Distribution Conveyors - box on conveyors

Conveyor Systems & Engineering for Distribution Applications

Richards-Wilcox Conveyor is well-versed in conveyor systems and engineering.

We have options available for many different purposes and needs, such as belt conveyors, roller conveyors, carrier conveyors, and enclosed track conveyors. This is because we know that conveyors are key not only in assembly applications but in distribution applications as well.

We can ensure that your distribution center is as efficient, clean, and streamlined as possible. Richards-Wilcox Conveyor has solutions that trim down features such as tote handling, empty carton return, and more. This saves on precious time, labor costs and efforts, and means that our uniquely designed trash conveyors can deposit waste to your recycling area automatically.

Distribution Conveyors - box on conveyors

Some excellent options for distribution applications are our Inverted Zig-Zag Conveyor & Zig-Zag Enclosed Track Conveyors.

The Richards-Wilcox Inverted Zig-Zag Conveyor is the way to go for distribution applications where slick operation is paramount. It is an ideal solution for electronics manufacturing, pin systems, kitting assembly, tote conveyors, pan conveyor assembly, and package handling.

This system has an inventive design in which our inverted pendants provide vertical flexibility that is impossible to achieve otherwise. They pivot forward and backward on the wheel axel which allows rotations of up to 30° without torque and wear on the chain. Additionally, they have adjustable (and removable) load centers, modular components that allow for a speedy installation and incredibly precise use, minimal headroom requirements so that your production space is maximized, and removable pendants for ease of maintenance, replacement, and reconfiguration.

Their capacity ranges from 25-75 lbs. per load pin.

We specially designed these inverted monorail conveyors to bring the future to your factory. They accomplish this goal in a few ways:

  • – They eliminate drip pans and sanitary hooks, extend chain and track life – the pivoting pendant means no torque and wear on chain assembly
  • – Reduces maintenance – this reduces costs and downtime
  • – Reduces operational costs – the pendants last longer
  • – Increases production – with less downtime, maintenance and conveyor costs, there is a more streamlined, efficient, and cost-effective operation

Richards-Wilcox Conveyor also offers the Zig-Zag Monorail Enclosed Track Conveyor, which is the product of almost a century of invention. Our first iteration of it launched in 1938 and since then we’ve continuously been refining it.

With its simple and modular design, this is ideal if you’re looking for overhead conveyor applications. The Zig-Zag Monorail Enclosed Track Conveyor is easily installed on manufacturing floors, in auto-body shops, receiving areas, etc. It is an ideal solution for (but not limited to) paint finishing systems, WIP buffer systems, investment casting, progressive assembly, trash conveyors, tote handling, die cast rack storage, empty carton return, plating rack storage, silver can delivery, and robotic interface.

Our Zig-Zag Monorail system has a 75 lbs./load capacity, standard packages up to 750 lb. chain pull, and vertical wheels on 6’ centers. It has many benefits:

  • – Highly adaptable system – the only overhead chain conveyor that may be upgraded to a power and free system with only its existing components
  • – Enclosed track design – products are protected from contamination that is typical from open-chain conveyors. This protection also means that the chain life is prolonged.
  • – Standard, modular components – ease of installation, modification and maintenance.
  • – 6-inch pitch – shortest in the industry. This provides tighter horizontal curves, closer load pendants and less wheel loading. These add up to as much as 33% more productivity
  • – Standard 1’-6’ horizontal and 2’-0’ vertical curves – these can allow for tight changes in direction and elevation. Floor space is therefore freed up for other operations
  • – Vertical wheels on 6’ centers – load is distributed evenly across more wheels which reduces wear. Product damage is minimized as the system can transport product anywhere

If you need more information or have more questions in order to find the perfect conveyor solution for your needs, we are always available to help you.

Here at Richards-Wilcox Conveyor, we can increase your productivity, streamline your distribution, and revolutionize your operations. Contact us for design simulation, a quote, or simply more info, and allow us to bring the future to you with our customizable, innovative solutions.

