Belt conveyors are universally used in industrial settings and in packaging and assembling units. They can help in transportation of regular and irregularly shaped items from one point to another regardless of their weight. The items can travel in a horizontal, declined or inclined manner, depending on the type of belt conveyor used. They are placed on the surface of the conveyor and transported from one point to the other through continuous, non-stop movement.
The belt conveyor comprises of a belt that rests on top of a smooth metal bed or rollers. When the distance is long, belt conveyors with rollers are the most suitable option, as the rollers help to reduce friction. It is not necessary for belt conveyors to be straight. They also can turn corners with a special attachment. In such a case, the shape of the belt for the corners will be concentric, to facilitate smooth movement around the corners.
Types of Belt Conveyors
There are many different types of conveyors and companies should be able to find one to suit their needs. Some of the most common types are discussed below.
This type of belt conveyor consists of a smooth surface usually made from steel. However, sometimes the surface can be made from Masonite. The belt is fixed to the surface to facilitate transportation of items or goods.
As the name suggests, in this type of belt conveyor, the surface for the belt comprises of rollers. The rollers are selected based on the load of the items to be transported and the required speed of the belt. Usually there are two rollers in a short belt conveyor. However, the number of rollers may increase if the distance between the two ends of the belt conveyor is more. Typically, these belt conveyors are used when the items are loaded onto it with gravity rather than manually. Manual loading can cause mechanical shock to the rollers, resulting in damage.
|Horizontal Belt Conveyor:
This type of belt conveyor consists of a center drive, gear motor, and take-up. Based on the drive of the conveyor, it can come with one or two pulleys at the end. The belt of the conveyor is flexible and the entire system has floor supports along its length.
|Incline and Decline Conveyor:
This type of conveyor is similar to a horizontal belt conveyor, but has an additional component. It comes with a single or double nose over and sometimes it also has a feeder portion. Typically, this type of conveyor has a rough surface on the belt during incline or decline rather than making use of a smooth-surfaced belt. This offers more traction to the items placed on the conveyor and prevents them from rolling backwards or forwards.
|Brake and Meter Belt Conveyor:
This conveyor comprises of two parts. The brake belt is installed at the end of the conveyor and facilitates accumulation of the items, while the meter belt is used to separate items. Typically, the meter belt has the drive, whereas the brake belt uses the slave drive from the meter belt. The length of the brake and meter belt is very important. Typically, it should be about 1/7th of the total length of the accumulation conveyor and this includes brake and meter belt lengths too.
|Metal “Piano Hinge” Conveyor:
This is a hinged type belt conveyor made from steel. It is perfect for transporting hot and oily components from a punch press and forging machines. This type of belt conveyor can be horizontal, inclined into an ‘S’ shape or even level.
|Wire Mesh Belt Conveyor:
As the name suggests, it has mesh that will facilitate air ventilation. Hence, this type of belt conveyor is ideal for transporting hot and cold items or components that cannot be handled using standard duck or PVC belts. The wire mesh is placed on roller or longitudinal runners and then it is covered with a thick plastic. In addition, there are toothed pulleys to clasp onto the wire mesh belt.
This conveyor comes with caster wheels allowing it to be rolled from one place to another. There are different types of portable conveyors and most companies can find one to suit their needs. There are even portable gravity conveyors that can be extended depending on the customer’s needs.