An overhead conveyor is an elevated system similar to a floor-level conveyor belt that is used to transport items throughout a facility. Unlike a conveyor belt, which is belt-driven, an overhead conveyor is driven by a chain and is considerably thinner. The trolleys — the units that hold items — are generally rings or hooks, and each can hold a considerable amount of weight. This conveyor can be used in many types of facilities but is especially useful in those that require bends in the conveyor. Such a conveyor makes good use of space, but it may not be good for facilities with heavy loads.
Most conveyor units are belt-driven, meaning a large belt covers the entire conveyor and is responsible for all primary movements. Instead of using a belt, an overhead conveyor makes use of a chain. By using a chain, the overhead conveyor’s rails, or tracks, are much thinner. The chain is less likely than a belt to wear out, which usually results in lower operating costs.
Many types of trolleys have been made for overhead conveyor systems, but the basic trolleys are rings and hooks. Hangers and basket units are fairly common but are generally for specialized purposes. This makes the overhead conveyor a versatile system that can be converted to hold nearly any item. Most trolleys can hold from 10 to 100 pounds (4.5 to 45 kilograms), but specialized trolleys can hold much more.
Read more: What Is an Overhead Conveyor?