A bucket conveyor is a mechanical devices used to transport products from one stage to another. Bucket conveyors traditionally are found in factory settings and can be used for tasks ranging from moving small candies off a production line to transporting plastic parts along an assembly line to moving hazardous chemicals safely and more. These tools also are used in non-factory industries. No matter how they are used, bucket conveyors provide a sanitary, gentle, safe, and often quiet way of transporting physical goods.
A bucket conveyor is a series of attached buckets, or open-ended containers, linked by a drive train. As a motor turns this drive train, the buckets move in a continuous loop, like a conveyor belt. Construction of conveyor buckets is flexible, allowing for horizontal, vertical and angled movement of the products. Bucket conveyor systems can be customized to travel for as long a distance as is necessary for the job.
In a factory setting, a bucket conveyor helps products travel from one stage of assembly to the next. For example, if a company is using a bucket conveyor for producing and packaging hard candies, the conveyor would be placed at the end of the assembly line. Candies would roll off the line and directly into the buckets. Then they would be ferried away and dumped when the buckets overturn at the end of the loop before heading back to the starting place. The candies are dumped into the packaging area, thus saving the need for workers to carry those candies from one area to the other.
In a non-factory setting, bucket conveyors are designed for more heavy duty use. With mining and drilling, for example, the end of a bucket conveyor is placed where the digging happens. In order to avoid filling a mine with unwanted rock and soil, this debris is loaded onto the buckets. It is then taken to the surface and discarded properly. This system's continuous motion avoids the works stoppage required to remove debris manually.
Most bucket conveyor systems are fully customizable to meet usage demands. Many bucket systems that deal with dusty products, such as sugar or flour, are enclosed to avoid spreading the product. Motor speeds can be adjusted also, to meet the demand of the production line. Buckets come in a variety of metal, plastic and synthetic materials, all designed to meet the needs of the specific production line on which they are used.