A screw conveyor is an invention that comes down to us from Ancient Greece and is an invention attributed to the credit of Archimedes. Screw feed equipment was designed at that time for the lifting of water, and the basic design of that time still remains the same, though the power to operate this screw which was earlier manual, then gave way to water or animal driven, and now to the modern day power drives.
The mechanism of a screw conveyor is fairly simple and remains a conveyor screw that is fixed in a trough containing the material to be conveyed that will rest on the ground on adequate supports. This trough can be covered to guard it against contamination. You will need feeding and discharge spouts, and other things like flanges, shrouds, couplings, through ends and bearings to facilitate movement. The only moving part in this assembly is the screw itself, which picks up material that is fed to it at one end and conveys it to the other, while the screw is rotated. Gates may be needed to control the feeding and discharge actions.
Most types of screw feeding systems in assembly lines handle bulk dry materials. Screws can have shafts or be without shafts. while they come in different sizes they are normally straight line or slightly angled for movement of materials. To change directions or elevation, use may be made of multiple screws. In most assembly lines screws are made of steel, stainless steel, Teflon, nylon, aluminum or brass. They may be given anti-corrosion treatment if needed. Screws used in assembly lines have a wear resistance that makes the need for maintenance minimal.
Screw conveyors can be spiral or flexible and most such conveyors are designed for specific processes that allow materials to be conveyed horizontally, at angles or at times vertically. The packaging industry uses quick-change feed screws so that the same types of screw feeding systems in assembly lines can use the same machine while packaging a variety of products. This allows products of different sizes and shapes to be moved and are often color-coded to help in quick changes between products that are being assembled and packed.
Other feed screws may be dedicated to a single product throughout the life cycle of the product. These types of screws will be larger and can be used to convey products in assembly lines and will never need replacement. Timing and accuracy have to remain consistent for production and assembly lines to run smoothly, and feed screws of different types can be custom made to halt or change the position of containers and act as line control devices. You can design them to accelerate, decelerate, combine or divide the flow of the products that they are transporting.
These screws act as timing devices depending on the speed of rotation which decides the length of movement depending on the pitch of the screw. Every type of screw that is used in assembly lines must be designed correctly based on the rhythm required on the particular assembly line and require designers who have the knowledge and expertise in the manufacture of such equipment.
Feed screws require split-second accuracy in their functioning as they make for one of the most important elements in any assembly or packaging line. They must be designed for maximum performance to provide a smooth flow of the materials requiring to be moved. Products need to move along an assembly line at a steady pace that is determined by the type of operations that need to be carried out on the product being conveyed, and the use of various types of screw feeding systems makes this easily possible.