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Conveyor Accumulation Strategies for Totes and Trays

Posted by Ryan Beerley | Tuesday, October 18, 2022

A Zero Contact Zoned Conveyor is especially helpful for applications like medical equipment, vials, appliance doors, thermoformed trays or container lids.  Basically any fragile product handling application, because this solution allows you to accumulate products like totes and trays into specific zones without them ever touching. This means no backpressure, no contact, and zero friction on the belt that could lead to particulates or debris ending up on products.

Let’s look at how you can optimize your conveyor accumulation strategies with a Zero Contact Zoned Conveyor.

Expert Manipulation of Totes and Trays with Zero Pressure Accumulation Conveyor

Tote CircleTraditional accumulation strategies increase the risk of damage to equipment and products. Backpressure on the line can lead to product damage while each bump-stop jars the preceding item. It also increases the wear and tear on belts while adding more force to every accumulated item.  This traditional approach increases maintenance costs, leaves particulate residues on products, or requires oversizing equipment to accommodate the loads. Simply put, it’s expensive, clunky, and drastically inefficient. 

Alternatively, a Zero Contact Zoned Conveyor overcomes these challenges by:

  • Controlling each zone’s drive independently
  • Allowing for the accumulation of products in individual zones
  • Releasing products gently to downstream operations

Because there is zero backpressure and zero friction, products travel into the accumulation zone smoothly and gently. To design the ideal solution, you can pick from two base systems including a roller chain or timing belt conveying medium. For heavier totes or trays, the roller chain is the better option while loads below 250 pounds can use the timing belt solution. Check out the exact differences between the two base systems here.


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What Are the Benefits of a Zero Contact Zoned Conveyor Accumulation Strategy?

Zoned accumulation means you can handle any kind of tote or tray within a zone including lifts, transfers, or rotations. You can gently hand off items between process stages without sharp stops or fast starts.

As you control the speed of each entry and exit, you have smooth acceleration and deceleration according to your application requirements. By including product handling accessories between segments, you have the necessary design freedom to expertly handle all your items throughout the facility and deliver each tote or tray to the right area, intact, and without any damage.


Eliminate Accumulation Backpressure with a Zero Contact Zoned Conveyor

IMPACT-back-and-forthWith modular, multi-strand designs available, Glide-Line can handle any kind of geometry or tote material. Gentle stops, expert manipulation capabilities, and controlled release to downstream processes make Glide-Line’s Zero Contact Zoned Conveyor ideal for your accumulation processes. We also provide the shortest lead times in the industry and you can start configuring your solution using our IMPACT! software today.


If you need an elegant accumulation and tote handling conveyor design, discuss your requirements with Glide-Line today.

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Topics: Conveyor System Designs, Flexible Conveyor Solutions, Direct Product Handling

Written by Ryan Beerley

Ryan Beerley is an Applications Engineer for Glide-Line. Thanks to his degree in Mechanical Engineering, a minor in Business, and relevant experience in the controls industry, Ryan has a strong arsenal of skills and knowledge to help with selling conveyor systems. He loves to embrace new challenges big and small, whether they’re related to project design or an opportunity to help the Glide-Line business unit move closer to being the top-tier conveyor supplier in the world. When Ryan isn’t at work quoting conveyors or solving project problems, he enjoys playing basketball and softball with friends, attending concerts with his twin brother, and learning to play new musical instruments.

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Glide-Line offers the most versatile multi-strand panel and pallet-handling solution available for the assembly automation industry.

We solve problems that other conveyor systems manufacturers won’t. We developed Glide-Line from the ground up with a few key, driving factors in mind. First, our conveyors had to be robust and reliable. Second, they would be simple – easy to maintain and service. Finally, we insisted on flexible configurability, creating an efficient, hassle-free customer experience. We’ve built the most versatile multi-strand panel and pallet-handling solution available for the assembly automation industry.

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