A simple system, a conveyor belt consists of two wheels or pulleys on which runs a strong and flexible stretch of material. Objects are transported great distances in factories using these simple yet innovative systems. In fact, Henry Ford was among the first to use the system in his car manufacturing unit as early as 1914. The wheels are driven by variable speed motors; these in turn keep the belt in continuous motion. And the efficiency of a factory, bakery, or pizzeria is enhanced, as the workers don’t have to spend time walking around collecting material. Belts are commonly used at airports, factories, grocery stores, warehouses, and public transportation centers.
There are many kinds of conveyor belts one can use. They are made of rubber compounds, leather, urethane, PVC, wire mesh, and metals like stainless steel and carbon steel. So, belts can be anti-static belts, anti-vibration belts, armored belts, cable belts, o-ring belts, fin belts, multi-speed belts, rubber belts, twisted belts, wire mesh belts, or v-belts. The kind of belt to be installed depends on the function the belt is to perform. When installing a belt you must first consider what it is to be used for and then determine the tension, horsepower, belt speed, pulley type, and take up you will need.
A conveyor belt needs adequate transverse rigidity if it has to support the weight of the material efficiently. Experts recommend using a deep-slotted v-belt in industries where traction is important. Fin belts are used to catch fast-moving containers and transport them to their specific cartons. Devise a maintenance schedule for the belt. Keep in mind wear and tear, adjustment of tracking and tension, as well as the complete replacement of parts. Find out all you can about safety. Common problems are when a person gets caught in the conveyor or pulley, sudden restarting after the systems jams or stalls, and problems like loss of tension or accidental starting. Before installing a conveyor system, determine what kind will be most suited for your purpose, whether professionals will need to install the system, if special training is required for use and maintenance, and the one-time as well as ongoing expenses you will have to bear.
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