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In the dynamic world of industrial production and material movement, efficient conveyor systems play a crucial role. Continuous conveyors are the invisible heroes that ensure smooth processes and increase efficiency in a wide range of industries. However, as diverse as their areas of application are, so too are their designs. In this article, we explain how continuous conveyors work and the different types of continuous conveyors.

About AMF-Bruns

Since 1958, we have been developing and manufacturing reliable and efficient conveying and bulk material handling systems of first-class quality that are precisely tailored to the requirements of our customers worldwide. By continuously developing our products, modernizing our production facilities and thus achieving an above-average quality standard, AMF Bruns has developed into one of the most successful suppliers in the sugar, wood, waste, chemical, paper, power plant, port and building materials industries.

What are continuous conveyors?

Continuous conveyors are a central component in material flow technology, their main purpose is to transport materials such as bulk goods, unit loads or flowing goods continuously and efficiently from one point to another, which distinguishes them from discontinuous conveyor systems such as cranes and forklift trucks.

The choice of the right continuous conveyor depends on various factors, such as the type of material, the required conveying capacity, the conveying distance and the specific environmental conditions. The versatility of continuous conveyors makes them indispensable in many industrial and agricultural processes, as they not only increase productivity but also contribute to the safety and reliability of material handling. In an environment where time and efficiency are of the essence, continuous conveyors play a key role in optimizing and increasing the efficiency of production and transport processes.

Types of continuous conveyors

Conveyor technology, as a branch of mechanical engineering, deals with the design, planning and construction of internal transportation systems in companies. The main task is primarily to transport goods efficiently from the source to the destination – taking into account both technological and economic aspects. The means of transportation used can be divided into two main categories:

  • Non-continuous conveyors for discontinuous transport processes
  • Continuous conveyors for steady work processes

Subdivision of internal means of transportation (source: ITA)[1]

Non-continuous conveyors

Non-continuous conveyors are characterized by their high flexibility when transporting goods and are often operated manually. They are divided into stationary, rail-bound or rail-free means of transportation. A classic example is industrial trucks, such as those frequently used in the form of forklift trucks for the irregular in-house transportation of individual items and bulk goods.

Continuous conveyors

At AMF-Bruns Fördertechnik, we specialize in continuous conveyors and the transport of bulk materials in the sugar and timber industries as well as for environmental or power plant technology, the chemical, steel, animal feed and cement industries.

Continuous conveyors are characterized by the continuous generation of a flow of transported goods and operate over longer periods of time without interruption. They can be loaded and unloaded during operation. This form of conveyor technology is characterized by high operational reliability, low energy consumption and a simple design. They are generally divided into three main groups [2]:

  • Belt conveyors
  • Link belt conveyors
  • Chutes

However, the system has limited flexibility in terms of the transport route and capacity, as it is predominantly permanently installed and can only be moved to another location with considerable effort. These transport systems are therefore intended for permanent use.

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Conveyor systems from AMF-Bruns

Depending on the task and the properties of the bulk material, AMF-Bruns supplies products that are precisely tailored to the customer’s needs. Our portfolio includes a wide range of conveying systems for bulk materials.

Belt conveyors

Belt conveyors are one of the most widely used types of continuous conveyors. They are utilized for transporting individual and bulk goods. Thanks to their cost-effectiveness and reliability, belt conveyors are used today in practically all branches of industry where a continuous and high flow rate is required. Areas of application range from mining to the cement and chemical industries to the food industry as well as storage areas and transshipment facilities. Belt conveyors from AMF-Bruns enable low-wear and gentle transport of all types of bulk materials – even over long distances of several hundred meters.

Belt conveyor systems can be portable, stationary or mobile and consist of an endlessly connected belt that is guided over pulleys. The tensioned belt is supported by idlers and divided into upper and lower runs. The drive force is usually transmitted via the pulleys at the reversal points.

