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The Many Uses of Spiral Elevators General Kinematics
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The Many Uses of Spiral Elevators

 by General Kinematics,

A spiral elevator (or spiral conveyor) is a highly customizable type of material handling conveyor used in many different industries to either elevate or lower materials. These helical systems can be designed as either an open- or enclosed-transport system—the latter of which not only prevents dust and pollutants out of the system  but stops outside particles and contaminants from entering the conveyor system. Enclosed spiral elevators can also be used to treat material which includes cooling, heating, or drying.

Benefits and Capabilities

Spiral elevators can be designed to efficiently dry, heat, cool, coat, or condition materials during transportation depending on the configuration of the spiral design. Toward these capabilities, for example, spiral conveyor solutions can be designed to incorporate forced air intakes or jacketed spiral flights. GK Spiral elevators are built with the benefits of vibration technology and avoid material damage caused by jams that may form in belt conveyor technologies during transportation.

Spiral conveyor solutions can be implemented in many different manufacturing environments, and are especially desirable for material movement due to their small footprints – as opposed to linear conveyor systems, which require long lengths between processes to transport materials to the desired location or elevation. Typically, spiral elevators require low maintenance, have minimal downtime and require only routine maintenance, and are easy to install.

Materials and Industries




Spiral elevators are very useful in the automated manufacturing process and can be used to carry various solid items or solid-liquid mixes—from loose materials and manufactured items to finished, packaged products. Industries that utilize spiral elevators include, but are not limited to:

  • Food processing
  • Agriculture
  • Chemical
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Foundry
  • And more!

The processed food industry commonly uses spiral conveyors thanks to their ability to carefully move delicate products between processes. As such, there are many USDA food and dairy grade spiral elevators available, as well as models suitable for wet material handling.

Enhancing Your Manufacturing Process

The Many Uses of Spiral Elevators General Kinematics Spiral Elevator Variety

When you’re looking to invest in a spiral elevator, here are a few things you’ll want to consider.

  • Space: What will the footprint of your equipment look like? How much space do you need to designate in your facility?
  • Height: What is the lifting height? How much height do you need?
  • Sanitation: You’ll want to be sure your equipment is made of high-quality steel and is easy to clean and maintain.
  • Processes: Do you need cooling, heating, drying, coating? And is your equipment designed for continuous flow – i.e. reduced maintenance needs? Does it offer speed adjustment? How about multi-processing features in a single piece of equipment?    

The General Kinematics SPIRA-FLOW™ Vibrating Spiral Elevators can be custom built at any length and height according to the specifications or your space and can convey materials either up or down as needed. The SPIRA-FLOW Elevator can be built out of stainless or mild steel and can be equipped for cooling or drying (direct or indirect), coating, or conditioning processes.  Available in both direct drive and Two-Mass designs, the spiral can either be open or enclosed.

To learn more about our GK spiral elevator solutions or to speak with one of our GK experts, contact us today!

General Kinematics Corporation, incorporated in 1960, was established to market, design, and custom fabricate innovative vibratory equipment for the foundry, recycling, mining, and processing industries. Today the company continues as one of the world’s largest suppliers of vibratory processing equipment and has evolved into an industry-leading EPC firm. Headquartered in Crystal Lake, IL, General Kinematics has seven global locations providing engineering and support to a world-wide customer base. GK is a third generation, family-owned company and is ISO 9001 certified.