What Is an Accumulation Conveyor? A Comprehensive Guide to Accumulation Conveyor Systems

What Is an Accumulation Conveyor? A Comprehensive Guide to Accumulation Conveyor Systems


Amid the bustling activity of today’s manufacturing and distribution sectors, the orchestration of product flow is a symphony of precision and efficiency, with accumulation conveyors conducting the tempo. These sophisticated accumulation conveyor systems not only move but also smartly manage the storage of products, accommodating fluctuations in the production process with ease. As we peel back the layers of these dynamic systems, one may wonder about the essence of an accumulation conveyor and its contribution to the efficiency of countless operations.

Span Tech stands at the forefront of this technology, crafting conveyor solutions that embody innovation and reliability. In this guide, we will explore the intricate mechanics, versatile applications, and the significant impact that accumulation conveyor systems have on a variety of industries, providing insights into why Span Tech’s solutions resonate with quality and expertise.

Understanding Accumulation Conveyor Systems

An accumulation conveyor is an integral part of a material handling system, designed to hold or ‘accumulate’ products in place until downstream processing is ready to continue. It acts as a buffer, maintaining a steady flow of items while preventing any damage that might occur from collision or pile-up. It’s an ingenious answer to managing pauses in workflows without stopping the entire production line, allowing for a controlled release of products.

Types of Accumulation Conveyors

Accumulation conveyors come in various forms, each tailored to suit different operational demands:

  • Zero Pressure Accumulation Conveyors: These conveyors ensure that products do not touch each other while they accumulate by using electronic sensors and zones. Ideal for handling fragile goods, they prevent damage by controlling the pressure exerted on the items.
  • Minimum Pressure Accumulation Conveyors: Slightly touching, the products on these conveyors accumulate with minimal contact, thanks to the careful regulation of the drive pressure. It’s a balance between the gentle handling of items and the need for a continuous flow.
  • Contact Accumulation Conveyors: As the name suggests, these allow products to make contact in accumulation areas but with controlled pressure. They are typically used when product damage is not a concern and where simplicity and cost-effectiveness are prioritized.

Each type has its own niche, addressing specific challenges of product flow and accumulation in diverse environments. Span Tech’s accumulation conveyors are designed to integrate seamlessly with your existing systems, ensuring that whatever the type, products are handled with the care and precision that your operation requires.

Accumulation Zone

How Does An Accumulation Conveyor Work?

The inner workings of an accumulation conveyor system are a marvel of engineering. At its core, the system consists of a series of zones. Each zone is powered independently and can be activated or deactivated based on the conveyor’s need to accumulate products or allow them to pass through. When a zone becomes full, the conveyor halts the movement of products into that zone, thus preventing a backlog. Once the downstream process is ready, the zone is reactivated, and products continue on their journey. This methodical approach to product handling ensures a smooth operation, keeping the workflow balanced and efficient.

Span Tech’s accumulation conveyors refine this process further with state-of-the-art sensors and controls, enabling precise handling and movement of products with minimal supervision.

Accumulation Zones Explained

Accumulation zones are pivotal to the functionality of these conveyors. Each zone acts as a designated space where products can dwell temporarily. The length and number of these zones can vary, depending on the product size and the required accumulation capacity. Span Tech designs these zones with customization in mind, allowing for adjustments that align with your specific product dimensions and throughput requirements.

A critical aspect of these zones is the accumulation logic — the set of rules that determines when products should move or stay. The logic is programmed to suit the production needs, whether it’s to prevent products from touching or to allow a slight buffer. The intricacy of this system is what makes accumulation conveyors an accumulation marvel, effortlessly balancing product flow and storage.

The Role of Accumulation Conveyor Systems in Industries

Accumulation conveyor systems are not confined to a single industry but are instead a versatile asset across numerous sectors. Here are just a few of the applications of accumulation conveyor systems:

  • In the food and beverage industry, these conveyors handle anything from packaged goods to raw food items, where maintaining product integrity is crucial.
  • The pharmaceutical sector benefits from the delicate touch of zero-pressure accumulation conveyors, ensuring that sensitive products are not compromised.
  • In warehousing and distribution, accumulation conveyors manage a wide variety of goods, adapting to different weights and sizes, and facilitating sorting and packaging processes.
  • Automotive manufacturers utilize these systems for parts assembly lines, where timed and precise movement of components is essential.

Span Tech’s conveyors are designed with these diverse applications in mind, ensuring that no matter the industry, there is an accumulation solution that can be tailored to meet the needs.

Accumulation Zone

Benefits of Using Accumulation Conveyors

The strategic integration of accumulation conveyor systems into your production line can yield numerous benefits that directly contribute to operational success and efficiency.

Streamlined Operations

Accumulation conveyors can create a more streamlined process, reducing bottlenecks and allowing for a continuous flow of products. This is crucial in preventing the domino effect that can occur when one section of the production line slows down or stops, ensuring that other parts can continue to operate without interruption. Span Tech’s accumulation conveyors are adept at creating a seamless operational flow that is both resilient and adaptable to the changing demands of production schedules.