Thanks to flexible support widths and variable accessories, they can be flexibly adapted to almost any application. Our belt conveyors require little space and energy, are extremely low-maintenance and offer a high conveying capacity. Like all conveyor systems from AMF-Bruns, they can be easily combined with other transport systems and are therefore ideal for implementing complex systems, for example in the food industry.

The economic efficiency of a belt conveyor nevertheless depends on the careful dimensioning of the system. Therefore, knowledge of volume and mass flows as well as the power requirement is crucial for the design and calculation. The power requirement of a belt conveyor results from the resistance to movement and the conveying speed, which requires precise calculation.

Troughed belt conveyors

Troughed belt conveyors are often used for large conveying volumes over distances of several hundred meters. The three-part troughed belts are primarily suitable for heavy bulk goods with high throughput rates. Maximum flexibility is guaranteed in combination with trolleys that can discharge at any point on one or both sides.

Air belt conveyors

Air belt conveyors are often used for gentle transport on conveying distances of up to 250 meters. They impress with their dust-free and low-noise operation and minimized maintenance requirements. They can be realized with large support distances. Their conveying speeds are up to 3 m/sec. The optimum troughing protects the belt during heavy-duty operation. Belt widths of up to 1.6 meters can be realized.

Sliding belt conveyors

Sliding belt conveyors are used in the timber industry for gentle and dust-free transport over conveyor lengths of up to 40 meters. They are characterized by low-noise operation and minimized maintenance requirements. Cleaning the sliding belt conveyors is significantly simplified by hinged floors. The optimum troughing protects the belt and reduces wear. Belt widths of up to 1.6 meters and conveying speeds of up to 1.7 m/sec. can be achieved.

Cleated or corrugated edge belt conveyors

Cleated or corrugated edge belt conveyors are mainly used for steep incline conveying. Rubber belts are usually used for this purpose, which are profiled or fitted with cleats depending on the application. They can be cleaned using inner and outer belt scrapers, beater rollers or driven brush rollers.

Bucket elevators

Chains and belt bucket elevators are used in modern industry. The material to be conveyed plays a decisive role in selecting the right conveyor. Gypsum, for example, is only conveyed using chains, otherwise it will stick to the drum. The continuous temperature of the material to be conveyed must also be taken into account; if this is continuously above 130 degrees Celsius, only chain bucket elevators can be considered.

Belt and chain bucket elevators from AMF-Bruns stand for economical vertical conveying with maximum availability – even in continuous operation and under the most extreme conditions. This makes them a cost-effective, space-saving and product-friendly alternative to long, inclined or steeply inclined conveyor belts. Right from the design phase, our engineers ensure that buckets, belts, chains and drives are precisely tailored to your requirements. Of course, this also applies to the individual adaptation to the technical and spatial conditions on site. In this way, our bucket elevators guarantee maximum efficiency and investment security right from the start.

Chain conveyors

Trough and scraper chain conveyors from AMF-Bruns are extremely versatile. They transport bulk materials with a grain size of 0 to 300 mm, whether they are dry, pulverized, free-flowing, granular, small or flaky. We are also happy to produce trough chain conveyors for coarser grain sizes or for transporting hot bulk materials.

The conveying process can be technically linked to other processes, such as discharging, dosing, collecting, distributing and cooling. Depending on the nature of the material to be conveyed, we realize volume flows of up to 1,500 m3/h.

  • Trough chain conveyors are continuous conveyors that can be used to transport almost all materials that do not stick – horizontally, vertically or at an angle. They are dust-free, environmentally friendly and gas-tight. Their main advantage is their low space requirement, coupled with a high conveying capacity
  • Scraper chain conveyors work in two lines and are particularly suitable for conveying large quantities of coarse wood chips or shavings.

Screw conveyors

Screw conveyors from AMF-Bruns allow gentle transportation of your bulk material in any desired direction – whether horizontally, vertically or on inclines. Volume flows of up to 1,400 m3/h and conveying lengths of up to 60 meters per unit can be achieved.

