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Chain-driven powered roller conveyors are the “four wheel drive” of the roller conveyor world! Whereas the lighter-weight lineshaft-drive conveyors can allow individual rollers to ‘slip’ if the load is high enough, the chain-driven roller is all about power and traction...
Whereas the lighter-weight lineshaft-drive conveyors can allow individual rollers to ‘slip’ if the load is high enough (a useful characteristic if accumulation is desired), chain-driven powered roller conveyors are all about power and traction. These rollers simply cannot slip, making it the application of choice for moving very heavy packages. It is a particularly popular solution for moving pallet loads.
With chain-drive powered roller conveyors, each roller is bound to its neighbour by a chain-and-sprocket arrangement, terminating in a pair of “driver rollers”, which also connect to the motor by chain. This arrangement ensures that no roller can ‘slip’ under load, and gives positive drive to all of the rollers on the bed simultanously.
Unlike most conveyors, the motor on chain-drive powered roller conveyors is usually centrally-mounted, as this allows a more even distribution of torque across the roller bed as a whole. It is still possible to create an accumulation system with this technique, merely requiring that the roller bed be divided into seperate sections, each with it’s own drive motor, and suitable sensors.
At medium weights and package size, it is still possible to have bends and loops, but these become increasingly impractical and expensive as weight/size increases. Instead, a right-angle transfer station or turntable can be used to accomplish the same effect.