Increased Efficiency and Productivity

By precisely managing the flow of goods, accumulation conveyor systems can significantly increase the efficiency and productivity of a production line. This is achieved by minimizing downtime and enhancing the synchronization between different stages of the manufacturing process. Span Tech’s conveyor solutions are engineered to maximize these efficiencies, providing businesses with the means to scale operations and increase throughput without compromising quality or performance.

Enhanced Product Handling

Sensitive or fragile products require careful handling to prevent damage and waste, and accumulation conveyors provide this gentle touch. By allowing for the controlled movement and accumulation of products, these systems minimize the potential for collisions and ensure that items remain in pristine condition throughout the production cycle. Span Tech’s conveyors are particularly noted for their gentle handling, ensuring that products remain unscathed and consumer satisfaction is maintained.

Accumulation Zone

Accumulation Conveyor Systems from Span Tech

When choosing an accumulation conveyor system, selecting a provider with a robust track record of innovative and reliable solutions is essential. Span Tech has earned a reputation as a leader in the field, offering a suite of benefits with our conveyor solutions.

Span Tech’s Unique Conveyor Solutions

Span Tech offers a wide range of accumulation conveyors designed with precision, incorporating advanced technologies that provide smooth and efficient product transfers. With a focus on durability, Span Tech’s sorting conveyor systems are built to withstand the rigors of continuous industrial use, ensuring long-term reliability.

Customization and Flexibility

One size does not fit all when it comes to accumulation conveyors. Span Tech recognizes this and specializes in custom-designed conveyor systems that are tailored to meet the unique needs of each client. Whether you need a system that integrates with an existing production line or a completely new setup, we can provide a bespoke solution that fits seamlessly with your operations.

Support and Maintenance

A conveyor system is a significant investment, and Span Tech is dedicated to ensuring that this investment is protected. With a comprehensive support and maintenance program, clients can expect prompt assistance and service to maintain the optimal performance of their accumulation conveyors. Our commitment to customer service ensures that any issues are resolved quickly and efficiently, minimizing any potential downtime.

Span Tech’s accumulation conveyors deliver tangible benefits, making them an asset for any industry looking to enhance their production processes. The attention to detail and commitment to quality support positions Span Tech as a preferred partner for businesses aiming to optimize their operational flow with advanced conveyor solutions.

Conveyor Accumulation

Frequently Asked Questions About Accumulation Conveyor Systems

What Are the Different Types of Conveyor Rollers?

Conveyor rollers come in several types, each designed for specific applications and load requirements:

  • Gravity Rollers:These rely on gravity to move products and are typically used in manual loading or unloading scenarios.
  • Driven Rollers: Part of a powered roller system, these are connected to a motor via chains or belts and actively move the product along the conveyor.
  • Accumulation Rollers: Designed to allow products to accumulate along the conveyor while the belt continues to move, often featuring a clutch-like mechanism.
  • Impact Rollers: Positioned at conveyor loading points, impact rollers are designed to absorb the shock of heavy materials falling onto the belt.
  • Tapered Rollers: Commonly used on curves in conveyor systems, tapered rollers facilitate smooth product transfer through turns.
  • Grooved Rollers: These can be used with round belts or ropes to move products and are often seen in sorting or diverging systems.

How Do Accumulation Conveyor Systems Improve Productivity?

Accumulation conveyor systems improve productivity by:

  • Reducing Downtime: They allow the conveyor to continue running even when downstream processes need to pause, preventing stoppages that can lead to bottlenecks.
  • Enhancing Flow Control: They enable the smooth regulation of product flow, ensuring a consistent supply of goods to each stage of the production or packaging process.
  • Minimizing Product Damage: By allowing products to accumulate without pressure or contact, they reduce the risk of damage to fragile items, maintaining product integrity.
  • Improving Synchronization: They facilitate the synchronization between different sections of the production line, making it easier to manage timing and handling of products.

Increase Productivity With Span Tech Accumulation Conveyor Systems

Are you ready to revolutionize your production line with unmatched efficiency and precision? Span Tech’s accumulation conveyor systems are the key to unlocking seamless operation and scalability in your business. Don’t let bottlenecks and inefficiencies hold you back. Contact Span Tech today to find out how our innovative accumulation conveyor systems can elevate your operations to the next level. Experience the Span Tech difference and ensure that your products move smarter, not harder.

5 Conveyor Transfer Methods: How to Transfer Products with Seamless Precision

5 Conveyor Transfer Methods: How to Transfer Products with Seamless Precision


In today’s fast-paced, highly automated industrial landscape, the significance of effective product transfer cannot be overstated. These transfers meld technological accuracy with operational effectiveness to facilitate smooth and reliable supply chains. Conveyor systems serve as the backbone of this critical operation. Engineered to accommodate a wide array of conveyor transfer methods, these systems are adaptable to various industry-specific demands.