Top 6 Considerations When Selecting the Right Conveyor Design

What to Expect During the Conveyor Design Process

We know how daunting it can be when beginning the process of creating a conveyor system in a warehouse. Deciding what conveyor system to pick, deciding on a conveyor design and conveyor controls, we would like to help break it down for you. In short, we:

  • – Align conveyor function and purpose to optimize productivity
  • – Obtain plant layout to determine where the conveyor is to be installed and create a path that connects it with load-unload areas and process equipment for smooth operation
  • – Identify size and weight of product to be transported and consider any process equipment the product passes through to design a carrier that allows easy loading and unloading
  • – Identify electrical characteristics, carrier spacing and track elevations to enable easy and safe interaction between worker and carrier
  • – Calculate chain pull to maintain the normal operating speed of a conveyor under a rated capacity load

Top 6 Considerations When Selecting the Right Conveyor Design

6 Considerations when Picking the Right Conveyor System

The first step of any conveyor design process is choosing a conveyor systems design. We already have a full article on the top 6 considerations for the right conveyor system to ensure you make the best decision for your warehouse, but here’s the quick version.

In order to pick from our designed conveyor systems, it is advisable to do a few things. Reflecting on conveyor history is first. Past conveyor experiences, successes and problems should be noted.

Next is specifying the conveyor operation. This is done by:

  • – Defining how many materials need moving and the window of time in which it must be completed.
  • – Knowing the demand at each drop point. In some cases, there may be multiple discharge points.
  • – Determining which conditions initiate or stop a refill. In multiple discharges, develop a suitable sequence of operations to establish refill priority so the process does not delay or halt.
  • – Deciding if cross-contamination could be an issue. This is especially imperative when considering a single conveyor for multiple materials.

A conveyor also depends on the materials used. You can categorize materials by these methods:

  • – An esoteric or trade name (example- SnoMelt)
  • – A generic name (example- salt)
  • – A chemical formula defined by its primary ingredients (example- sodium chloride, NaCl)

The form or state in which the material should be handled in is also important, along with the flowability, composition of solids, and particle size.

The environment in which your warehouse is located is key in the decision-making process.

Finally, space constraints and budgeted conveyor costs are considerations as well.

what makes our conveyor system design process unique

Designing the Right System with Richards-Wilcox Conveyor

Once we’ve consulted with you, we will choose the best conveyor fit for your operations, be it inclined conveyor design or flat, and what conveyor controls you need. There are choices that best suit electronics manufacturing, and others that are a solution for factories with limited headspace.

To ensure that you can see our choice for you in motion, we also offer you conveyor simulation to observe what the specific conveyor system looks like for your factory.

Conveyor simulation is a computer-generated model that displays the ins and outs of a proposed conveyor system. This allows the user to see exactly where the various components of a system would fit into existing space. It’s important to understand that these models are far from fixed, schematic diagrams; the simulation software is designed to imitate the workflow produced by a functioning conveyor. To that end, the software shows the conveyor system in motion, allowing the user to see graphical representations of products being moved through the various workstations in real time and in three dimensions. In addition, the user can also see the conveyor from multiple angles for detailed analysis. It’s even possible to “zoom in” for a closer look.

Conveyor computer simulation may be used either to design a new system from scratch or to explore proposed modifications in an existing system.

We also offer robotic integration for your factory, because at Richards-Wilcox Conveyor, we believe in Industry 4.0 – where machines and robots work in harmony to achieve your goals. We seamlessly integrate conveyor systems with existing and engineered robotic systems, while still exceeding the quality engineers have come to expect.

Robotics integration is second nature in Industry 4.0, as more and more companies add automated solutions to their existing systems across a wide range of general industries. We are specialists in conveyor robotics integration, with quite a simple approach to a complex process: conveyor and computer work as one. Thanks to adaptive modular design, we can make any of our lines robotic.

