When you want the highest levels of efficiency in your operations, it’s crucial that you use the right conveyor system. However, finding the right conveyor system that helps you achieve this and meets your reliability and performance expectations can be challenging.

But how can you eliminate these challenges? In this post, we’ll look at this question in more detail and discuss the vital conveyor design considerations for material handling that you should take into account.

material handling and fabrication


The first key consideration is the material you want to convey. In this respect, there are several aspects that you need to consider that will, ultimately, influence the custom material handling solutions you choose. These aspects include:

  • The form or state of the material.
  • The composition of the material.
  • The material’s particle size.
  • The flowability of the material.
  • The abrasiveness of the material.
  • The material’s temperature.
  • The moisture content of the material.


When considering the operation of the material handling conveyor, you’ll first need to consider the function of the conveyor. In other words, you’ll have to consider what you want the conveyor to do, whether it’s conveying or feeding. You’ll then also consider the performance requirements of the conveyor.

When considering the performance requirements, you’ll typically look at aspects like the amount of material you want to convey, the time in which you need to convey it, and the demand for the material at each drop-off point.

When considering the operation of the conveyor, you’ll also need to decide which parts of the system should be automated in order to make the system more efficient.


The next key consideration when designing a material handling conveyor is several environmental factors. These factors relate not only to the environment necessary to convey the material, but also includes health and safety considerations.

As such, these aspects include the humidity and temperature of the environment and the impact of vibrations on the environment. You should also take into account if there are any open sources of ignition, the possibility of a flammable or explosive atmosphere, and the presence of any corrosive vapor.


Space can have a significant impact on the conveyor’s design and the space you have available for the system can dictate, to a large extent, several of the design considerations. As such, you’ll need to consider the distance you’ll need the material to travel, as well as any height and length constraints you face.


When designing a custom material handling conveyor system, cost is also a vital consideration as it plays a crucial part not only in the viability of the project but also in its return on investment. When it comes to cost, you have to consider what your main focus will be. Firstly, you can focus on the initial investment into the system.

This means your chief consideration will be on the initial capital required to design and install the system. Or you can focus on the long-term maintenance and operating costs of the system. Either way, it’s important to remember that these aspects are not mutually exclusive and what you’ll focus on depends on your specific needs, requirements, and budget.


The final consideration relates to the history of your existing conveyor systems if you have them. For example, the history will show you where you can make improvements to make the system more efficient. Moreover, if you’ve experienced reliability issues in the past, you’ll learn what design measures you can implement to eliminate these issues.

The Bottom Line

Hopefully, this post helped illustrate the key aspects you should consider when it comes to designing conveyors for material handling. If you want to learn more about these considerations and find the best conveyor for your needs and requirements, get in touch with Richards-Wilcox Conveyor. With over 125 years of experience in conveyor systems and engineering, we are material handling equipment manufacturers that can build you the best possible conveyor system.