From the delicate handling of pharmaceuticals to the heavy lifting required in construction materials, conveyor systems are an essential tool to transfer products. That’s why the global conveyor system is expected to grow from $5.6 billion in 2022 to $7.76 billion by 2029.

This article will explore the diverse techniques that make transfer conveyor systems versatile and efficient. We’ll also discuss why Span Tech is your go-to solution for custom conveyor needs, offering specialized solutions that set industry standards.

Importance of Precise Product Transfers

Precise product transfers are exactly what the term suggests: the accurate, reliable movement of goods from one point to another within a manufacturing or distribution setup. This involves minimizing product damage, reducing downtimes, and ensuring a streamlined operational flow. But why is precision when transferring products so crucial?


Imprecise transfers can lead to product losses due to damage or inefficiencies that slow down the production line. Both scenarios contribute to increased operational costs, which can impact the profitability of the business.

Quality Assurance

In industries such as food processing or pharmaceuticals, the cost of imprecise transfers isn’t just monetary; it can also compromise the quality and safety of products. Precise conveyor to conveyor transfer of products helps maintain the integrity of goods, ensuring they meet quality and safety standards.


As a business grows, its supply chain complexities often grow exponentially. Precise transfer systems are scalable, making it easier to adapt to increased production demands without a significant revamp of the existing setup.

Operational Efficiency

A reliable conveyor transfer system minimizes downtime, enhancing operational efficiency. This ensures that the production schedules are met and customer commitments are honored, thus maintaining a business’s reputation for reliability and service.


Various industries have strict regulations governing the transport and handling of goods. Precise transfer methods are designed to meet or exceed these standards, helping businesses stay compliant and avoid costly legal issues.

Types of Industries that Require Conveyor Transfer Systems

Conveyor systems are not a one-size-fits-all solution; they are a versatile tool applicable across a broad spectrum of industries. Here are some key sectors where conveyor transfer products play a pivotal role:

Food and Beverage

In this sector, conveyor systems are employed to move raw ingredients, finished products, and everything in between. Hygiene and speed are of the essence for food and beverage production, and Span Tech’s solutions are engineered to meet these specific needs.


Precise and gentle handling is critical in the pharmaceutical industry to ensure the integrity of medicines and other products. Transfer conveyor systems are often designed with this level of care and precision in mind.


Speed and durability are the name of the game in automotive manufacturing. Conveyor systems are used to move parts swiftly and efficiently through assembly lines, aiding in quick production cycles.

Retail and E-commerce

From warehouses to sorting facilities, conveyor transfer systems are crucial in managing the high volume of goods that need to be sorted, packed, and shipped for retail and e-commerce facilities.

Mining and Construction

The heavy-duty requirements of these sectors call for robust conveyor systems capable of handling bulk materials like ore and construction supplies without the risk of breakdowns.

Transfer Products

5 Common Conveyor Transfer Methods

Navigating the myriad options for conveyor transfer can seem daunting, but understanding the different methods available can make all the difference in optimizing your operations. Various methods are suited for distinct types of goods, production speeds, and specific industry needs. Let’s take a look at five key conveyor transfer methods, each with its own set of advantages and applications.

90-Degree Transfer

This method allows for a smooth transition of products at right angles. Often used in sorting and distribution centers, this conveyor transfer method is essential for directing goods to different routes or machines.

Side-to-Side Transfer

Best suited for merging two parallel lines or for shifting products to an adjacent conveyor belt, the side-to-side transfer is commonly seen in packaging and assembly operations.

Dead Plates

A dead plate involves a smooth, flat surface placed between two conveyor belts to facilitate the transition of products. Although simpler in design, it is highly effective for specific applications like bottle filling or sorting.

Retractable Tail

Retractable tails are specially designed conveyor segments that can be withdrawn to allow products to pass onto another conveyor line. This is especially useful in multi-line setups where goods may need to switch lanes.

End-to-End Transfer

The simplest of all methods, end-to-end transfers involve moving products from one conveyor belt to another in a straight line. This method is versatile and can be used in various industries.

Trust Span Tech to Improve Your Conveyor Transfer Capabilities

If you’re on the hunt for a conveyor system that offers seamless precision, durability, and a high level of customization, look no further. Span Tech has a range of solutions that are engineered to meet your specific conveyor transfer needs. Don’t settle for a one-size-fits-all solution when you can have a system tailor-made for your operation. Discover how we can help you optimize your production line; let’s move your business forward, together.

Wedge Conveyors 101

Wedge Conveyors 101


In any warehouse or production facility, finding enough space for your conveyor systems can be a challenge. Wedge conveyors are flexible options that elevate your production flow, allowing you to reclaim valuable floor space in your facility.

In this article, we will explore wedge conveyor systems, including their benefits and possible applications.

What Is a Wedge Conveyor?

