The term "drum conveyor" can refer to different types of conveyor systems; some systems are designed to handle industrial size drums and transport them over a distance within a factory or warehouse. Other drum conveyor systems are so named because they use a series of cylinders known as drums to transport items along a track. These drums run perpendicular to the walls of the track, and several drums are mounted in succession to provide a surface on which large items can travel. This system is not suitable for smaller items that can fall between the drums or for fabrics that can get caught in the system.
Warehouses and factories are the most common settings in which a drum conveyor system will be used. The design that is so named because of the drum rollers can be used to transport any variety of items as long as those items are not small enough to jam the rollers; boxes and pallets are suitable for such systems. Such a drum conveyor system may be a manual system or an automatic one. This means the drums will either be unpowered, and users will need to push items along the track in order to make the system work, or the drums will be powered by motors that propel the items forward.
Such drum conveyor systems are especially useful in shipping facilities. Packages can be sorted, examined, and prepared for loading onto trucks quickly and efficiently using conveyor systems. Boxes can be moved across a space quickly without damaging them, and workers will not have to lift heavy boxes until they reach the very end of the conveyor system, where they will be loaded into trucks or onto pallets.
Drum conveyor systems that are designed with industrial-sized storage drums in mind operate similarly to the other system mentioned, though these systems may feature rubberized belts on which the industrial sized drums will rest during transport. The belt is wrapped around numerous cylinders along the track, and two or more of the cylinders will be attached to a drive motor. It is likely that the system will also feature high metal rails that will help stabilize the drums, especially if they are transported around corners or up or down slopes. Large storage drums can be quite heavy, especially when filled with materials, so the conveyor system will need to be fairly heavy-duty to accommodate the weight.