Conveyors are an important part of industry. They are used for the transport of materials from one area to another. The Conveyors are particularly useful for the movement of heavy, bulk materials and they allow quick and efficient transportation. There are many industries that use conveyors which range from the automotive industry to food processing, aerospace, pharmaceutical, or nearly any industry that requires a batch or continuous product creating process.
Conveyors were originally pioneered in the 18th century. They were made of wood and leather and were powered by hand cranks with the help of a series of pullies. The main use of conveyors was for the transport of goods at ports from the land onto the ship. The process is so efficient that similar conveyors are used for the same processes today.
The wood era was followed by the period of steam power innovation. The Steam engine was an invention that revolutionised many industries and the conveyor industry was no exception. The technology was quickly adapted so that conveyors could be powered by steam. This enabled the British Navy to make biscuits for their sailors in the early 1800’s. This was the first example of how conveyors could be used in the mass production of food.
The introduction of new technology such as the already mentioned steam engine created an industrial revolution. During this time, the early 20th century, conveyor technology advanced tremendously. The first steel belt was invented in 1901 in Sweden which enabled the transport of raw materials such as sand, gravel, and coal. This greatly increased the efficiency of many industries, in particular, the mining industry. Henry Ford, often known as the father of mass production, utilised the conveyor development for his assembly line of motor cars, namely the Model T cars. These systems were later used for the mass assembly of weapons for both the first and second world wars. The car industry surged after the introduction of the assembly line as Ford was able to produce a car every 93 minutes meaning supply was finally able to reach demand.
World War two was the catalyst for many innovations and advancements in technology, medicine, and other important sciences. The race for knowledge and superiority over the enemy was the reason that the 201th century contained so many advancements for technology. New synthetic materials were created to cover for the materials, such as cotton and rubber, which were being used for the war effort. The conveyors were made more efficient by the introduction of the synthetic rubber and other technologies. The first turnover conveyor belt was also patented which increased the life of the belt as it was more resistant to wear and tear.
The most recent chapter in the technology and innovation of the conveyor industry is the current time period. Conveyors are now used throughout every major manufacturing industry. Belts Conveyors are used for a variety of different industries including from sewage treatment, recycling and waste, and Crop and Grain handling. . There a multitude of reasons to use a conveyor but they all sum up to the increase in efficiency and speed of creating the required product.