Motorized Drive Roller (MDR)

The Future of Smart Automated Conveyor Systems

Our MDR can accumulate product without bumping, skewing, or jamming using advanced sensors and controls. Totes, pallets and cartons can be handled simultaneously even when there is a wide difference in weights from one product to the next. Our MDR conveyor features a plug-and-play 24V run-on-demand zones, only running when required to advance product. Warehouses and distribution centers rely on these conveyors for fast, smooth package movement. 

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The Future of Automated Conveyor Systems

Motorized drive roller (MDR) conveyor sections are sections that utilize a single motorized conveyor roller that is only mechanically linked with enough free-turning (gravity type) rollers to constitute a controllable zone. This zone is usually not much longer than the item to be conveyed. With the proper control system strategy, you can easily assemble individual MDR zones like building blocks to make zero pressure accumulation conveyor sub systems, particularly for traditional carton type handling applications.

Mainway Handling System’s Motorized Roller conveyor is available in various configurations to support numerous system applications. It is quiet, safe, eco-friendly, requires little to no maintenance, and offers high speed and non-contact zero pressure accumulation.

Our MDR can accumulate product without bumping, skewing, or jamming. Combined products, such as totes, pallets and cartons can be handled simultaneously even when there is a wide difference in weights from one product to the next.

Mainway Handling’s conveyor features run-on-demand zones. It only runs when required to advance product, thereby reducing energy consumption and overall noise levels as well as extending the functional life of the conveyor. Because our MDR is run-on-demand, there is no sound generated when the zones are in accumulation mode, or when product is not present leading to an extremely quiet warehouse environment.

Energy Savings

Typically, conventional conveyors run all the time whether they are accumulating product or not. One of the greatest aspects of motorized drive roller conveyors is the fact that, with the proper control system strategy, MDR zones only run when they need to. In a typical MDR system, the rollers in any given zone only run 10% to 50% of operational time. You could realize a savings of 30% to 70% in energy savings alone, which means a faster return on investment for your business.


Large, conventional motors can be extremely dangerous for your warehouse personnel. A stray hand, limb, or piece of clothing can lead to tragic injury if caught up in a bad place or pinch point while the conveyor is running. In addition, such motors use tremendous amounts of power, which can also present warehouse dangers. The motorized drive roller in a typical MDR zone is powered by 24 volts DC, and has no major pinch points. Moreover, MDR only has to provide motive power and torque to a short zone, so there is never enough drive power to be dangerous. In most cases, you can literally grab a running motorized roller with your bare hand and make it stop with only a handshake grip.

MDR conveyor systems are much quieter than conventional conveyors. Conventional conveyor usually uses chains and sprockets somewhere in its drive train. Vibration is then transferred to conveyor frames, supports, and rollers, and the resulting noise can be a significant hazard. To make matters worse, in most conventional systems, the motor and drive train runs all the time, so you have chain noise and vibration whether or not you are conveying or accumulating product.

24V Plug & Play

The phrase “plug and play” has become ubiquitous in product marketing. Many companies and products promise you “plug and play” because it sounds nice, but fail to deliver the “plug” or the “play.” Motorized drive roller conveyor systems make “plug and play” a reality.

With the proper control system strategy applied up front, a typical motorized drive roller section is electrically pre-wired at the manufacturer prior to shipment. A typical section will utilize plug connectors at each end to allow the unit to be set in place and simply plugged into the unit in front of it and the unit behind it to make it operational.

As a result, you can easily add or remove sections of conveyor as needed to alter or re-route your conveyor path (even temporarily) to accommodate the changing needs of your business. Also, with the proper control system strategy applied, your own people can make changes and modifications with minimal assistance from the original conveyor equipment or control system provider.

MDR is becoming the Standard on conveying

Most conveyor manufacturers have embraced the motorized drive roller conveyor concept in one form or another. As time goes on, motorized drive roller products are being placed on the market to solve traditional material handling functions other than just zero pressure accumulation.

MDR Maintenance Advantage

The inherent advantages of motorized drive roller conveyor design mean your maintenance and spare parts costs are dramatically lowered.

Because MDR conveyors only run as needed, there’s less wear and tear to the component parts. Most of the maintenance and wear associated with conventional conveyors comes from the drive train (sprockets, chains, belt lacing, etc.). Even the most modern and efficient gear motors require regular maintenance and lubrication.

The typical motorized drive roller, however, utilizes sealed for life bearings, which means much longer base equipment life. Moreover, for any given system, most of the motors will be interchangeable, which means you only have to stock one spare part. Contrast this with the typical conventional system where gear motors can differ greatly in size within a single conveyor system, each one needing its own stock of spares, and the advantage of going with MDR is clear.

Roller Maintenance

Due to the inter-connectivity of the drive cards and zones you can check on the status of each drive roller along with having the ability to change rollers and bands with minimal effort as they can be changed individually rather then needing to changed or remove a whole section. 

Control Systems

The right design concept is the key to getting the most out of your MDR conveyor system. The conveyor equipment industry provides the mechanical building blocks and tools to move materials, but the control system is what makes it go, slow down, speed up, and stop when you need it to. The ideal control system for motorized drive roller conveyor is distributed within each conveyor section, because each section only needs to know what is going on in front of it, and only needs to tell the section behind it what it’s doing.

Control strategies that allow for data and information handling within an MDR control system further open the door to utilizing MDR solutions by enabling more intelligent functionality, such as product tracking and sorting. Until now, these things have been the sole province of conventional conveyor systems with custom control systems.

Bed Section

6″ Deep x 10 Gauge frame in zone-length increments.
Accumulation zone lengths of 24″ or 36″

Galvanized Rollers

1-7/8″ Diameter, 16 Gauge, with 7/16″ hex axle.
ABEC 1 high speed bearings.

Drive Rollers

Pulse Roller 24VDC brushless motor driven roller. Motor speeds of 45 meters per minute and 60 meters per minute available. Brake motor available.

Control Cards

ERSC Accumulation card
EZ24 Drive card


Side-mounted 24VDC polarized retro reflective photo-eye.


Light gray conductive powder coated paint
Black side covers.

Typical Applications


Zero Pressure Accumulation


Live Load Capacity

75 lbs. per zone

BFR Widths

15½, 21½, 27½, and 34½    

Carrying Roller Centers


Standard Features

Floor support and ceiling hangers Bolt-on top guard rail 3″, 6″, and 12″ high. 
Powder coat paint color
Light gray.


Brake motor drive roller


Optional colors available

Standard Curve Offering

30°,45°, 60°, and 90°

Standard Junction Offering

30° and 90°

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