State Of Conveying 2023 Report

Cablevey Blog

What Industries Can Tubular Drag Conveyors Be Used In?

A tubular conveying system

The innovation in material handling with industrial conveyor systems has redefined industry standards. But what industries can tubular drag conveyors be used in? From the delicate intricacies of the coffee industry to the robust demands of pet food manufacturing, Cablevey’s automated conveyor systems stand as a testament to efficiency. In this blog post, we will briefly describe how tubular drag conveyors work and then elaborate on how they contribute to a wide range of industries.

What Industries Can Tubular Drag Conveyors Be Used In?

A tubular conveying system finds versatile applications across industries, excelling in sectors such as food processing (including coffee and snack foods), nut processing, pet food manufacturing, breakfast cereal production, specialty grains and foods, powdered materials handling, and industrial material transport. Their unique design and capabilities make them an ideal solution for industries requiring gentle handling, cleanliness, and precise material transport.

Explore the Key Advantages of the Top-Notch Conveyor Technologies

These conveyor solutions are mostly used for food processing, but they can be found in other places, such as beer brewing and pet food production. The chief benefit of these conveyors is that they prevent product degradation and are gentle in handling delicate materials. They are also:

  • Quiet – they produce less background noise,
  • Sanitary – able to pass bacterial checks,
  • Efficiently cleaned – multiple wet cleaning and dry cleaning mechanisms to choose from,
  • Dust-tight – lower potential for dust accumulation or dust explosions,
  • Enclosed environment – free of foreign matter contamination,
  • Completely modular – with customizable layouts that fit any floor space,
  • Efficient – low energy-consuming,
  • Easily maintained – few moving parts – saves time on maintenance.

How Does a Tubular Drag Conveyor Work?

The main feature of a tubular drag conveyor is a tube that can be made from steel, plastic, or fiberglass. Through this tube runs a cable or a chain along which circular discs are evenly spaced. These solid discs push the conveyed material forward through the tube. The entire design is powered by motor-driven sprockets.

What Is a Better Solution – Drag Chain or Cable?

Chain systems are not as sanitation-compliant as cable ones, as various food particles and debris from conveyed material can get caught up in their joints. On the other hand, cable systems include a stainless steel cable that is sealed in a nylon jacket. This smooth surface protects the fragile material from the steel strands. Overall, drag cable conveyors can convey material weight up to 80,000 pounds per hour (36,287 kg/h) and at maximum speeds of 2,000 cubic feet per hour (56.6 m3/h).

Pet food tubular drag conveyor system

What Kind of Materials Do Tubular Drag Systems Move?

Cablevey conveyors move over 1,000 different material types. If you are not sure whether a tubular conveying system is a good choice for you, here are the main types of materials our solution is great for:

  • Delicate materials – Fragile materials are not robust enough to withstand the rough treatment of other transportation methods. They can include pasta, cereals, sugar, fragile fruit, and similar food products. Tube and cable conveyors have little “pockets” for moving large volumes of material. Between the discs in the tube, the delicate products are safe for transport at appropriate speeds and long distances.
  • Hazardous materials – Toxic or hazardous materials include different industrial powders and side products created during the manufacturing process. These products have a high potential for explosion or chemical contamination and must be moved within an enclosed space. Tube conveyors are ideal for this, as they don’t let any of the conveyed material out.
  • Clean materials – If you need to keep your product at a certain sanitation level, you have to make sure it doesn’t come into contact with the outside environment. This is again possible in an enclosed tube such as the one in a tubular cable conveyor.
  • Small and powdered materials – Tubular drag conveyor systems are great for powders and other materials that can be easily blown away. These manufacturing conveyor systems drastically reduce the waste of such materials and ensure efficient transportation.

Industries Transformed by Tubular Conveyor Excellence

The adeptness of these conveyors in preventing product degradation and delicately handling materials has ushered in a new era of efficiency. Although many still prefer belt conveyor manufacturers, just consider how technology has evolved and ensured your materials are safely handled. This being said, here are the most common applications of this automatic conveyor system.


Tubular cable drag conveyors are incredibly gentle on this type of product and can move it from point A to point B with minimal product degradation. There are several different types of coffee that can be transported within a production facility daily:

  • Green beans,
  • Roasted beans,
  • Ground coffee,
  • Soluble coffee,
  • Freeze-dried coffee,
  • Spray-dried coffee,
  • Coffee with sugar and creamer.

The ultimate goal here is to get the product to packaging with minimal breakage or grinding. It is a well-known fact that broken coffee beans or poorly handled ground coffee lead to poor taste.


