A floor conveyor is a mechanical system used to transport objects throughout a building. Unlike traditional conveyor systems, which are positioned either overhead or at waist-level, floor conveyors are located at floor level. They may be built-into the floor, with the operating mechanism hidden underground, or simply rest on top of the floor. These units are found in many types of manufacturing and industrial facilities, where they are used to transport goods during assembly, or as part of the storage and shipping process.
Companies can choose from several different floor conveyor designs based on the application. The most basic and least costly is the manual conveyor, which consists of a metal or rubber belt positioned on a series of rollers. Workers can place objects on this belt at floor level, then manually push it along the length of the conveyor, where it is removed and transported for shipping or further processing. Some floor conveyor models feature a mechanized belt like those found along a traditional assembly line. These belts simply move objects along the floor from one location to another without the need for manual force.
More advanced floor conveyor models may feature a cart-on-track design. This type of system features wheeled carts or buckets that ride along a floor-mounted rail. These rails can be built into the floor like a trolley or bolted to the surface of the floor like a railroad. Cart-on-track designs work best for companies that need to move products only along a fixed path.
When companies need the flexibility to move objects off of a fixed path, they may choose a tow line floor conveyor. These systems feature a tow line built into the ground, which can be attached to wheeled devices like carts or trucks. The floor conveyor moves the carts a certain distance, and workers can then remove them from the tow line and move them anywhere within the factory.
Generally, a floor conveyor is used in applications where there is no need to keep objects at a readily accessible height. For instance, standard conveyor systems move objects at roughly waist-height, which makes it easy to access these items by hand. Floor conveyors are not designed for this purpose, and instead are used to move very large, heavy or unwieldy materials that do not fit easily on a standard belt. These floor-mounted conveyors can also be used to support large parts that naturally provide access, such as a car door mounted on a floor conveyor that needs minor work performed only along the top.