A wedge conveyor, also known as an elevator conveyor, is a specialized material handling system designed to move products between the production floor and other levels of your facility. They are most often found in distribution centers and warehouses and can be easily integrated with existing material handling systems because of their flexibility and ability to handle high-capacity projects. Wedge conveyors provide smooth, continuous transport of packages and products throughout your facility, making them an essential component in many material handling operations.

Benefits of Wedge Conveyors

Manufacturers can face many challenges, including the logistics of moving products around their facility. Vertical conveyors, including wedge conveyors, are a valuable tool in facilities where multiple elevations are used in production processes.

Wedge conveyors offer many benefits, including:

  • Easy to construct
  • Lightweight
  • Rapid transfer rate
  • Made from durable stainless steel or aluminum
  • Multiple configuration options
  • Meet strict hygiene standards for packaging lines

Wedge Conveyors

How Does a Wedge Conveyor Work?

Span Tech’s Wedge Conveyors are designed to provide vertical movement in a durable, compact and all-mechanical design. Products are fed from a horizontal conveyor belt onto the wedge conveyor with about one product length between them, allowing enough space for products to negotiate the curves. As an item reaches the wedge conveyor, two parallel conveyors use urethane gripper chains to wedge the sides of the product from either side. This action lifts or lowers it from the horizontal conveyor onto a receiving conveyor.

Our wedge conveyors with pressure relief can be operated at variable speed ranges and are available in a variety of chain types and widths to accommodate different sizes and shapes of products. There are no computers or logic/software components needed because the almost-silent vertical conveyor system is designed with all-mechanical movement, gripping products on their sides and sending them on their way. Depending on your facility’s needs, you can choose from the standard “positionable” or fully-adjustable wedge conveyor.

Applications for Wedge Conveyors

Because of their flexibility, wedge conveyors are perfect for use in a variety of applications including:

  1. Packaging
  2. Manufacturing
  3. Food & Beverage

Wedge conveyor systems are frequently used over walkways, under other conveyor lines, or to quickly change the orientation of a product or container (flip it over or face the opposing direction).

Trust Span Tech for All Your Wedge Conveyor Solutions

If you’re looking for a reliable solution to your warehouse space issues, count on Span Tech’s wedge conveyors. We have 45 years of experience helping businesses like yours find solutions to their conveyor belt problems. Our experienced team is available to help answer any questions you have and direct you toward the right solutions. Contact us today to find out more.

Guide to Metal Detection and How to Create a Metal-Free Zone

Conveyor Safety Standards


Product safety is a top priority in manufacturing, especially when it comes to food and pharmaceutical products. The right conveyor belt metal detector can give you the peace of mind that your line is safe and free from metal contamination.

In this article, we will look at the basics of metal detection on your conveyor line and how you can create a metal-free zone in your facility.

What Is Metal Contamination?

Metal contamination occurs when any pieces of metal make their way into a product during the manufacturing process. A conveyor metal detector is designed to alert you to any possible metal contaminants that make their way into your product.

There are three primary types of metallic contaminants:

  • Ferrous metals are easily detected, as they are both magnetic and conductive.
  • Non-ferrous metals are non-magnetic, but they are good conductors, so it is relatively easy to detect them.
  • Stainless steel is, for most grades, both non-magnetic and a poor conductor, making it difficult to detect.

Metal Detector Conveyors

What Is a Metal-Free Zone?

A metal-free zone is an area near the metal detector in your conveyor system where no metal is allowed. Metal detectors are constructed with high-frequency magnetic fields built into the device’s metal casing. In spite of this careful construction, it is still possible for the magnetic field to leak out of the detector’s aperture. Because of this, a metal-free zone must be created in the area surrounding the aperture.

If metal is placed too near the metal detector in the metal-free zone, the detector’s signal may spike, causing a false positive and unnecessarily disrupting your production.

How Can You Create a Metal-Free Zone in Your Facility?

To create a metal-free zone, you will need to do some calculations based on the type of metal being used and the aperture size of your conveyor belt metal detector. If the metal is non-moving, it should be at least 1.5 times the aperture height away from the opening; moving metal should be at least 2 times the height away from the opening.

What Should You Consider When Choosing Metal Detection Conveyor Products?

When you are choosing a metal detector for your conveyor system and establishing a metal-free zone, you want equipment that can do the job quickly, spot contamination in your system and provide options for product disposal. The three factors to consider are:

1. Aperture Size

Most apertures are 8 inches high by 14 inches wide, but customization is possible if necessary to meet your product specifications.

2. Sanitation

If sanitation measures are included in the conveyors, your employees will be able to quickly and easily clean the conveyor surfaces, observe products flagged as containing metal and remove them so your line can continue operating.

3. Reject Mechanisms

If metal is detected, reject mechanisms are necessary to prevent further contamination and quickly remove the product.

The three types of reject mechanisms available include:

  1. Push-on detect. When a metal detector flags a product, a pusher mechanism mounted to the side of the conveyor removes the product from the line for disposal.
  2. Air blast. A blast of air is used to remove rejected products from the line.
  3. Diverter arms. An arm swings across the conveyor belt to remove rejected products from the line.