The way a screw conveyor works is simple but extremely effective. A spiral-shaped screw, which is located in a pipe or chute, moves the material from one point to another. The rotating movement of the screw continuously pushes the material forward, mixing or loosening it at the same time. Whether powdery, granular or semi-moist bulk material, our screw conveyors are extremely robust and can withstand the toughest demands, even in continuous operation. And they do so with minimal space requirements, maximum efficiency and minimum maintenance. Screw conveyors from AMF-Bruns are available in many designs for different applications – also gas and pressure-tight on request.

Process screw conveyors

For moistening, mixing and transporting dry material. Also available in a double-shaft version with combing, self-cleaning equipment for conveyed goods that tend to stick.

Vertical screw conveyors

For conveying bulk material to 20 meters and more in a vertical direction. Advantages: high performance with very little space requirement, good transition from horizontal to vertical conveying as well as a clean, low-noise and dust-tight design.

Trough screw conveyors

For transportation on inclines of up to 30 degrees. Good accessibility to the conveying area due to bolted cover.

Tubular screw conveyors

In contrast to trough screw conveyors, they are completely closed and can therefore also transport the material over inclines of over 30 degrees. They can convey with a filling level of 100 percent.

Screw heat exchanger

For cooling or heating products for continuous processes in process engineering.

Silo discharge systems

With the residual emptying system from AMF-Bruns, the residual quantities – for example sugar or grain – are discharged after the gravimetric emptying of a cylinder or dome silo. Depending on the size of the silo, the residual quantities can amount to up to 15,000 tons. The residual emptying system ensures a constant and even material flow.

AMF-Bruns offers residual discharge screws for silo diameters of up to 55 meters. Depending on the flowability of the sugar, we can realize the following discharge capacities: Screw shaft diameters from 900 mm to 1400 mm with a discharge rate at maximum speed of approx. 70 t/h to approx. 150 t/h are possible.

Most of the silo emptying takes place gravimetrically, so that no mechanical components need to be operated inside the silo during this time. In addition, there are no mechanical components above the material column. This prevents contamination of the stored material by lubricants or falling components. The perfect mixture: By feeding the silo system with a proven AMF-Bruns feeding system, we achieve a largely uniform grain distribution of the stored material – this leads to good mixing results during subsequent discharge. In addition, the silo volume is optimally utilized.

Conveyor systems from AMF-Bruns

We are constantly developing ourselves and our products for our customers. This results in innovative conveying equipment and special systems that are precisely tailored to the specific requirements of our customers. And if you can’t find the exact technology in our product range that suits you and your processes: Talk to us – we look forward to developing a solution for you that meets every detail of your application.


Contact information

Do you have general questions about our offer, a specific product or our industry solutions? Simply contact us – our team will be happy to help you!

AMF-Bruns GmbH & Co. KG
Hauptstraße 101
26689 Apen, Germany

+49 (0) 4489 72-7100
🖷 +49 (0) 4489 72-7215

Ansprechpartner Fördertechnik für die Zuckerindustrie.
Sugar industry

Dennis von Horn

I will be happy to answer any questions you may have about our conveyor solutions for the sugar industry.

I will be happy to answer any questions you may have about our conveyor solutions for the sugar industry. Contact me!

Contact information

+49 (0) 4489 72-7225

Ansprechpartner für Fördertechnik-Lösungen in der Holzindustrie.
Timber industry

Christian Müller

I will be happy to advise you personally on our conveyor solutions for the wood industry.

I will be happy to answer any questions you may have about our conveyor solutions for the timber industry. Contact me!

Contact information

+49 (0) 4489 72-7220

Ansprechpartner für Fördertechnik im Bereich Green Technology.
Green Technology

Malte Wittje

I will be happy to conuslt you in regard to our conveying technology for power plants, the chemical industry and metal production.

I will be happy to answer any questions you may have about our conveyor solutions for the for power plants, the chemical industry and metal production (Green Technology). Contact me!

Contact information

+49 (0) 4489 72-7534