Conveying and Product Transfer Options for Food and Feed Manufacturing

Oil Press

When designing a manufacturing process, product obviously has to get from point A to point B.  The typical way to do this is through conveying.  This is a very broad term, so which is the correct choice?  The answer will ultimately depend on what you want to do.

There are several conveyor options with the following being more common:

Screw: shaft mounted flighting driven by a motor in a contained trough

Pneumatic: a fan is used to create a vacuum which carries product through tubes

Drag: large paddles or bars push product along a continuous chain enclosed in a rectangular trough


Vibratory: continuous troughs are shaken by a motor causing product to move at a constant rate

Belt: flat, continuously driven belts are used to carry product

Each of these options has advantages, disadvantages and ideal applications that can help in your facility.  The following is a brief description of each type.






All general conveying

Cost effective and universal

Does not handle product carefully


Transferring light or low density products

Full cleanout; versatile layout options

Can be costly; requires more equipment (dust bags, piping, fan, cyclone, etc.)


Moving large amounts of med-high density free-flowing products

Can move large amounts of product quickly

Cannot handle light or sticky products as well


Proportioning and feeding material

Careful product handling and metering ability; low maintenance

Can be costly; larger floorspace requirements and reinforcements may be needed


High capacity material transfer

Careful product handling; fast, efficient product transfer

Incline limitations and potential higher maintenance requirements

As you can see, your selection will depend ultimately on what you want to do.  If you require careful product handling and minimal fines, belt or pneumatic conveying is probably a good choice.  If you wish to convey large amounts of product quickly, drag or screw conveying may be your best option.  Working with an experienced team with the knowledge and resources (and a little creativity), will give you what you want where you want it.

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