4 Specs You Should Know About the Alpine Conveyor from NCC

Posted by Kevin Mauger | May 12, 2020 11:00:00 AM

When space is limited or you need to change elevations on your packaging line, consider vertical space for your processes, including accumulation or buffering. The Alpine Conveyor, available through experienced systems integrator NCC, is the perfect solution for space-challenged manufacturers. Here are some important specifications to know as you make your decision.



1Conveyor width and length


The Alpine Conveyor can be short and wide, or long and skinny. With chain widths at 65, 85, 105, or 150 mm and chain lengths from 75 feet to 250 feet, options to modify and configure this unique conveyor can certainly be found to accommodate your facility’s needs. 


Additionally, it supports products that are round, square, oval or rectangular.

2Chain path options


There are two options when it comes to chain paths: return under the conveyor line, or return the chain using a top running chain. 


Return chain Alpines have the chain running on the top side and return side, similar to a typical conveyor. This is typically used for shorter Alpines, up to four layers high and less than 23 meters (75 ft) long. 


Top running chain Alpines run on the top side of the conveyor only, and the chain can be returned down the end of the Alpine, and back to the drive tail. This feature is used for larger Alpine units with more layers and is generally limited to a total of 76 meters (250 ft) of chain. 


We outline the configurations that apply to each in the next section. 


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3Available configurations


One Direction, Return Chain:

  • Chain/product enters and exits at different heights
  • Supports chain lengths up to 23 m (75 ft) total length
  • Suitable for direct drive unit with return chain

One Direction, Top Running Chain:

  • Chain/product enters and exits at different heights
  • Supports up to 30 meters (100 ft) long total conveyance length, 46 meters (150 ft) of total chain
  • Suitable for wheel bend drive unit


Dual Direction, Single Serpentine: 

  • Chain/product enters and exits at same height
  • Supports up to 76 m (250 ft) of chain
  • Suitable for catenary drive unit and/or horizontal wheel bend unit


Dual Direction, Double Serpentine: 

  • Chain/product enters and exits at same height
  • Supports up to 76 m (250 ft) of chain
  • Suitable for catenary drive unit and/or horizontal wheel bend unit

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4Product transfer options


To get product from a conveyor line onto the Alpine Conveyor, here are some options to consider.


Side Plow: A fixed plow guide transfers parts from one conveyor onto or off of the Alpine.

  • Generally used for small products, less than 75 mm (3 in) in diameter
  • Required for off-line Alpines


X-transfer: two tails come together to form an X, and a bend is installed so the two conveyors come closer together. The guiding transfers from one conveyor to the next in a straight line. 

  • Used for parts smaller than 75 mm (3 in) in diameter
  • Can only be used for in-line Alpine


Roller Transfer: A small plate with rollers is attached to the conveyors, allowing the product to roll over the gap. Depending on product size and speed a product may sit on the transfer, requiring the next product to push it along.

  • Allows for product greater than 75 mm (3 in) in diameter. 
  • Roller transfer is used for one direction Alpines


Deadplate Transfer: A small plate is attached between the conveyors, helping to support the product as it bridges the gap. Depending on product size and speed, a product may sit on the transfer plate, requiring the next product to push it along.

  • Allows for products greater than 75 mm (3 in) in diameter


Powered Transfer: Contains a slave driven power conveyor between the two conveyor tails. This transfer ensures the product transfers smoothly. 

  • Powered transfers are used for one direction Alpines
  • Built to support products 75 mm (3 in) and greater



Benefits of an Alpine Conveyor


Alpine Conveyor Circle 2Alpine Conveyors are particularly beneficial to manufacturers who need a conveyor with a small footprint and that can handle a large number of products inclining or declining in a small space, accumulating or buffering. These specific benefits are fan favorites: 

  • Uses a gentle slope (up or down) rather than “squeezing” products as they ascend or descend like a wedge would 
  • Acts as an efficient accumulation zone in both speed and space usage
  • Keeps a consistent sequence when integrated with other machinery or conveyor lines
  • Option to add more layers if needed to increase capacity


If the Alpine Conveyor sounds like the solution you’re looking for, call NCC at (215) 721-1900 to learn more, or download our brochure on this product line today. We look forward to hearing from you!


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Topics: Conveyor System Design, Conveyor Equipment

Written by Kevin Mauger

As President, Kevin Mauger leads new business growth and product development strategy to help customers increase profitability. NCC offers business units that provide product handling and integration solutions to a variety of industries including food, packaging, assembly automation and optical labs. Mauger started his career with NCC days after his college graduation in 1994 in the Applications Engineering department. In 2006, he purchased the company, instilled a new philosophy and has grown the company six-times over since. His vision for NCC is to create a positive and inspiring culture for both employees and customers. Mauger is a life-long Pennsylvanian. His childhood home was in Chalfont, PA and he graduated from Central Bucks High School West and attended University of Delaware. He currently resides in Lower Gwynedd, PA with his wife Danielle. He has three children: Kyle (28), Madison (25) and Kelsey (19).

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NCC Automated Systems is a Full Service Automation Systems Integrator with over 30 years of experience. In addition to integrating some of the world’s best automation equipment solutions, we also offer in house mechanical and electrical design and manufacturing. We can provide complete turnkey solutions or just equipment.

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