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3 Major Distinctions Between Roller Conveyors And Belted Conveyors

3 Major Distinctions Between Roller Conveyors And Belted Conveyors

August 31, 2023

Among the numerous conveyor systems used in material handling operations, roller and belted conveyors are the most prominent. Even though they both have the same basic operation, that is, transporting goods from one place to another, they are quite distinct in their design, features and functionality. To elaborate further, here 3 ways in which these two types of conveyors differ from one another.

Comparing Roller And Belted Conveyors

Basic Design

When it comes to design, roller conveyors are characterized as multiple rollers spaced equidistantly, that are connected/mounted on a frame. These rollers allow for seamless movement of unit loads, be it gravity-driven or powered. Although the rollers are spaced equally apart, the distance between them can be customized depending on the nature of the product being transported. Thus, rollers are defined by their robust and simple design.

Belted conveyors, on the other hand, have conveyor belts that are looped around the conveyor, creating the surface for transportation. These conveyors have the distinct advantage of offering more surface friction, making them ideal for transporting loads that have a tendency to skid or bounce. Much like roller conveyors, the belt width can be customized according to applications. Lastly, belted conveyors are more suitable for lightweight, non-standardized materials.

Load Bearing Capacity

Elaborating on the previous point, roller conveyors are made of robust metal rollers. This makes them ideal for heavy-duty load-bearing operations. The evenly-spaced rollers are designed to take on heavy loads.

Belted conveyors are better suited for lightweight applications where having more area of contact is of paramount importance. This makes them suitable for industries like beverage manufacturing, e-commerce, pharmaceutical industry and more, where the products being conveyed require safe transportation.


The versatility of the two types of conveyors varies widely. While the roller conveyor may not be very versatile when it comes to transporting materials of different dimensions and sizes, it offers flexibility in terms of conveyor length, contour, gradient and more.

The belted conveyors have the edge here as they are not only flexible in the features stated above, but they can also transport products irrespective of shape or dimensions due to their superior grip. 
Therefore for heavy-duty applications featuring standardized products, roller conveyors are ideal. However, for lightweight, irregular loads, belted conveyors are a more practical solution.

Looking to improve your manufacturing operations? Or looking to optimize your conveyor roller, conveyor belt or material handling system? Reach out to us at Norpak Handling.  With decades of experience in offering material handling products and services across North America, Norpak Handling has built a reputation for providing quality conveyor machines and solutions. Contact our experts today and remove all the guesswork when it comes to selecting a sortation conveyor.

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