Conveyor Belts and their Applications
It’s important to choose a conveyor belt that best suits the needs of your company There are a number of basic types of conveyor belts in this article we look their characteristics and applications. Selecting the right belt can even help increase profit margin, streamline your processing, increase productivity and throughput.
Roller Bed Conveyor Belts
The surface of this type of conveyor belt is made up of rollers that are selected to match production requirements. These include
- The weight of the product to be moved
- The required speed of the products that will move along the belt.
- Essentially a short conveyor could be made up of just two rollers.
- As the length of the belt increases, more rollers will be needed for the belt to function.
Roller bed conveyor belts are an excellent option for transporting items / products over longer distances as they reduce friction, making it easier for products to move along the belt.
Typical Applications: These conveyor belts are often used for for packing, assembling, inspecting, transporting and sorting items. Common applications of roller bed conveyor belts include warehousing and baggage handling systems.
Flat Belt Conveyors
Flat belt conveyors are a very common conveyor systems in use today with items that are placed on top of the moving belt and carried from one end to the other.. Flat belts are useful for internal conveyance, i.e. transporting items within a facility. This type of conveyor belt uses a series of powered pulleys to move a continuous flat belt, which is made of either a natural or synthetic material making them very versatile.
Typical Applications: Flat belt systems are used in industrial environments, slow (slower) assembly lines and wash down areas,. Fitted with the right belt, they convey soft, irregularly shaped or small items without damage.
Modular Belt Conveyors
Modular conveyor belt systems use a single loop made of countless interlocked pieces, usually made of hard plastic. ( Flat belt conveyors use a single, continuous loop of material ). These modular belt segments are removable and can be replaced individually, ( as opposed to a flat belt where you have to discard the entire belt.) Modular Belts are easier to wash, as well as being more resistant to sharp and abrasive materials. This makes modular belt conveyors simpler to maintain and repair than their flat belt counterparts.
Modular belt conveyors can travel straight, go around a corner, and incline and decline using a single belt and the same motor all throughout. Other types of conveyors can do this but only with significant modification and additional costs. Plastic modular belts allow specific conveyor designs without compromising belt tracking.
Typical Applications: These conveyor belts are primarily used to carry food products because they are easy to clean. Importantly the segments’ plastic composition makes modular belt conveyors useful for metal detection.
Cleated Belt Conveyors
Cleated belt conveyors feature vertical cleats, cleats in a specific shape or barriers in their designs. These cleats can keep loose materials secure during inclines and declines, to provide consistent spacing between items.
- Inverted Capital “T.” Suitable for light-duty jobs, such as transporting small parts, packaged items, and food products.This type of cleat stands perpendicular to the belt surface, providing support and flexibility to handle delicate items.
- Forward-Leaning Capital “L.” Designed to carry light- to medium-weight bulk material up steeper inclines. The wider base of this cleat make it more resistant to leverage forces. Adding a curved faces into this type of cleat enables them to scoop granules.
- Inverted “V.” For transporting abrasive, heavy, or large-pieces of bulky materials. Cleats with this shape are usually 2 inches or less in height allowing for a troughing effect.
- Lugs and Pegs. These kinds of cleats promote run-off of liquids when used to transport washed fruit or vegetables. Lugs and pegs can be positioned to selectively move products exceeding a given size or to hold individual products in place.
Curved Belt Conveyors
This type of belt conveyor uses a curved frame to carry items around corners, make tight transfers, or maximize available floor space. Curved belt conveyors can provide a maximum of 180 degrees of rotation. Modular plastic belts require straight runs before and after curves.
Typical Applications: Curved belt conveyors are often used in handling systems to change items’ conveying direction
Incline / Decline Belt Conveyors
This type of conveyor has a rough surface on the belt, ideal for carrying products up or down (smooth-surfaced belt don’t provide sufficient item / component control) . Incline belt conveyors typically feature a gear motor, centre drive and take-up with a single or double nose.
Typical Applications: Primarily these systems transport products to different levels / floors although these conveyor belts are also suitable for boosting gravity flow systems.
Sanitary and Washdown Conveyors
Sanitary or washdown conveyors are specifically designed to withstand harsh washing and sterilization, required for the food and pharmaceutical sectors in compliance with safety guidelines the sanitary procedures for these applications. Typically the sanitary conveyors are fitted with flat wire belts, which are easy to clean and rugged.
Typical Applications: These conveyors are perfectly suited for food applications, the conveyor belts can carry objects with extreme temperatures straight out of ovens or freezers as well as running through glaze, breading, or hot oil.
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