Today, we live in the world of Industry 4.0. Manufacturing and distribution operations are getting faster, smarter, leaner, more advanced. It’s a jungle out there. To survive, you have to be efficient, effective and ready to adapt at a moment’s notice. It all starts with your conveyor. Richards-Wilcox Conveyor. Engineered for evolution. Contact us to get started.

material handling conveyors

Conveyors For Custom Material Handling & Fabrication

Richards-Wilcox Conveyor is the master of conveyor systems engineering. We specialize in engineered systems and creating custom solutions. Material handling and fabrication are crucial warehouse operations, and we excel in optimizing conveyor systems design to solve for custom material handling & fabrication. But before we talk conveyor design, there are many factors to consider about your factory and your needs

Our conveyors are ideal for many types of material handling equipment situations, like fulfillment centers and fabrication facilities.

material handling conveyors

Material handling is about getting goods and raw materials from point a to point b in the most efficient manner possible. Your chosen solution should correspond to your needs: if your traffic is intermittent or has insufficient volume and needs a variable path, then an industrial truck may do the trick where the cost of a conveyor cannot be justified. But in a flowing factory, material handling equipment manufacturers, a conveyor is a game changer for process and productivity. Cardboard boxes hanging from hooks on an overhead make for an effective pick and pack solution. A floor-mounted conveyor belt can make for effective tote handling. It’s important to have the correct corresponding types of industrial material handling equipment including hand trucks and pallet trucks (make sure they are equal to the height of the fixed conveyor for easy loading and unloading at conveyor stops).

Sometimes materials are not headed to market, but destined for warehouse storage systems like push back racks: we can also help with high-density storage solutions.

To accommodate all these various needs, there’s no better bulk material handling system than a monorail conveyor. Custom material handling solutions call for ease of use, and so Richards-Wilcox Conveyors are built with redundancy and repetitive decision-making in mind to ensure efficiency and ease of use. These cost-effective workhorses seamlessly integrate into your production line, and the setup is completely customizable to whatever type of materials order pickers need. Whether you go with our Zig-Zag® Monorail Enclosed Track conveyor, or one of our inverted floor-mounted models, your workflow comes first.

The same considerations can be said of fabrication applications.

Fabrication is a catchall term for many methods of molding and manipulating metals into various shapes and states. Machining; where excess metal is removed to achieve the desired shape, through drilling, turning, or milling; punching, the process of piercing holes through the metal; and many more permutations from folding to shearing and stamping.

Conveyor systems design can be crucial for the flow of fabrication. For such intensive volume of often dangerous work, automation is essential. Precision is a key consideration, so each Richards-Wilcox system is deftly timed, and even run through simulations so the end-user can see how the system will work, before it’s even built. Furthermore, each of our conveyor systems can be seamlessly integrated with robotic components. In this exacting world, both operator and OS enjoy extensive safety measures with built-in tolerances. We even consider your trash conveyors: the slider bed with a guardrail that creates a trough to dispose of debris to disposal points, from cardboard to metal scrap.

At Richards-Wilcox, we’ve designed conveyor systems for a vast array of companies over a number of decades. Let’s fabricate a solution together: we have the materials, and the minds to handle them.

monorail conveyors for finishing

Monorail Conveyors For Finishing Applications

Monorail conveyors are an essential starting point for any factory – they’re clean, simple, and efficient, with a low initial cost to build and maintain. With load-carrying and drive derived from a single endless chain, these efficient powerhouses are essential units in any facility. But while they can be the beginning, monorail conveyors can also bring the finish.

monorail conveyors for finishing

Because they only follow a single path, they are best dedicated to a single function or part, like a finishing application. For this reason, we offer customizable monorail systems perfect for painting applications and more.

Before you choose the system for you, it’s important to consider the following factors:

  1. What is the optimal layout for your physical space?
  2. How heavy are the parts you’ll be processing, and what size?
  3. The make of the material matters: is it plastic, metal, wood?
  4. How are you curing the product? Ovens, dip tanks, or chemical processes?
  5. Do you want the item attached to an overhead conveyor system, or will you need to use a ground-level cart on your monorail?

Should an overhead solution be the right call for you, there’s our tried and true Zig-Zag® Monorail Enclosed Track. As the industry standard for overhead enclosed track conveyors, Zig-Zag’s modular design and smooth operation make it an ideal for overhead hook painting processes and material handling necessities.

