Although selecting the right conveyor for your bulk material handling application may seem fairly straightforward, oftentimes that is not the case. There are many factors that come into play when determining which conveyor will be right for your process. Sometimes conveyors are misapplied because of plants certain expectations and desires to keep the number of unique pieces of equipment to a minimum while staying in within the limits of their budget.

Click here now to download the full guide to selecting the right conveyor

There are six key considerations to keep in mind as you determine the equipment purchase needed for your application; these are: material, operation, environment, envelope, cost, and history.


There are several important characteristics that make up the complete material definition. These characteristics should be understood in their entirety because they are dynamic and can influence or be influenced by one or more other characteristics. Below are eight important components to material:

  1. Name of Material
  2. Material form or state in which it must be handled
  3. Solid Composition
  4. Particle Size
  5. Flowability
  6. Abrasiveness
  7. Material Temperature
  8. Moisture Content

Click here to see more detailed information for each material characteristic.


The operation is very important with regards to function and performance. There are certain aspects of the operation that should include detail and clarity.

There are two main categories that needs to be understood when moving material through a process.

  1. Conveying
  2. Feeding


There are a number of environmental factors that must be considered in the proper selection of equipment. Some of them may include:

  • Open sources of ignition
  • The potential for a flammable or explosive atmosphere
  • Corrosive vapor
  • High humidity
  • Temperature
  • Vibration
  • Pressure or vacuum (at inlet, discharge or both)


The application of one device versus another comes down to the envelope, which is the room available to install the equipment. Although this appears to be straightforward, it is one of the most frequently omitted pieces of information from inquiries.

When considering a new piece of equipment, ask yourself these questions regarding envelope.


While some consider it taboo to talk numbers in upfront discussions, it obviously plays a very important role in determining what type of equipment you will purchase and should be talked about.

There are initial costs as well as long-term costs. Some companies tend to rely heavily on the total cost of ownership to help make their decision, while others weigh the initial investment.

No matter what route you take, it is important to discuss cost with potential suppliers as soon as possible to determine whether a particular approach is going to work, or to consider another approach entirely.


Lastly, when you are selecting a conveyor for moving bulk materials and it is a replacement, you need to consider the service history of said equipment. It is important to note that simply changing brand names from equipment you’ve had issues with in the past does not guarantee it will be more reliability or have longevity. It is best to provide details of service history, and ask the potential supplier to explain how the equipment they are proposing to sell you will give you a more satisfactory result.