Used Belt Equipment
Conveyors are the bridges between the islands of automation on any packaging line. Belt conveyors us a continuous belt material as opposed being made up of individual links as in chain conveyor.
There are literally hundreds of belt materials to choose from. These range from very rough belts where high friction is required to carry a case up an incline, to smooth belts that sanitary and easy to clean for direct contact with foods. Belts can be solid metal to carry cake batter through ovens of cooking, or wire mesh for enrobing candies.
Belts can be flat or can be formed into a U or trough. They can include sides and lugs up to several inches high.
Belts can range in width from less than an inch to several yards wide. Conveyors can be as short as a foot or two or, in some applications, several miles long. Most belt conveyors are straight running. Belting doesn’t easily bend around curves but there are plenty of belt curves and even spiral elevators.
It is hard to imagine a belt conveyor design that isn’t readily available. But if you do imagine one, there is surely someone who can build it.
Belt conveyors used in packaging generally come in two types: Slider bed and roller bed. The belt rides directly on the conveyor frame in a slider bed design. A plastic liner may be used between frame and belt to reduce friction. Slider bed conveyors are simple and work well where belt speeds and loads are not high.
If higher speeds and loads are required, a roller bed design may be used. A series of rollers is mounted on the frame with the belt riding on top of them. The rollers eliminate virtually all friction on the belt.
Belt conveyor frames may be made from stainless or painted steel, plastic, aluminum or other materials to suit.
Various types of belt splices may be used depending on the application. If the belt needs to be removed periodically, perhaps for cleaning, an alligator or similar splice should be used. This permits unsplicing by removal of a pin. The alligator cause several other problems. If the conveyor is used directly for conveying food products, the splice will collect product and may be difficult to clean. Since the splice is not smooth, it may also damage the product if the product slides over it.
A seamless, or nearly seamless, splice can avoid these issues. The ends of the belt are skived so that they overlap smoothly. The ends are then glued or vulcanized together. This makes for a strong, smooth, splice but may be beyond the capabilities of some plants to do in-house. It can also make the belt difficult to remove. If that become necessary.
Unlike most chain conveyors, belt conveyors can be run in either direction, drive permitting. Drive may be with AC or DC motors, servo motors or even pneumatic motors.
Belt conveyors are the ideal choice for small or fragile products that might get damaged or scuffed by a chain conveyor. The monolithic surfaces makes them a breeze to clean, too.