Trust Span Tech for Your Conveyor Belt Metal Detector Needs

Now that you have learned about metal detection and creating a metal-free zone, let Span Tech help your business keep its products and employees safe. If you have questions about our conveyor belt metal detectors, please contact us today and our team will be happy to assist.

Advantages of Robotics Integration in Manufacturing

Advantages of Robotics Integration in Manufacturing


The robotics automation industry is booming across many sectors. This is especially true in manufacturing, which already surpasses the automotive industry as the largest user of industrial robots.

According to Fortune Business Insights, robotics integration in manufacturing is growing rapidly, with its strongest year ever in 2021 and more growth ahead. The global industrial robots market is forecasted to expand from $16.78 billion in 2022 to $35.68 billion by 2029.

The growth of robotics in the manufacturing industry has been spurred by two main factors: technological advancements and lower cost. Although robots have been used in high-volume manufacturing environments for some time, smaller manufacturers now have more opportunities to consider robotics as an option.

There are many applications for automated integration in manufacturing. As with any technology, it’s important for businesses to evaluate their unique applications and the pros and cons of integrating robotics into that process. This article will go over the many advantages (and a few disadvantages) of integrating robotics in manufacturing.

Advantages of Robots in Manufacturing

There are many advantages of robotics integration in the manufacturing industry. Five main advantages of robotics are:

1. Improved Quality, Productivity and Efficiency

Utilizing production robotics increases the speed of manufacturing by operating 24/7. Because robots don’t need breaks or shift changes, there is less downtime, which improves productivity and efficiency. Also, because robots can be programmed to manufacture a product the exact same way every time, manufacturers will enjoy the benefits of higher-quality products coming off their conveyor lines.

2. Increased Flexibility

It’s important for manufacturers in today’s business environment to be flexible. With constant changes in designs, materials and processes, human laborers can require regular retraining, which costs time and money. Manufacturing with robotics allows for quick changes through simple reprogramming.

3. More Consistency

Robotics integration provides more precise and reliable production at a higher level of quality. There is no worry about human error causing mistakes or issues in production.

4. Better Safety

Programming robots to perform simple, repetitive tasks reduces the risk of injury for workers. Also, production can be overseen online from a remote location.

5. Improved ROI

The increased productivity and efficiency allows businesses to see an increase in revenue and improved return on investment. Robotics in factories also frees up workers to use their skills in more challenging tasks that cannot be automated.

Advantages of Robotic Integration in Manufacturing

Disadvantages of Robots in Manufacturing

Although there are many reasons to add robotics to your factory, there are a few disadvantages to consider before you jump in.

1. High Initial Investment

Although prices have gone down, robots still require a large investment upfront. Carefully research exactly how much it will cost your business for robotics integration and analyze if the total cost is worth it.

2. Limited Expertise

Besides investing in robots, you also need skilled workers to operate, program and maintain them. That means either hiring personnel or training existing workers to handle the required tasks.

3. Technology Limitations

Although robots can handle many tasks, there are still some production processes that require more complex programming than is currently available.

Let Span Tech Help You Find a Robotics Integration Solution for Your Business

Now that you know more about the pros and cons of robots in manufacturing, you can make an informed decision on if you want to use them for your business. If you have questions or want to find out more about robotics integration, Span Tech can help. Contact us today and find out how.

Adjustable Conveyor Guide Rails 101

Adjustable Conveyor Guide Rails


Conveyor belts are an essential part of many warehouses and factories, moving goods from one point to another without human intervention. But needing to change your conveyor setup for different products causes downtime and inefficiencies. Adjustable conveyor guide rails allow you to handle products of various shapes and sizes without requiring a change to your conveyor system, and thus, they are critical to production efficiency.


In this article, we will take a look at adjustable conveyor guide rails, including how they work and how Span Tech can help your business be more efficient and streamline production with our custom conveyor guide rails.

What Is a Guide Rail?

As items travel along your conveyor system, conveyor guide rails make sure your products are automatically directed to their proper destination.

In recent years, adjustable conveyor guide rails have emerged as the latest technological innovation to change how conveyor systems can improve efficiency and save money. Adjustable conveyor guide rails give your business extra flexibility, as they allow you to manage different products without having to make adjustments or additions to your conveyor system. That means less downtime for your business.

  • Aluminum or Steel Rails
  • Rail Sleeves
  • Holders
  • Rail Bracket/Holders
  • Connector Plugs

Adjustable conveyor guide rails

How Does a Conveyor Guide Rail Work?

Conveyor guide rails direct your products along the conveyor operating system. The guide rails are inside holders that are placed along your conveyor belts, supported by clamping heads. Spacers placed under the holders extend the width of your conveyor belts and control how much support the guide rails give.

Types of Conveyor Guide Rail Components

There are a number of different conveyor guide rail components that work together to make a system function properly.