While overhead systems tend to be an industry standard, we like to flip the script on traditional systems. Our PaintLine™ Inverted Monorail Conveyor pioneers the painting process. It’s perfect for when the situation requires a clean environment like paint finishing or varnishing. Thanks to a flexible vertical pendant, PaintLine eliminates the need for add-ons like drip pans and sanitary hooks. Better yet, the pendants pivot forward and backward on the wheel axel, allowing free rotation of up to 30 degrees with no torque or wear on the chain.

Whatever part you’re looking to complete, we’d like to be part of your solution. Finish the job with the best in the business at Richards-Wilcox Conveyor.

robotics conveyor integration

Key Benefits of Robotic Integration

At Richards-Wilcox Conveyor, we believe in Industry 4.0 – where machines and robots work in harmony to achieve your goals. We seamlessly integrate conveyor systems with existing and engineered robotic systems, while still exceeding the quality engineers have come to expect.

Robotics integration is second nature in Industry 4.0, as more and more companies add automated solutions to their existing systems across a wide range of general industries. We are specialists in conveyor robotics integration, with quite a simple approach to a complex process: conveyor and computer work as one. Thanks to adaptive modular design, we can make any of our lines robotic.

robotics conveyor integration

We’ve been in the business since before the dawn of robotics, and we’ve led the way as robotic interfaces have grown ever more integral to our industry. Our highly evolved systems meld seamlessly with our conveyor designs to facilitate safe, efficient processes where conveyor and computer work as one.

One of the key benefits of robotic integration is an easily accessible graphical user interface. From here, you can set process parameters. For instance, you can set defaults on your finishing robots, with built-in tolerances. We set up a robot cell: a complete system comprised of the robot, operator, and other components like a part positioner and safety environment. These cross compatible safety features include an emergency stop triggered by fault commands the instant the built-in tolerance is out of place: both robot and conveyor freeze to ensure the safety of all workers, and can just as quickly resume when the fault is corrected to minimize downtime. This workflow maximizes efficiency and minimizes risk, ensuring your industrial robots and finishing processes proceed with streamlined safety.

An additional benefit is just how thoroughly you can evolve your automated painting and finishing applications. Robotic arms are finely calibrated for automated finishing. Finishing systems can enjoy an untold level of precision and security: we ensure explosion proof parts and emergency protocols for several lines of safety.

The same principles apply to painting application. An industrial painting robot has finely tuned processes, and our painting robots are primed for pinpoint precision. Robots can load and unload, paint, QA a part, and use laser tech to scan and analyze any flaw thanks to instantaneous conveyor integration.

Yet another benefit is collaborative robotics. A common concern with robotic automation is the threat of lost jobs: this is not the case. Robots step in when a job is too hazardous or for a human, and every robot still needs an operator or two to ensure safety and efficiency of workflow. In fact, many times, thanks to new advances, robotic integration is not replacing and removing employees, but aiding and assisting workers on the floor. Collaborative robotics is an exciting new field where robots and people work in tandem on the line. Think of the expedited material handling in a fulfillment center with a robotic helper. This is perfect for automation situations when space is scarce and a human monitor is desired.

Contact a Richards-Wilcox Conveyor representative to learn how you can join the robotic revolution.

We’ve Got It Handled: Utilizing Power and Free Systems for Material Handling

There are a few unchanging facts about your factory:

1) Your conveyor drives your currency. If you don’t have as much uptime as possible, you might as well be down.

2) At every stage of manufacturing, from production, loading, assembly, and unloading, to packing and inspection, you have to transport and handle materials. Whether you’re fabricating steel or running a fulfillment center, efficiency is the key.

3) A conveyor should be smooth, streamlined, and yield the maximum output for the minimum costs.

material handling conveyor

Material handling? We’ve got it handled.

Think of everything you can accomplish with automated controls. Reduced production errors. Repetitive decision-making for productive redundancy. Automatic stopping points. A seamless flow of material transport, from welding cell to assembly on line, to wash and finishing.

