What is a Slat Conveyor?

Slat conveyors use a slat and chain system to move components along an assembly line. They are often used where production operations are performed with the parts located on the conveyor. Steel panels are attached to the chain with special chain attachments, and the chain is driven by an electric motor and gearbox. Therefore they are one of the most commonly used types of conveyor for moving parts along and assembly line while the work is being performed. They are ideally suited to applications where components are being assembled onto a fixture located at an ergonomic working height.

Slat conveyor system also allow production assembly operators to work on one or both sides of the line. Fixtures can be added to the slats to enable parts to rotate 90, 180 or 360 degrees to facilitate better ergonomic access. During model change-overs, the tooling or fixtures can be modified or replaced, and the conveyor is re-used for another new application.

In automotive plants, a slat conveyor system may be used to convey parts like instrument panels, center consoles or door trims. They are used for engine and power-train assembly. They are also used for sub-assembly of frames and axles, and on a larger scale even for vehicles after they have been fitted with the chassis components and move to the final assembly line (sometimes known as a ‘flat top’ conveyor line). Customers sometimes call them slat conveyor belts as the slats look and operate like a belt conveyor.