Cable drag material handling solutions can be incorporated into practically any part of the production process: sorting, roasting, chopping, and packaging. As with almost any other food material, the main advantage here is minimal material breakage and easy system maintenance and cleaning protocols with cleaning conveyor belts. Cable drag systems (particularly the Cablevey Tube Conveyor) can move a wide range of nuts:

  • Almonds,
  • Brazil nuts,
  • Cashews,
  • Hazelnuts,
  • Macadamia nuts,
  • Peanuts,
  • Pine nuts,
  • Pistachios,
  • Walnuts.

Snack Foods

If you’re in the snack food industry, you know the importance of product integrity. Drag cable conveyors will ensure that your food material travels safely through the entire process, from mixing to cooking or baking to packaging. Tubular drag conveyors can replace bucket elevators, conveyor belt systems, pneumatic conveyors, and screw augers. They’re optimal for moving the following food types:

  • Trail mix,
  • Popcorn,
  • Crackers,
  • Nut mixes,
  • Dried fruit, and more.

Pet Food

Tubular cable drag systems can transport pet food material in any form: cooked, powdered, chopped, and pureed. Gentle, sanitary conveying is guaranteed no matter what type of bulk product you’re moving. These conveying systems work for:

  • Kibble,
  • Pellets,
  • Nutrients,
  • Seeds.

Breakfast Cereal

From the raw materials silo to mixers, the extruder, sifter, flaker, dryer, baking oven, flavoring, cooling, storage, and packaging – every step of the breakfast cereal production process can be accompanied by tubular drag conveyors. Drag cable systems can be used for the following types of cereal ingredients:

  • Puffs,
  • Flaked cereals,
  • Extruded ingredients,
  • Finished cereals.

They can be effectively utilized for moving both ingredient mixes and finished products in breakfast cereal manufacturing.

Specialty Grains and Foods

Some food materials and products are incredibly delicate for transport, such as cooked vegetables or malted barley in beer brewing. Tubular drag conveyors and their unique features (transport free of foreign substances and gentle material handling) lend themselves to these fragile food-grade applications. Here are some more examples of specialty grains and foods that tubular drag conveyors can move:

  • Fruits,
  • Vegetables,
  • Rice,
  • Grain blends,
  • Industrial hemp,
  • Kidney and garbanzo beans,
  • Malt,
  • Oilseeds,
  • Other brewery and distillery ingredients.

Brewery ingredients can include both grain and mash. All sizes, combinations, and weights of grains are easily conveyed with tubular drag cable solutions.

Powders Require Preserving Precision 

The focal issue in transporting powder materials is material loss. Powders are fine and light, easily swept or blown away. Therefore, they require a system that is fully enclosed and that handles them with the utmost care. If this system can move the product in high volumes and at a relatively high conveyor speed, that is a big bonus.

The most popular conveying system for this application is the Cablevey 6″ diameter solution that moves up to 1,240 cubic feet per hour (35.4 m3/h), or 45,000 pounds per hour while maintaining product integrity. 

Advanced Material Safeguarding – Cablevey’s Sealing Technology for Powders and Plastics

Cablevey conveyor manufacturing systems can leverage their cable and tube technology and are also used with powders to seal mixed ingredients in capsules so they are safe during transport. Tubular drag conveyors can move all kinds of plastics, including pre-batched and regrind plastics of variable sizes and varying bulk density ratings. Powders that can be conveyed this way include:

  • Blends,
  • Industrial powders,
  • Food ingredients.

This transfer system safely moves ingredients of varying bulk densities. Mixed ingredients are contained in sealed capsules via a unique conveyor technology that keeps everything protected from the outside environment.

An enclosed tubular conveyor system

Beyond Food – Tubular Drag Conveyors Redefining Material Transport in Diverse Industries

Outside the food processing sector, the uses of tubular drag conveyors include transporting biomass (such as wood pellets) and fluff, flake, pellet, and powdered plastics. Moving plastics is associated with high heat and friction levels. Cable drag conveyors reduce this heat and friction so that no work stoppages result from plastic accumulation.

Trust Cablevey Conveyors – One of the Best Conveyor Systems Manufacturers on the Market 

In the realm of manufacturing and material handling, the integration of conveyor belts and advanced tubular conveying systems marks a paradigm shift. Cablevey Conveyors, with its expertise in conveyor engineering, manufacturing, and conveyor installation supervision, stands as a beacon of innovation. 

Every conveyor type is suitable for a specific purpose. For example, a belt conveyor system is great for individual packages and items. Bucket elevators work best for brittle materials, while delicate products need a tubular drag conveyor to arrive at their destination intact.

For those seeking a top-tier conveyor solution, Cablevey’s automated conveyor system redefines efficiency, cleanliness, and precision in material transport. Contact us today and elevate your industry with the transformative power of Cablevey’s conveying systems.

Subscribe to Cablevey Updates

Recent Blogs