That’s exactly what you get with Richards-Wilcox Conveyor Power & Free systems.

If you have minimal floorspace and limited headroom, our Twin-Trak® Side-by-Side Conveyor is for you. It lets you call down work-in-process from overhead storage, as you need it. The cutting-edge controls allow for easy switching, with a 10-1,000lbs carrier capacity. Thanks to controlled accumulation, it eliminates the inefficient wait times of storage banks, ensuring a continual flow and boosting efficiency. It even keeps a travelling record of each work-in-process to detect and determine where defects occurred.

material handling conveyor

If your operators need a heavy-duty solution to adjust production rates and minimize lead times, look no further than OveR-Way™. Utilizing an over under configuration, OveR-Way is a high-capacity system for material transportation that can handle 2,000 pound loads. All this power, and its minimal footprint creates valuable usable space for add-on operations. The covered enclosed track prevents abrasive elements from deteriorating your chain, prolonging the life of your components and cutting down maintenance time.

material handling conveyor

Need a floor-mounted system? Flip the script with OveR-Way Inverted, the ideal medium-capacity solution. When you need finishing capability, and you need it clean, this peerlessly ergonomic and energy-efficient system comes to the rescue. The inverted configuration means there are 360 degrees of accessibility to the top and sides of the product, making it the paintline platonic ideal. It’s also a robotic dream come true: robotic interfaces can be seamlessly integrated to ensure unmatched precision and safety.

material handling conveyor

No matter what system you choose, the benefits of evolving your plant with Richards-Wilcox Conveyor are boundless, and uniquely tailored to you. We design each conveyor system from scratch, ensuring it has the optimal footprint for your space. Whether floor-mounted or overhead, inverted or twin-track, you’ll see how it runs in real-time, before it’s even built: we put each design through its paces in a simulation to plan for all variables and maximize efficiencies.

There are so many ways to optimize your material handling processes – with Richards-Wilcox Conveyor, you’ve got the power (and free).

Conveyor Meets Computer: Robotic Integration for Your Factory

At Richards-Wilcox Conveyor, we specialize in evolving your factory for Industry 4.0 – because in 2020, conveyor and computer are one and the same. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is all about robotic integration – the automation of manufacturing processes using smart technology.

robotics integration

Robots are not new to the manufacturing world, and we’ve pioneered robotic components from their inception. But in an atmosphere where all system components communicate with one another, implementing a robotic solution is no good without the right integration strategy, and the proper cutting-edge components to facilitate it. Richards-Wilcox truly believes the best approach is to teach old dogs new tricks: we take trusted, timeless machines and merge them with the latest technology to create streamlined solutions.

robotics integration

We converge computers and conveyors to create the maximum efficiency and flow for your factory. Each of our partner control houses are certified in robotics, so that we achieve flawless handling through a series of interlocking IP addresses that signal back and forth through a system. The conveyors convey more than parts and products: they convey the optimally efficient process to the computer and operator. It’s all about creating redundancy and repetition to create proven solutions and safety measures.

While our MonoCart and Power & Free Conveyors are the most frequently chosen setups for robotic integration, any of our systems can pair seamlessly with MES and robotic interfaces, for a wide host of applications. From automotive manufacturing to fulfillment centers, from pick and pack to painting, these floor-mounted titans have no limits.

robotics integration

Through instantaneous conveyor integration, robots can load and unload, paint, QA a part, and use laser tech to scan and analyze any flaw. With cross compatible safety features and emergency stop triggered by fault commands the instant the built-in tolerance is out of place, both robot and conveyor freeze to ensure the safety of all workers – and can just as quickly resume when the fault is corrected to minimize downtime.

Even as a factory evolves, elite equipment is never obsolete. Learn more about joining the robotic revolution by reaching out to a Richards-Wilcox representative.

inverted conveyor for finishing systems

Inverted Conveyors For Finishing Systems

inverted conveyor for finishing systems

For an unparalleled finishing conveyor, look no further than inverted conveyors from Richards-Wilcox Conveyor. While overhead conveyor systems are often the choice for finishing applications, with products hanging overhead, our variety of inverted conveyor systems and their unique benefits can make a perfect choice for a variety of paint finishing systems.

