In this article, the authors first describe how horizontal-motion conveyors function and then answer common questions about the conveyors and how to apply them to your application.
The horizontal-motion conveyor (also called a horizontal differential-motion conveyor, differential motion conveyor, or differential conveyor) offers several advantages over other types of conveyors used for transporting bulk materials horizontally during processing. The conveyor uses a two-cycle slow-advance—quick-return motion to smoothly convey any free-flowing bulk material horizontally. The conveying surface, which can be an open pan or a fully closed conduit, is a seamless, one-piece unit. During the advance cycle, the conveying surface moves slowly forward. As it does, the material remains at relative rest on the conveying surface, even as it’s being moved forward. During the return cycle, the conveying surface moves quickly back to its original position and slips beneath the material, in much the same way as a tablecloth that’s quickly jerked out from under a table setting. This differential action is continually repeated, giving the horizontal-motion conveyor the ability to smoothly convey materials such as borax crystals, potato chips, and breakfast cereal as fast as 12 m/m over distances up to 61 meters without damaging, segregating, stratifying, or aerating them.