in specific sizes. Guide rollers, which are produced to customer specifications, can also be manufactured.

Tip 6: Optimize existing conveyor systems.

These tips are not limited to the design of new conveyor systems. The optimization of existing systems can be targeted by replacing conveyor rollers for guide rollers or rollers optimized for the application with special bearing inserts.

Example: Maintenance free bearing inserts are compatible with existing metal pillow blocks and fixed flanges. These inserts can be installed in existing bearing housings, and their resistance to dust, dirt, and corrosion could increase the bearing’s service life. In comparison, a practical test has shown that ball bearings can last up to eight times longer than their counter parts in dirty environments.

Tip #7: Find holistic solutions.

In general, it is a good idea to not only focus on rollers but also to consider the design when optimizing conveyor systems. The guide rollers must run as smoothly and efficiently as possible. To connect two belts of the conveyor, a small diameter knife edge roller is used.

Example: The product range developed for material handling applications includes tribo tape, a high performance polymer film which can be self-adhesive. It also contains a lubricant to help move transported goods, such as glass bottles, around curves or through congested areas.

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