We have inverted power and free conveyor options to complement your paint equipment and finishing equipment. Our load capacities are unparalleled, and for all of our finishing line conveyors, we offer monorail, power and free conveyor solutions, automatic control, and fully installed systems for finishing conveyor applications.

But first, consider what finishing application your products require. There are two categories of finishing options: dry (powder coating) processes and wet processes (liquid paint). Each process involves a wide variety of subroutines, so consider what you need: we cater to every kind of finishing line, from washers and ovens, to spray booths and degreasers.

Your choice of coating systems can also be a deciding factor. Before the 1990s, liquid paint was the overwhelming standard: until hazardous conditions and environmental regulations paved the way for powder coating’s popularity. Powder coating works with an electrostatic dry finishing process. The parts are electrically grounded, then charged and sprayed directly with pigment and resin particles for a quality, long-lasting finish.

However, with new techniques and improved environmental impact, liquid paint has come back into popularity. Wet processes utilize electrical currents for E-coating, a technique otherwise known as electrophoretic deposition. E-coating uses an electrically charged liquid-based solution bath to deposit particles onto the product. It’s an ideal process for irregularly shaped parts with curves and crevices, like automotive bumpers or plastic components.

There are also additional methods like dip and spray systems, both of which typically use overhead conveyor systems, to evenly apply finish by dipping the product into any number of specialized solutions. On occasion, dip line finishing uses dip tanks filled with any number of different solutions, into which operators dip their products to evenly apply finish. Sometimes, tanks contain cleaning solutions or chemicals to help prepare an item for its final coating.

Wet spray appears in a large number of applications and can work on almost any product. Paint line conveyor systems apply paint or varnish to a variety of media including metals, woods and plastics. These kind of finishing applications often feature robotic components shooting industrial paint from a spray gun, paired with pressure tanks to regulate the flow of pigment.
With your method determined, it’s time to decide your means. One option is our Inverted Zig-Zag Conveyor, a monorail system with an enclosed track. The system’s innovative design uses patented Richards-Wilcox Inverted Pendants to offer unparalleled vertical flexibility. Unlike rigid pendants, Richards-Wilcox Inverted Pendants pivot forward and backward on the wheel axel, allowing free rotation of up to 30 degrees with no torque or wear on the chain. However, the cost-effective and efficient chain of our monorail conveyors may not be universally amenable to every process change you desire.

Enter our Inverted OveR-Way floor-mounted conveyor, one of our top-of-line power & free systems. On top of its clean operation and seamless robotic integration, this power & free conveyor system incorporates two rails and a trolley. This allows the system unlimited flexibility that allows stopping at key locations. For instance, with two concurrent tracks, all the painting robots in the spray booths have to do is pivot. The conveyor can then divert to multiple locations, like curing ovens.


From simple paint line conveyors to large-scale robotic systems, our expert staff will engineer a custom finishing system for your operation. Do a complete 180 on your productivity with an inverted finishing line conveyor system from Richards-Wilcox Conveyor.

overhead conveyor systems

Getting Ahead With Overhead Conveyor Applications

overhead conveyor systems

Things are looking up: literally. There are many benefits to using an overhead conveyor system.

An overhead can be great for your overhead. They are efficient, versatile, and can follow nearly any consecutive path – and if you have the ability to use multiple drives, that path can follow several thousand feet.

The word “system” makes one think of a very A/B/C, linear manner. But while it is a production line we’re talking about, your thoughts and plans don’t have to be linear. It’s important to think of your space in 3 dimensions, and that’s just what an overhead conveyor allows you to do.

Think of the underutilized vertical space in a factory. In many instances, there is an entire duplicate of your floor plan above a factory floor. By going beyond the floor level and suspending your system from the ceiling, overhead chain conveyors allow you to better utilize floor space and organize the flow of your factory. More floor space can mean more product, particularly when every inch of your warehouse is a valuable commodity. This solution allows you to easily move products in bulk and calibrate operations to a variety of specialized or general tasks.

