What is Accumulation?

The first question to answer is what is accumulation? Accumulation is the acquisition or gradual gathering of something. In the world of Conveyor systems, that something is usually boxes, plastic totes, FMCG Goods, or bottles and cans. It takes place when there is a fixed point on the conveyor system that products will convey against and move no further. This could be an end stop, or a retractable blade stop at any point on the conveyor line.

Accumulation on a conveyor belt

Accumulation on a conveyor belt

Usual areas of accumulation on conveyors would be in the following examples

  • Accumulators for beer cans/bottles in a brewery
  • Live buffering for lines during machine maintenance or label changes
  • Robot cell palletising
  • Manual work stations for working on conveyed products

What to consider

In order to Design and build a safe operating accumulator conveyor, there are a few points of consideration. These are as follows

  • Max weight of accumulation. This is a multiplication of each products individual weight by the total number of products. This value will always be in Kilo Grams (KG’S)
  • The total allowable belt tension when selecting the belt type of the accumulator. If the incorrect belt is selected it could fail prematurely leading to a complete breakdown of your machine
  • The motor’s rated torque. Rated torque is the torque the motor produces when running at rated speed. That is the max RPM at normal 3-phase 50Hz supply. If the weight on the accumulator is too high, it will cause excess friction between the belt and the wear strip, and this in turn will require a much larger torque to run the accumulator conveyor at the desired speed
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