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Conveyor Drive Placement | Connect Automation


Conveyor drive placement and how to pick one by Connect Automation

As we all know, a motor is one type of drive on a conveyor. A motor can directly move conveyor belt or indirectly by moving assembled parts connected to the motor.

    There are 3 positioning of a conveyor motor, they are:
  • End drive
  • Center drive
  • Internal drive

When do you need to choose one of which? Read about it below!

Conveyor End Drive

Belt conveyor with end drive motor by Connect Automation
End Drive Conveyors – Connect Automation

As the name sounds, an end drive assembly is placed on one of the conveyor ends which usualy ends up in the end point of the conveyor. That being said, there are requirements for an end drive on the start point of a conveyor.

For the record, motor work far easier to pull products from an end point compared to when placed in start point. If you placed it in the start point, the motor have to push products along conveyor. Not really a big deal, but you still have to adjust it to what you need in your production lines.

End drive can be applied within a process without activities such as checking, sorting or labeling in the end of the conveyor. In other words, you need to take into account what activities will happen in this production line to apply an end drive conveyor. If it's still unlikely to use an end drive, you can still use a center drive conveyor.

Center Drive Conveyors

As cued in its name, center drive is palced on the middle of conveyor. You not only can put it on the dead center of the conveyor, but also anywhere along the conveyor frame.

Center drive conveyors by Connect Automation
Center Drive Conveyors – Connect Automation

Center drive or middle drive is usualy composed of 1 roller drive and 2 return rollers. The roller drive is palced between those return rollers / roller idlers. The roller drive itself usualy comes with a larger diameter than the other rollers on that same conveyor.

The placement of this drive is a tad bit more expensive compared to end drive conveyors. This is because you will need 2 roller idlers and a more complex design. Take those into account and make sure whether you really need center drive or if it would suffice using end drive conveyor.

Center drive on a conveyor is used when field environment disables the use of end drive conveyor. For example, the start and end point is going into a closed machine and therefore making it impossible to put a motor in any end of the conveyors

Internal Drive Conveyors

Both drive explained above is assembled on the exterior of the frame. This drive however, which commonly called power moller, places the motor inside the rollers.

This drive placement is a last resort when you can't put a motor on the conveyor frame. Unsupportive production line activities and position is one factor to use internal drive.

Internal drive itself haven't been used as a common practices in Indonesia, where most internal drives are imported or pre-ordered, causing a greater lead time. While its price which is certainly way above external drives (end and center drives), its size is far smaller because it is placed inside a roller.

How to Select a Drive

There are 2 things to take into accounts when selecting a drive type and they are the activities which occur on the conveyor and the distance or placement between conveyors. First one is to consider what routine happens on the conveyor. For example if there are activities happening on both end of the conveyor, then you should better off with a center drive. This applies otherwise.

Second one is the distance and positioning between conveyors. For example if you can't put the drive on the end point then put it on the start point instead.

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