Pneumatic conveyor devices typically offer a lower purchase cost and often do not require a special skill set to operate and maintain. In comparison, servo technology provides solutions that can’t be met with other technologies. When used most effectively, servo controlled solutions can lower overall unit costs through increased line efficiencies, less maintenance and reduced product and package waste. The conveyor engineering challenge is to determine when servo technology is beneficial to the application and when it is unnecessary additional cost.
Clamps and stops almost never require servo technology in a conveyor line. Pusher devices usually only require servo control when stroke lengths are significant and pushes exceed more than thirty-five pushes per minute. A smart pusher design may include pushing multiple products in order to keep the pusher speed within pneumatic device limits.
Common pneumatic devices are lane dividers and divert gates. Typical servo controlled devices are merges, flying knives and retractable noser-conveyors. For more information about conveyor controls and devices, take Nercon’s recent webinar “Planning for Conveyor Controls and Integration.”