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How to perfect an ancient technology


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ITOH DENKI is the global leader in motor driven rollers for conveyor systems used in intralogistics and material handling. Headquartered in Hyogo, Japan, the company has international subsidiaries in France, the USA, Hong Kong and China. It was founded as a manufacturer of small motors in 1946. Since then, ITOH DENKI has developed a growing range of conveyor components, including motorized rollers and control cards, and complete, modular conveyor solutions.

“ITOH DENKI was the first company in 1989 to introduce motor driven rollers based on brushless DC 24 V technology in the market,” explains Tatsuya Akashi, Managing Director of ITOH DENKI EUROPE.

“Before, conveyor rollers had been using AC motors, which were less energy-efficient and more dangerous for the operator. Since the technology change initiated by ITOH DENKI, many material handling businesses have switched to the new, safe and energy-efficient drive technology.”

ITOH DENKI EUROPE is the Group’s European head office and also responsible for the Middle East and Russia. The company has 50 employees in Europe and generates revenues of 120 million EUR globally. “Besides coordinating sales and services, we are an assembly facility to increase the Group’s flexibility in manufacturing,” states Mr. Akashi.

As a group, ITOH DENKI covers the entire value chain, from product design to marketing, combining competences in automation, electronics, mechanics and intralogistics. The company supplies a wide range of industrial sectors, including distribution, e-commerce, automotive, air transport, postal services and domestic appliances. The motor driven rollers offered by ITOH DENKI, which are marketed as Power Mollers, have a built-in DC 24 V motor.

: Our solutions are designed to increase customer performance and reduce energy consumption and lead to new opportunities in intralogistics. Tatsuya AkashiManaging Director
Tatsuya Akashi, Managing Director of ITOH DENKI EUROPE

“Compared to conventional AC motors, which feed a conveyor system over its entire length and thus need a lot of energy, our Power Mollers feature several, independent motors installed in short zones only where the transport box has to be moved,” explains Mr. Akashi. “This saves up to 60% electricity. Another advantage is safety. AC roller motors use 400 V and can lead to severe injuries in case of electric shocks. With Power Mollers, which are based on a mere 24 V, this risk is much lower for the operator.”

To sustain its leading position in the conveyor technology market, ITOH DENKI is constantly developing new, innovative solutions, such as the novel F-RAT-NX 90° horizontal transfer module. “F-RAT stands for Flat Right Angle Transfer and points at the module’s specific capacity: the movement of transport boxes to the left or the right, at an angle of 90°,” Mr. Akashi describes the unique, energy-efficient system.

Another innovative development presented by ITOH DENKI is idPAC, a complete hardware and software solution that makes setting up your own conveyor system an easy and quick task. idPAC includes motorized rollers, transfer modules, circuit boards, frames, software and everything else needed for an efficient conveyor system, pre-assembled and ready to be installed.

“Thanks to our Point and Click software, there is no need for time-consuming programming,” states Mr. Akashi. “A new conveyor system can thus be installed fully operational in just three days.” Delivered as modular solutions, all ITOH DENKI can be easily adapted to changing customer requirements, and equipped with predictive maintenance technology, they prevent costly shutdowns. “Our solutions are designed to increase customer performance and reduce energy consumption and lead to new opportunities in intralogistics,” concludes Mr. Akashi.

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