  • Guide rails and supports. Guide rails are usually made of aluminum or steel and can be used to extend the length of your system.
  • Rail sleeves and holders. Rail sleeves are connectors that attach the rails into the holders. Adjusting the space between rails allows you to control the support level on your conveyor belt.
  • Clamps. The clamps are adjustable and can easily take on spacers or other parts that can make your system customized for your unique needs.

Standard vs. Custom Guide Rails

Some conveyor belt systems can be built using standard conveyor guide rails. If your conveyor needs are more complex and can’t be satisfied using standard rails, you may need custom conveyor guide rails to get your products where they need to be. Span Tech offers custom conveyor systems that can be tailor-made to fit your company’s specific requirements.

Discover How Span Tech’s Adjustable Conveyor Guide Rails Can Meet Your Needs

At Span Tech, we understand how important adjustable conveyor guide rails can be for your business. Whether you’re looking for a transfer conveyor or our EZGUIDE™ conveyor guide rail system, let us show you how we can help you improve efficiency and save money.

How to Start a Pharmaceutical Company in 3 Easy Steps

Span Tech Pharmaceutical Conveyors

The pharmaceutical industry is booming. Scientific and technological advances are driving pharmaceutical innovation like never before. But what does this mean for you? It means there are more opportunities than ever for those looking to break out and start their own pharmaceutical distribution business.

Pharmaceutical distribution companies can most easily be described as the middleman between the drug manufacturing company and the retail pharmacy or end user. This industry is recession proof, making it an incredibly advantageous venture for any savvy entrepreneur. But it can be difficult to understand exactly how to start a pharmaceutical distribution company, navigating details right down to which pharmaceutical conveyors to use. That’s why we’ve put together a condensed, easy-to-understand guide for starting a safe pharmaceutical distribution business that can be successful long-term.

How to Start a Pharmaceutical Distribution Company

There are many steps and considerations involved when starting a pharmaceutical distribution company. The following is a brief overview:

      1. Hire a business consultant and determine your niche
      2. Create a successful business plan
        • Research competitors
        • Determine company structure
        • Choose the right equipment
        • Establish roles
        • Conduct SWOT analysis
        • Verify license requirements
    1. Establish your brand


Step 1: Stack The Deck In Your Favor

This is the first stage in planning your pharmaceutical distribution system and thus is twofold. This is when you build the true foundation of your company, which means having the right person (or people) in your corner and the right business in place.

  1. Start by hiring an experienced business consultant who fully understands the pharmaceutical industry. This person will be responsible for examining your overall business concept and determining if it would survive and thrive as it should.
  2. The second part is to thoroughly evaluate your business options. There are three routes you can take when starting your pharmaceutical distribution company:
    • Begin a pharmaceutical business with a manufacturing unit
    • Market medicines under your new brand name
    • Team up with an established drug manufacturer

Keep in mind that whichever option you go with will fully depend on your overall budget and business goals.

Step 2: Create A Successful Business Plan

Once you’ve settled on the type of pharmaceutical distribution company you’re going to start, you need to create a business plan. While you can’t guarantee that it’s going to be a successful plan, you can set your business up in a smart way to better your chances of success.

Research Potential Competitors

Research is a key step in the process of setting up your business. Knowing your competitors will give you a good idea of where and why they excel — and what they could improve upon. By studying their business model, you’ll be better equipped to come up with something even better.

Identify Upfront Expenses

Crunch the numbers and determine the total investment that will be required to start a pharmaceutical distribution company. This includes deciding whether steps like manufacturing, trials or pharmaceutical distribution will happen in-house or will be outsourced. Plan out everything that will be needed, including (but not limited to):

  • A production facility
  • An office space or building
  • Utilities (electricity, gas, water, Wi-Fi, etc.)
  • Lab equipment
  • Office supplies
  • Furniture
  • Machinery
  • Employee wages
  • Pharmaceutical industry conveyors
  • Pharmaceutical conveyor belts

Choose the Right Equipment

As mentioned above, choosing the right equipment is vital to running a reputable pharmaceutical distribution company. That includes any manufacturing and packaging equipment, including the appropriate conveyor belts for pharmaceuticals.

The best pharmaceutical conveyors will not only help ensure safety but also enhance efficiency. For example, you can eliminate potential tracking issues with the Span Tech EZSpan Belt Conveyor system and sort and merge with ease with the High Speed Switch.

You’ll also need to ensure your equipment doesn’t damage your product. The MiniLink chain conveyor system was specially designed to move small, delicate pills or packaging with care. These and all of Span Tech’s conveyors were thoughtfully designed and can be fully customized to alleviate potential manufacturing risks while improving overall workflows.

Establish Roles And Responsibilities

Running a pharmaceutical distribution company is not something that can be done with just a handful of people. You’ll need a full staff of qualified, knowledgeable and enthusiastic employees who have the same vision for the company as you do. This needs to be factored into your business plan and your total investment. Some roles that are vital to starting your business include:

  • A chief executive officer
  • A human resources manager and/or department
  • An inventory manager
  • A purchasing manager
  • A customer service executive and/or team
  • An accountant or accounting department
  • Various marketing and sales executives
  • Floor manager(s)
  • Floor employees
  • Janitor(s)
  • Security guard(s)
  • Truck driver(s)

It takes a lot of people to run a company. But by having the right team in place, you’ll alleviate a lot of the stress that can come with starting your own business.