At Richards-Wilcox Conveyor, we specialize in power and free conveyor systems.

What “power and free” conveyor means is that these systems (sometimes called asynchronous conveyor systems) are built on a two-track system: one track is operated by a powered track, while the other track has free trolleys running on the lower track. This allows loads hanging beneath each track to move at differing paces. Users can program the machine operating the conveyor to have loads start or stop independently of one another. Users can also have loads switch tracks if necessary. In short, power and free conveyor systems can often provide substantial space savings, helping companies to avoid having to find larger facilities or reduce efficiency by squeezing important processes into their available space.

The advantages don’t stop there. Overhead power and free conveyors offer operators unparalleled flexibility for a variety of parts and processes. From a functionality standpoint, an overhead conveyor system can move in any direction, has the capability to stop and start parts easily, perform at multiple speeds, divert to multiple locations, and provide part-tracking options, as needed. These systems use pusher dogs to engage and disengage connections between chains and trolleys. They can also accumulate loads between work cells, with multiple loops to buffer product for continuous workflow.

Richards-Wilcox Conveyor offers several high-end power and free conveyor systems primed for peak performance: we consult with clients to find and create the system that best suits their needs.

You can fuse power & free flexibility with a heavy duty over under conveyor configuration, like our OveR-Way™. A reliable, enduring, high-capacity solution for storing and transporting parts, OveR-Way™ allows operators to enhance efficiency without sacrificing quality. The equipment also enables operators to adjust production rates and minimize lead times.

By ensuring the right parts arrive like clockwork in a continuous flow, OveR-Way™ conveyor systems optimize production and boost efficiency. Quality control comes from eliminating unnecessary manual transportation or production rehandling by achieving assembly processes with a single material handling system. It even boasts an enclosed track conveyor that keeps contaminants from falling on the product, and protecting the chain from dirt and other abrasive elements to further prolong chain life. These features make this system an ideal solution for Assembly Lines, Paint Finishing Applications, WIP Buffer & Retrieval, and Long Load Handling.

But say you’ve got limited overhead space. As an additional solution to our time-tested monorail conveyors, the Richards-Wilcox Twin-Trak® Side-by-Side Conveyor boasts a side-by-side track configuration, creating a high-capacity, space-saving dual-track system. This powered overhead conveyor system is well-suited for applications like Paint Finishing Systems, WIP Buffer Storage & Retrieval, Progressive Assembly, Extrusion Material Handling, and Typical Curing Applications.

With an overhead conveyor system, you can reap all the benefits of a beam conveyor or enclosed track overhead conveyor system as long as you plan for and anticipate future needs. It helps to have a trusted partner to ease that burden and plan with you. Our full-service design team has been building future-proof and future-ready conveyor systems for decades. We assemble your assembly lines with the utmost craft and consideration. Optimize the bearing capacities of load bars and ensure the efficiency of free trolleys. We even run through a simulation so you can see how all conveyor components will operate in real-time, before it’s even fabricated and installed.

Our systems are ideal for a wide line of industries, like Distribution Centers, Automotive, Appliance, Telecom, Electronics, Contract Furnishings, Consumer Goods, Aerospace, and many more. See how we can engineer your factory’s evolution.

enclosed track conveyor for assembly applications

Enclosed Track Conveyors for Assembly Applications

Richards-Wilcox Conveyor created the original enclosed track conveyor in 1938. We’ve been evolving it ever since.

Conveyors are ideal for assembly applications, and the enclosed track conveyor still proves the crown jewel of assembly line conveyor systems. Different from a belt conveyor or roller conveyors, an enclosed track conveyor boasts unique advantages: for instance, a single driving unit is capable of moving hundreds of feet of conveyor chain, meaning minimal operating cost with maximum efficiency.

