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1. (WO2019046879) CONVEYOR MODULE ASSEMBLY, SYSTEM AND CONTROL
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Claims

The claims defining the invention are as follows:

1. A conveyor module comprising

an elongate frame having side edges,

a conveyor track mounted to the frame, wherein lateral edges of the conveyor track extend to adjacent the side edges of the frame, and

drive means for driving the conveyor track along the frame, wherein lateral surfaces of the drive means are substantially aligned with the side edges of the frame.

2. The conveyor module of claim 1 wherein the conveyor module is 200 mm to 400 mm in width.

3. The conveyor module of claim 1 wherein the conveyor module is 3000 mm to 10000 mm in length.

4. The conveyor module of claim 1 wherein the frame comprises spaced side rails which define the side edges of the frame.

5. The conveyor module of claim 1 wherein the side rails are shaped to have channels for low friction wear pads onto which the conveyor track travels.

6. The conveyor module of claim 5 wherein the conveyor track comprises segments extending between the side rails, the segments being joined in series to form a conveyor loop.

7. The conveyor module of claim 1 wherein the drive means comprises first and second end housings mounted to respective ends of the frame, the end housings comprising tension pulleys for the conveyor track.

8. The conveyor module of claim 7 wherein the drive means comprises a drive housing located at a mid-portion of the frame which houses a drive motor for the conveyor track.

9. The conveyor module of claim 1 wherein the drive means comprises a first end housing mounted to a first end of the frame having tension pulleys for the conveyor track and a drive housing located at a second end of the frame which houses a drive motor for the conveyor track.

10. The conveyor module of claim 1 wherein the drive means comprises housing which extends past the side edges of the frame by a maximum of 30 mm.

1 1. The conveyor module of claim 1 wherein the drive means comprises housing which is flush with a running surface of the conveyor track.

12. The conveyor module of claim 1 wherein the drive means comprises housing which extends downwardly from a running surface of the conveyor track by a maximum of 300 mm.

13. The conveyor module of claim 7 wherein the conveyor module comprises a product scanner disposed in each end housing, each scanner being directed upwardly through a window in an upper wall of the end housing.

14. The conveyor module of claim 13 wherein the conveyor module comprises memory means for storing information on goods stored thereon scanned by the product scanner.

15. The conveyor module of claim 1 wherein the conveyor module comprises local communication (LC) means for communicating with at least one adjacent conveyor module.

16. The conveyor module of claim 15 wherein the LC means comprises an infrared transmitter/receiver directed outwardly via apertures in the end housings, which allows the conveyor module to communicate with another conveyor module disposed adjacent therewith.

17. The conveyor module of claim 16 wherein the LC means allows the conveyor module to communicate with another conveyor module disposed side-by-side and/or end-to-end therewith.

18. The conveyor module of claim 1 wherein the conveyor module comprises remote communication (RC) means adapted for the conveyor module to communicate with a central control for providing information to or receiving information from the central control.

19. The conveyor module of claim 1 wherein the conveyor module comprises at least one of a temperature sensor, humidity sensor, and a load sensor.

20. A conveyor assembly comprising:

a plurality of side by side conveyor modules, each conveyor module being an independently driven narrow conveyor,

wherein two or more adjacent conveyor modules can be synchronised to work in unison to convey an item which substantially spans the width of the two or more conveyor modules.

21. The conveyor assembly of claim 20 wherein the conveyor modules are arranged in at least one bank and the conveyor modules are disposed parallel, side by side, and close to each other.

22. The conveyor assembly of claim 21 wherein first ends of the conveyor modules are aligned.

23. The conveyor assembly of claim 21 wherein banks of conveyor modules are separated by an access path.

24. The conveyor assembly of claim 23 wherein the access path includes carriage tracks for a goods shuttle.

25. The conveyor assembly of claim 24 wherein the goods shuttle comprises a plurality of side by side conveyor modules, each conveyor module being an independently driven narrow conveyor.

26. The conveyor assembly of claim 20 wherein the assembly is arranged in multiple levels.

27. The conveyor assembly of claim 21 wherein the banks are arranged in an end-to-end manner.

28. The conveyor assembly of claim 20 wherein the conveyor modules are adapted such that conveyor tracks thereof can be disposed side-by-side and closely adjacent each other.

29. The conveyor assembly of claim 19 wherein the conveyor modules are in accordance with any one of claims 1 to 19.

30. The conveyor assembly of claim 20 wherein the wherein each conveyor module comprises a product scanner and memory means for storing information on goods stored thereon scanned by the product scanner.

31. The conveyor assembly of claim 20 wherein each conveyor module comprises local communication (LC) means for communicating with at least one adjacent conveyor module.

32. The conveyor assembly of claim 20 wherein each conveyor module comprises remote communication (RC) means adapted for the conveyor module to communicate with a central control for providing information to or receiving information from the central control.

33. The conveyor assembly of claim 32 wherein each conveyor module comprises at least one of a temperature sensor, humidity sensor, and a load sensor for communicating data at the location of the conveyor module to the central control.