Conduct SWOT Analysis

A SWOT analysis is where you take a hard look at your business plan’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. In addition to completing a SWOT analysis of your own pharmaceutical distribution company, make sure to do one for each of your major competitors as well. This will give you a great overview and comparison of the market and where and how you fit into it.

Verify License Requirements

It’s vital when starting out that you research and acquire all necessary licenses for your city and state. The pharmaceutical distribution requirements will depend on your type of business but, in general, pharmaceutical startups are considered limited liability corporations. To find full listings of required licenses and permits, visit the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) website, the regional SBSA office and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website.

Step 3: Establish Your Brand

Once you’ve started your company, it’s time to take the proper steps to promote it by establishing a brand. Breaking into the pharmaceutical distribution industry and getting your products in front of the medical community can feel like a Herculean task. But by doing your research and investing in advertising and marketing, you’ll be one step closer to building a successful company. Advertising and marketing companies can help you create everything you need to get your name out there:

    • A logo
    • A brand image
    • A company mission
    • A website
    • A marketing campaign


If you have the budget for it, a PR agency or a designated marketing communications team can also be invaluable to your business in the long term.

Understand that building your pharmaceutical distribution business will take a lot of time, money and work. But by taking the right steps, hiring the right team and using the right equipment, you’ll be well on your way to running a successful company.

Start Your Company Off Right With Span Tech Pharmaceutical Conveyors

Span Tech’s proven pharmaceutical conveyors and components are used to safely transport medication, small vials, bottles, vial pucks, blister packs, tubes, bags, small cartons and more. Browse our entire selection of pharmaceutical conveyors and solutions to build your company for success. Have a question or need more information? Contact our customer service team today. Whatever your needs may be, we can help design a custom pharmaceutical distribution system that can help make your business a success.

Top 6 Custom Distribution Conveyor Belt Features

Span Tech Custom Conveyors

As a distribution facility, you need your processes to run seamlessly so that each product arrives at its destination without trouble. You also want to make the most of your space. To achieve all this, you need a custom conveyor system that can handle tight turns and changes in elevation, while still reliably sorting packages. The following custom conveyor belts are capable of these functions and more to create optimal efficiency in your facility.


Vertical Switch

Vertical Switch Custom Conveyor Belts

Having custom conveyor belts that make use of vertical space can help you save room in your facility. The vertical switch lets you discharge packages at elevations that were previously not possible, and therefore use space that was previously unusable, creating a new level of efficiency for your workspace. The switch ramps gently lower your products from one level to the next, ensuring that they get where they need to go safely.


Traffic Cop

Traffic Cop Custom Conveyor

If you need to merge multiple lanes of product, but aren’t sure how to do it in an organized manner, the traffic cop is the solution. This custom conveyor feature uses two swinging arms to stagger product flow. One arm stays in place while the other allows a lane of traffic to pass through. Then, the other side opens after a set period of time, allowing one, two or more packages to slide through at once. The traffic cop offers you the needed control to keep your products flowing smoothly.


Spiral Elevator Conveyor

Spiral Elevator Custom Conveyor Systems

Like the vertical switch, the spiral elevator conveyor gives you access to vertical space that previously went unused. Custom conveyor systems with a spiral elevator can also give you a strategic time delay, so you won’t experience backups from products reaching their locations too quickly. This custom conveyor belt gently raises your products from one level to the next, allowing you to make the most of your space without damaging fragile items.


MicroSpan Transfer

MicroSpan Transfer Custom Conveyor Belt

When one end of a custom conveyor belt meets the beginning of another, there is generally a small gap between them. While this may not seem like a problem, it can cause major backups if smaller packages get caught in the gap. MicroSpan transfer conveyors help to avoid such hangups. The tiny conveyor belt bridges the space between the two larger conveyors, making a smooth transition to keep your business moving.


Helical Conveyor

Helical Conveyor Custom Conveyor Systems

Changing elevation and direction at the same time doesn’t have to be tricky, as long as you have the helical conveyor on your side. This custom conveyor’s unique design allows it to raise or lower your product while also changing its orientation. It offers the most aggressive elevation change to curve radius in the industry while still keeping your products free of damage. It’s just the investment you need to make your facility as ergonomic as possible.



Custom Conveyor Belt Transpositor

A more compact alternative to the helical conveyor is the Transpositor. This two-tiered custom conveyor belt uses a trap door to gently drop your products from the first level to the second. The belt on the second level rapidly spins perpendicularly to the belt above it. When the product is dropped down, the belt performs a right angle turn to reroute the product into its awaiting container. The drop is only a few inches, so even items such as frozen food in plastic containers can be distributed without damage.


