Power and Free Conveyor Definition

In order to define what a power and free conveyor system is, one must first look at its history. Power and free conveyors originated from a monorail conveyor which can be seen in multiple places in the Detroit Industry Mural by Mexican artist Diego Rivera.

With a monorail conveyor, a part (e.g. a cam shaft) is loaded onto a monorail conveyor which is powered by a chain that has a hook integral to the chain. The chain delivers the part from one place to another, or work zone to work zone; the problem with a monorail conveyor is that it ties all the work zones together, meaning that any downtime at one work zone will result in downtime at the other work zones.

Therefore it was beneficial to have a conveyor system that allowed the parts to be free of the power rail. And so was born the power and free conveyor.

How Power and Free Conveyors Work

A power and free conveyor system has a power rail and a free track or free rail. On the free track will ride a carrier which will carry the part.

The chain on a power and free conveyor is known as a rivitless chain. On an overhead conveyor, this chain hangs below an I-Beam, specifically an s-section. On an inverted power and free system, the chain in supported above a couple of power channels.

Components of a power and free conveyor:
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