Everything you need to know to boost efficiency and productivity within your organization.

Conveyor guide rails work wonders for facilitating the smooth transfer of goods around your site.

As the goods move through the conveyor system, rails can guide and maintain transport without manual intervention. As a result, a fundamental understanding of guide rails is critical when it comes to efficiency.

In this article, we’ll explain how conveyor guide rails work and why you should consider them to help boost the productivity of your operations.

Let’s dive in!

How Do Conveyors Guide Rails Work?

Along the conveyor belt, clamping heads will be placed inside holders to support the profile rails along the belt. Traditionally, the guide rails sit within these holders, supported by the clamping heads.

However, the degree of support offered by the guide rails is mediated by spacers sitting under the holders. These spacers extend the width of the conveyor system to ensure that the rails have extra support.

The components of the guide rail noted above come in modular systems. This makes them easy to apply to almost any conveyor belt system.

In addition, the spacers mean the rails can adapt to different goods being transported along the belt. For that reason, conveyor guide rails can offer reliable support, no matter the environment of operations.

Types of Guide Rail Components

As discussed, guide rails are designed to adapt to different belt conveyor systems. To achieve maximum efficiency of operations, different parts support the rails.

What makes the guide rail system so flexible is that while these different parts work together in a modular design, they are independently adaptable to the needs of your operation.

To explain how this works, we’ll look at the essential parts and how they work together to achieve optimum productivity.

The installation of these individual parts is manually adjustable without any special tools. They are also designed to install additional components such as sensors and specific guidance modules within the system.

Guide Rails and Support

Circular or square rails are usually aluminum or steel. These rods or rails can be joined with connector plugs to extend the length of the rail system. The rails can also be bent to support asymmetric conveyor systems.

Rail Sleeves and Holders/Brackets

A rail sleeve is a connecting sleeve used to fix the rails inside the brackets. Whereas, the holders/brackets come with fixed and adjustable widths. The spacing between rails is used to determine the level of support needed.

Suppose goods along the rail are expected to exert a significant side force. In that case, the spacing is reduced for optimum support.

The distance between brackets can range from 0.3 to 1.5m depending on operational requirements.

Clamps

The clamps used to support these brackets are usually adjustable. The cross-section of the clamp can be altered to incorporate spacers or other additional components. 

How to Boost the Efficiency of Conveyor Guide Rails

Conveyor guide rails can be essential for keeping goods aligned and moving through the production run. As they are designed to be adjustable, they can support multi-sized and shaped products.

The same conveyor belt can then transfer multiple goods along one line by adjusting their width for different products.

Guide rails are an opportunity to streamline production. They can process large-scale production processes with ease. Moreover, they are easily customizable for a multitude of applications.

For example, delicate or heavy loads can be transported along with the conveyor system without damaging goods. As such, there are many ways to boost the efficiency of a guide rail system.

Manual Adjustment

Rail guides are a cost-effective option because you can run different products down the same belt. Saving costs on buying multiple conveyors. However, it can take time to manually adjust guide rails, but there is a solution.

Modern guide rail systems can be installed with rotating wheels and cranks. These can be used to adjust the width of rails without tools. This means it becomes faster and easier to adjust for different product runs.

Pneumatic Systems

Another popular option is pneumatic systems. These use compressed air to automate manual operations. In other words, guide rails can automatically be adjusted simultaneously.

The problem with pneumatic systems is they can be costly and difficult to maintain.

They are also not easily refillable with existing conveyor systems. However, there are also more technically advanced methods for repeatable rail adjustments.

Conveyor EZ Guide

One example is the EZ guide. These guide rails simply snap the new width into place. Sizing doesn’t have to be manually adjusted. All the parts are strategically built into the systems without any protruding components. This means:

  • No tools are required
  • There is minimal change over time between different product runs
  • They are easy to use and require minimal training
  • You get the same security for products while cutting costs on multiple conveyors

The installation of these rail guides offers additional safety for operations staff. It reduces the cost of installing expensive pneumatic systems and is much easier to maintain.

They require only one-time calibration and can increase efficiency significantly.

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