Span Tech Has The Solution For Your Distribution Needs

Span Tech offers a variety of custom conveyor systems that will perfectly suit your distributing facility’s needs. To learn more about which distribution conveyor features will create the ideal system for your space, contact us to start your free estimate.

Custom Conveyor Belts and Conveyor Features for Packaging

Custom Conveyor Belt

Packaging conveyors are a must for transporting items quickly and efficiently. That’s why having a custom conveyor precisely for your needs is crucial to ensuring your products remain organized and undamaged. Let’s explore a few features that will help make your conveyor system perfect.




Right-angle turns are tricky maneuvers for ordinary packaging conveyors to pull off. The Transpositor helps make these tight turns easy. Its two-tiered system pulls the top section of conveyor away, almost like a trap door. The item then falls a few inches to a second conveyor belt which is rapidly spinning perpendicular to the first conveyor’s direction. This motion stops the item’s momentum and reroutes it into the waiting stationary container just over the conveyor’s edge.

While the Transpositor conveyor system involves some short drops, they are gentle enough to handle any package. Whether it’s frozen food in a plastic container or a regular box, you can rest assured that your products will reach the end of your custom conveyor belt system unharmed.


MicroSpan Transfer

Packaging Conveyor Systems

Even custom conveyor belts have to end somewhere. There is often another belt to meet the first one and keep your products’ journey going. The problem is the gap, no matter how small, that exists between the two belts. Even larger products can get lodged in the crack and cause major backups.

The MicroSpan Transfer is the simple solution to this issue. This small conveyor belt bridges the gap between the two main belts to prevent any item, even a small one, from getting stuck. It’s a simple addition for custom conveyor systems that will ultimately save your business a lot of time in troubleshooting.


Traffic Cop

Packaging Conveyor

This feature is necessary for packaging conveyor systems that merge two lanes of product into a single lane of output. The two swinging arms of the traffic cop stagger the flow of your packages and prevent collisions or other roadblocks. You also have the ability to control how long the pause will last, allowing one, two, or more units to be released from one lane at one time. This feature gives you the control you need to create the efficiency you want.


High Speed Switch

The High Speed Switch, like the traffic cop, is a custom conveyor feature that helps control product flow while maintaining product pitch. However, the switch adds in a sorting element, using guide rods to pull products away from each other or bring them together as needed. The powerful system can not only support up to four lanes of product switching and converging, but can also handle 24-hour continuous operation. It’s perfect for creating a nonstop production flow.


Twist Conveyors

Custom Conveyor Belts

Like the Transpositor, twist conveyors are are great for changing product orientation without an external device or human intervention. This packaging conveyor can reorient your product’s angle up to 90 degrees in 60 linear inches, so even the tightest turns are possible.

On top of turning products, twist conveyors can also handle elevational changes. Generally, if the twist occurs on the custom conveyor belt’s center line, the belt will have a natural decline. Taking advantage of the direction of the conveyor’s twist can give you the incline or decline you need after reorienting your product.


We Have The Solution To Your Packaging Needs

SpanTech offers a variety of packaging conveyors to suit your company’s needs. To learn more about what custom conveyor features are right for you and start a free estimate, contact us.

Top 4 Custom Conveyor Features For Manufacturing Facilities

Manufacturing Conveyor

Every business is unique, which is why it’s essential that each one has manufacturing conveyors that perfectly suits its needs. Consider the following features to create a custom conveyor system that sorts your products quickly and keeps your workers safe.

High-Speed Switch

If you have a wide variety of products to separate while maintaining product pitch, the High-Speed Switch feature is for you. This custom conveyor belt feature can support up to four lanes of product switching, converging, and sorting.

The High-Speed Switch uses a series of guide rods and conveyor chains to pull products away from each other and bring them back again. This powerful system can handle 24-hour continuous operation, meaning your production flow never has to stop.

Lexan Safety Guarding

This add-on is recommended for use in conjunction with the High-Speed Switch. The guarding covers the parts of the conveyor moving at the highest speeds, ensuring that your team members can perform their tasks safely. Lexan Safety Guarding can be placed at any point along your custom conveyor belts where you feel safety would be a concern.

Variable Frequency Drive

The Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) gives you complete control over the functions of your custom conveyor. From a single control center, you can start or stop the conveyor belt, change motor speed and direction, and transform power supply. VFD options are available for every SpanTech conveyor, so you don’t need to worry about missing out on it based on the model you choose.

Bump Rotate

Perhaps one of the simplest and most useful features you should add to your custom conveyor system is a Bump Rotate. The mechanical design easily rotates your product 90 degrees without the need for sensors or other powered automation. You can also place two Bump Rotates in succession to achieve a 180-degree rotation. This feature is perfect for operations that require a specific product orientation as they come off the line.

Find The Ideal Custom Conveyor For Your Business

Learn more about manufacturing conveyors that could be perfect for your industry. Then contact SpanTech for a custom quote and the most innovative conveyor solutions on the market.