We boast customizable monorail conveyor systems with system integrators in mind. Whether you need an overhead conveyor system or beam monorail conveyor, we trust the following heavy duty custom conveyor solutions will be the backbone of your factory.

enclosed track conveyor for assembly applications

Zig-Zag® Monorail

Today, this sets the industry standard for effective material handling equipment. Using standard modular components constructed for long life, Zig-Zag® Monorail conveyors solve a variety of manufacturing problems: from simple, in-line finishing to complex storage and retrieval systems. Its 75 lbs./load capacity, standard drive packages up to 750 lb. chain pull and vertical wheels on 6” centers are well complemented by the system’s versatility.

Thanks to its simplistic, modular design, Zig-Zag® Monorail tracks can be easily installed on manufacturing floors, in auto-body shops, in receiving areas, etc. Potential applications include Paint Finishing Systems, WIP Buffer Systems, Investment Casting, Progressive Assembly, Trash Conveyors, Tote Handling, Die Cast Rack Storage, Empty Carton Return, Plating Rack Storage, Sliver Can Delivery, and Robotic Interfaces.

Zig-Zag® is highly adaptable. It is the only overhead chain conveyor that can be upgraded to a power and free system utilizing all existing components. The enclosed track design shields products from contamination that typically falls from open-chain conveyors. This also protects the chain itself from airborne dirt, abrasives and solvents, prolonging the chain life.

Zig-Zag® is built with standard, modular components, making it easy to install, modify and maintain. This also guarantees quick access to parts through local stocking distributors.
At 6 inches, the Zig-Zag® chain has the shortest pitch in the industry. This allows for tighter horizontal curves and closer load pendants with less wheel loading for more product throughput. That adds up to as much as 33% more productivity.

The system’s standard 1′-6″ horizontal and 2′-0″ vertical curves can make tight changes in direction and elevation, freeing valuable floor space for other assembly and storage operations.

Zig-Zag® utilizes vertical wheels on 6″ centers, distributing the same amount of load over more wheels and reducing wear. And since the system can transport product anywhere, it minimizes product damage throughout your operation.

Safe-Rail® Monorail Enclosed Track Conveyor

Efficient and expandable, the Richards-Wilcox Safe-Rail® Monorail Conveyor is the optimal solution for hand-push transport and storage applications.

Constructed of standard Richards-Wilcox components, Safe-Rail® can be upgraded at any time to build a more sophisticated power monorail or power & free conveyor system. Conversion time is minimal and higher levels of productivity and efficiency are achieved almost immediately.

It has capacity ranging from 10 to 1,000 lbs. and utilizes 3/16″ thick straight track (the heaviest in the industry). We stock it in 10′ lengths, it can do horizontal curves, (3/16″ thick, 90°). Safe-Rail® has Frog Switches, VMTs to automatically raise or lower product, a Carrier Insert Section, Welding Jigs, and Carrier Assemblies.

This is a consummate assembly rig, perfect for Batch Paint Systems, Tire Retread Systems, Tool Support Systems, Synthetic Fiber Handling, Light-Duty Bridge Cranes, and Manual Transport and Assembly.

This solution is highly adaptable. Safe-Rail® can be upgraded to a Zig-Zag® or Twin-Trak® system with 100 percent utilization of existing parts.

Safe-Rail® is a hand-push transport and storage alternative to manual re-handling of product. This decreases the potential for loss or damage.

Safe-Rail® frees up vital floor space, providing product movement throughout a facility and allowing for organized product flow.

It makes the most of the space you have. Safe-Rail® provides dedicated storage in user-specified areas. This system eliminates wasted space and efficiently stores product in an organized manner within the same work areas, day after day.

It protects your product and keeps your workers safe. Since product is suspended from a Safe-Rail® carrier, manual re-handling of product is kept to a minimum, reducing the chance of product damage. VMTs automatically raise and lower product, eliminating injuries related to lifting and bending.

And it’s built to last. The enclosed track design protects carriers and runways from dirt and other contaminants. In addition, Safe-Rail®’s sliding frog plates support loads through switches providing both smooth travel and longer switch life.

Richards-Wilcox Conveyor can custom design any of the above systems, and beyond. The future is here: we’ll evolve your factory to match.