August 05 2015

Cat Skwh
Skatewheel conveyor

Guest blog by: Michael Tobias, sales applications engineer, Ashland Conveyor Products

Gravity skatewheel conveyors are used to transport lightweight packages or for operations that require lightweight sections. They will convey light loads that have firm flat bottoms such as cartons, totes, cases, etc. Primarily they are used in shipping departments, stocking areas and assembly lines. Skatewheel conveyors are very portable and allow for quick and easy set-up and tear-down. Standard couplers are hook & rod couplers. These couplers along with tripod supports make skatewheel conveyor ideal for temporary set-up.

Skatewheel conveyor “rolls” more easily than roller conveyor allowing for lighter packages and less slope. For skatewheel conveyors there must be a minimum of three axles and five wheels under the load at all times. Wheel density is described as skate wheels per foot. The wheel density must provide enough wheels under the load so that the total wheel capacity exceeds the maximum load. Typically there are many wheel density configurations offered so that even the smallest package can be transported.

Often curves will determine the width of the conveyor system, as the product requires additional space to negotiate the turn. This additional space depends upon the length and width of the product being conveyed. Compared to other types of conveyors, the individual skate wheels in the curved sections allow packages to follow the trajectory of the curve better than a normal roller conveyor. Refer to the table in this attachment for assistance in selecting the correct skatewheel curve.

The frame must be capable of supporting both the conveyed items and the skatewheel conveyor. Frame capacities are provided for 5 foot and 10 foot support centers. Applications that exceed these frame capacities may require additional supports. Both the weight of the conveyed items and the conveyor must be considered when selecting floor supports. The nominal height of the support is to the bottom of the conveyor frame. Either H-stand supports (permanent installation) or tripods (temporary set-up) may be selected.

In synopsis, skatewheel conveyors are a great choice for areas that need to move lightweight packages with firm flat bottoms. The hook & rod couplers together with the tripod supports allow them to be easily transported and set-up where they are needed. For curved sections, the individual skate wheels allow packages to better follow the curve of the conveyor compared to normal roller conveyors. Skatewheel conveyors are a great solution for material handling in shipping departments, stocking areas and assembly lines.