Alpine conveyors are a popular elevation option if you need to accumulate or buffer products in a small footprint. Alpines are flexible as far as heights and lengths of both the system and products that can be conveyed.
Blankets or drape conveyors are an elevation option that sandwiches products between two running conveyors, usually with loose chain, but occasionally with beam added for weight, that covers the product as it moves. They can’t be used for accumulation, but the weight of the top conveyor does help in evening out packaged goods in bagged applications (like frozen foods).
Cleated or Friction Top Conveyors
Both of these chain/belt conveyors are good elevation options when you either have a gradual incline, or a steep incline with a product that isn’t easily damaged and doesn’t need to maintain orientation. Frequently you will see them used in conjunction with hold down rails, but note that they should not be used for accumulation.
Hold Down Rails
Frequently used with cleated or friction top chain; a hold down rail can be either a fixed rail, or a roller rail that provides top pressure to keep product steady as it makes an elevation change.
Lift stations are generally used in pallet or tote systems to move products up or down in a straight line between two levels of conveyors.
These elevation options are for smaller parts, or parts that you want to singulate out of a hopper.
Spirals are probably the most popular elevation option. They have a very small footprint, and generally use friction top chain in order to elevate a variety of product sizes helically, but they are limited in what size of products that they carry, and their sizes are generally fixed.
These conveyors “wedge” the products between two running conveyors with flap or box top chain in order to move products up to a ninety degree turn between levels while maintaining the same final orientation. While wonderful for walkways, or printing/inspecting the bottom of the product, they are not a great option for products that are easily crushed.
Give us a call, and we can help you find the perfect solution for your elevation change!