Going Servo-less: How To Improve Product Merge Conveying Systems

by | Jan 30, 2023 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

Part of the job of an OEM is to streamline production processes in order to maximize efficiency and minimize costs. Product merge conveyors are one way to do this – but they traditionally use servo motors which have several drawbacks.

That’s why One Motion engineers have developed a better alternative: The Multi-Drive.

This post will explore the advantages of product merge conveyors, discuss the drawbacks associated with using servo motors for merging conveyors, and introduce you to The Multi-Drive and its benefits over traditional solutions.


Table of Contents:

  1. Advantages of Product Merge Conveyors
  2. Drawbacks of Servo Motors in Merging Systems
  3. The Multi-Drive: A Better Alternative for Merging
  4. Private Labeled One Motion Merge System
    Case Study: Blue Print Automation was able to increase product merge from 140 ppm using servos to 180 ppm using the Twin Multi-Drive. Need to improve your exisiting merge? Contact us today.

    Advantages of Automated Merge Solutions

    Product merge conveyors are automated systems used to merge two or more lanes of products together in a single stream.

    Speed and Accuracy

    The goal of automation is to quickly combine product from multiple lines with minimal human intervention. Eliminating the need for workers to manually handle each product in the merging process results in faster throughput times and ensures greater accuracy.


    Manual handling of products can be hazardous due to potential risks such as slips or falls that could occur when transferring items between points on the production line. Automation largely eliminates these risks.

    Labor Costs

    Manually consolidating product flow into a single lane is not only slow, but costly. The long-term costs of employees will outpace the upfront expense of investing into automation.

    Drawbacks of Servo Motors in Merging Systems

    Servos are commonly found on infeeds, so why would you NOT want to use one? Here is a quick breakdown:


    1. Costs – Looking to cut down on operational costs without sacrificing performance? Servos tend to be more expensive than traditional motor options making them less desirable for budget conscious facilities.
    2. Complex – They require advanced programming which adds additional complexity to your line. 
    3. Fragile – The internal encoder used in servos is fragile and increases the risk of downtime. It is one of their more common failure points. Not only are servos costly to replace, but you also have the cost of lost production during the downtime to consider.
    Servo Motors

    The Multi-Drive: A Better Alternative for Merging

    The Multi-Drive offers an innovative merge solution. It provides the ability to run 2, 3, or as many as 4 belts independently on a single shaft with minimal separation.


    The Multi-Drive eliminates the need for gears which are prone to wear and tear over time. An important feature that separates it from the servo is its durability. There are no internal encoders, it does not overheat, and it’s backed by an industry-leading 3-year warranty.

    Maintenance Costs

    The lack of gears means there are no regular maintenance requirements such as lubrication or replacement of worn out components. This significantly lowers overall maintenance costs while ensuring consistent performance for the lifetime of the system.

    Torque Output

    The Multi-Drive can produce high torque even at lower speeds.

    Speed Control

    The Multi-Drive allows for each conveyor belt to be independently ran between speeds of 0 – 500 RPMs with no gearing required.

    Key Takeaway: The multi-drive offers an alternative to servo motors for product merging systems, providing high reliability with less expense and complexity. Click Here to learn about the One Motion merge system.

    Powered Assembly

    Need to merge a larger number of lanes? Powered Assembly is a configurable design that offers operators the ability to run multiple belts side-by-side with minimal space between them. It can be used as a 2-to-1, but has the flexibility to go beyond that.

    While similar to the Multi-Drive, the Powered Assembly is actually multiple Powered Hubs (or Pulleys) mounted on a single shaft. Each shell can be profiled to work with any belt type and easily accessed or removed by simply removing two bolts – making maintenance quick and easy!

    Each Hub can be configured to work with an external encoder to provide precise positioning feedback.

    Powered Assembly

    Private Labeled One Motion Merge System

    While the Multi-Drive can be used to upgrade an existing merge system, One Motion has developed a plug-n-play solution. It requires no vacuum source, uses Allen Bradley controls and can merge up to 300 ppm.

    Merge conveyor systems are a great way to increase efficiency and accuracy in production lines. Servo motors come with several drawbacks that can be avoided by using the Multi-Drive.

    The Multi-Drive is more reliable and cost-effective than servos, making it an ideal choice for factories looking to optimize their production line operations.

    Private Label System: Looking for a ready-to-go, low maintenance, high performing merge conveyor? Click Here to learn about the One Motion merge system.