Idler rollers, or typically referred to as conveyor rollers, are cylindrical-shaped bars that run along a conveyor belt. There are various kinds of idler rollers with varying functions.
Usually, idler rollers are within the supporting weight and impact of the materials being transported on the belt. They assist within the continuous, smooth movement of the material along the belt.
Idler rollers can also assist and self-align in maintaining the belt tracking, counting on the form and structure of the conveyor belt where the rollers are usually positioned within a metal frame and are referred to as idler set.
Types of Idler rollers & their application:
Troughing idlers are found along the length of the conveyor. On any particular conveyor these idlers are identical, so are its bases. The troughing idlers comprise a center idler roll of an outlined dimension and 'wing' idlers on either side of the center roll. Unlike the center, horizontal roll, the wing idlers are cranked up to an angle referred to as the troughing angle.
This troughing angle ensures that the carrying belt can maintain an equivalent cross-sectional area throughout the carrying strand so that the load-bearing capacity of a selected conveyor belt is the same along the conveyors' full length. In doing so, material loaded to the utmost capacity at the loading point won't fall off of the belt en-route.
Troughing idler manufactured types include :
Single Roll flat carrying idler, Picking idlers, Conveyors carrying roller with the frame, Tapered rollers, 3 rolls offset troughing idler, Rubber-coating idlers.
Transition idlers are found at either end of the conveyor, adjacent to the highest and tail pulleys. This idler sets consist of standard idler rolls but the bases into which these rolls are fitted, have a smaller troughing angle to the remainder of the troughing idlers on the conveyor.
The reason for this is often that the conveyor belt is flat because it passes over the pulleys, under high tension. After all, the belt changes its form to a full trough of say 35 degrees, the belt must be supported through this transition zone. If the belt is fed directly into a full trough from the tail pulley, the belt edges would be over-stressed, resulting in damage or an injury.
Transition idler roller manufactured types include:
Adjustable in-line transition idler, Guide rollers.
Training idlers are used by power generating equipment manufacturers.
The purpose of Training idlers is to keep the belt running straight. This is termed “TRACKING”. If a conveyor belt is tracking properly it's staying within the correct track, if it doesn’t it'll be said that the belt is “Wandering” or “Mistracking”. The training idler corrects this by being pivoted in the center.
Training idlers manufactured types include:
3 Roll trough training idler, 2 roll v return training idler.
Self-Aligning idlers are used by metallurgy conveyor machinery manufacturers that can help adjust the conveyor belt of its own within the right position so that it runs to one side during conveying operation in metallurgy thus re-aligns the belt in event of misalignment automatically.
Concave in its shape, the idler’s side guide rollers restrain the belt from running up and over the conveyor to minimize the damage on the belt and the side guide rollers are made with high-grade urethane that helps reduce the friction between the idler and the belt.
Self-align idlers manufactured types include :
Friction self-aligning idler, self-aligning rollers, self-centering conveyor idler roller.
Flat and V Return Idlers
Flat Return idlers are employed by conveyor equipment manufacturers for keeping conveyor belt centered, always reacting to beat spillage of materials conveyed and to help reduce belt edge damage.
V-Return idlers are used by underground mining equipment manufacturers to facilitate excessive force accommodation faced with high belt widths and heavy loads in the mining conveyor application where two separate tapered rolls are mounted onto the pivot mechanism which can be replaced individually at the time of wear and tear.
Needle thrust and tapered roller bearings are utilized in the V-return conveyor belt tracking idler for top speed operations and extended bearing life.
Return idlers manufactured types include: Rubber disc return idler, Single roll flat return idler, V return idlers.
Compact footprints for new industrial conveyor designs
Over recent years there have been several developments in conveyor design that allow the conveyors to take up less space, and these developments will continue. Conveyors with drive drum motors are becoming more prevalent in today’s factories and the conveyor design is no longer limited to those with larger diameter drive drums. Today it is possible to drive a belt conveyor with a dc-powered drive drum motor that is less than two inches in diameter. These not only reduce the overall height and footprint of a conveyor but also improve mechanical and electrical efficiencies.
Conveyors with defined yet flexible purposes
There are more and more requests for conveyors designed for a specific task, but at the same time, the conveyor also must be able to handle multiple products of various sizes. Specialized function conveyors are necessary because they’re unique in their defined purposes. Going forward, it will be more common to seek out conveyors outfitted with lightweight panels for vision applications, scales, and meters for weighing and measuring applications, or vacuums for precise or complex transporting applications. Adjustable-width conveyors are also beneficial to use because one conveyor for carrying parts of varying lengths and widths is more desirable over multiple conveyors or conveyors that need frequent complex changeovers.
Conveyors getting smarter
With all of the recent innovations in automation and robotics, it’s no surprise that conveyors are also getting smarter. Additionally the increased practicality and functionality of motors and controllers as mentioned earlier, the conveyors are also being outfitted with extra or increased technologies. The world still has a place for “dumb” conveyors that merely move products from A to B, however, there is increased demand for conveyors that can communicate or rather talk to the other machines and robots on the line. Developments in advancements, software, and hardware in computerization make it all possible. However, the technology isn’t only limited to items “added” to conveyors.