Automated manufacturing is never complete without conveyor belts. These systems are uniquely designed to transfer materials safely through your entire warehouse. If you want to reduce human involvement, then go for automated conveyors. They’re efficient, reliable, and cost-saving.
But with the high number of options available on today’s market, choosing the best conveyor belt for your application can be quite a daunting task. This is mainly because material handling systems vary from being simplistic to be extremely complex.
How to Get Started
Before deciding on your conveyor system, you need to ask yourself several questions. Is it operationally safe? Does it fit within your budget? Is it energy-efficient and environmental-friendly? Is it efficient and reliable?
Most people see conveyor systems as assets of little value and that’s exactly why they’re often considered last in the planning process. Because of this, the buying decision they make greatly depends on the initial acquisition cost and not the overall acquisition cost. By purchasing the wrong type of conveyor belt you risk disrupting your company’s productivity, something which could quickly reduce your competitive edge as well. So, be proactive and undertake the right steps when making your next purchase.
Carefully consider the following factors when deciding which conveyor perfectly suits your industrial needs.
When shopping around for small conveyor belts, take into account your product’s length, width, and height. Make sure that the conveyor belt you choose perfectly meets the required specifications.
Another aspect to take into consideration when selecting your conveyor system is the weight of your product. This plays a significant role in determining the conveyor’s motor sizing as well as the number of curves that’ll be added.
A conveyor’s production rate is often measured per minute per hour and along with the desired product length which enables you to determine the conveyor speed required at your workplace.
Are you planning to move different types of products across different points? Then, take this into consideration when shopping around for your next conveyor belt. Be sure to choose a design that can support all of your requirements.
In manufacturing, the main point of concern is part orientation. For instance, if the part has a process performed in different machines and isn’t able to change course, then the automated system requires a conveyor belt with the ability to match up your specific needs.
And if the change in part orientation is crucial to your process, you may need to incorporate additional equipment into the material handling conveyor. A precision index conveyor is an excellent option as it handles part orientation during the transportation process, making it easier for the other equipment to effectively track it.
You may also want to consider investing in a pallet conveyor. This belt is outfitted with additional fixtures that maintain balanced orientation throughout the transportation process.
The conveyor system’s layout can also determine the type of belt you’ll need as well as the materials to use.
For instance, if the layout needs an incline or decline during transportation then you’ll have to choose a material that’s strong enough to support the part and hold it in place. Conveyors that turn corners will require you to include corner sections that utilize feature different materials to ensure that the intended route is followed at the desired speed.
Choose a conveyor belt that’s well-suited to the environment in which it will be placed. An example of this can be witnessed when your warehouse is handling metal parts whose metal shavings or oil residue can drop into the conveyor causing malfunction.
Durability and Maintainability
When shopping around for a conveyor belt, start by considering its maintainability. Go for a belt that’s both strong and easy to maintain. Plus, it should be less vulnerable to breakdowns, as this might halt productivity.
Another key aspect is safety. Certain types of conveyor belts come with built-in safety features while others don’t. So, be careful to choose a design that offers additional protection to your employees.
You also want to make sure that the conveyor system you purchase is both affordable and energy-efficient. Programming your conveyors to shut down when not in use can lead to a significant reduction in energy costs.
The Different Types of Conveyor Belts
Chain Belt Conveyors
These conveyors are specifically designed to transport medium to high volume products. They’re suitable for MRF sorting line feeds, 2 RAM balers, mixed waste lines, open-end auto tie balers, and other similar machines.
Slider Bed Conveyors
These conveyors have the capacity to handle 1 to 15 tons per hour and are driven by friction belts that utilize a slider bed as a supporting feature. They’re perfect for use in medium and high volume applications. Plus, they come handy in feeding closed-end horizontal balers, side-eject balers, auto-tie balers, and stationary conveyors.
MRF Sorting Lines
These are customized conveyor belts that can be specifically designed to meet your specific requirements. They comprise of a slider bed and chain belts that offer outstanding efficiency and reliability. Plus, they’re highly durable and will definitely give back the value of your money.
Steel Belt Conveyors
Steel belt conveyors feature piano hinge steel and can handle 20 to 50 tons an hour. They’re uniquely designed for heavy-duty use in applications such as mixed waste lines, transfer station compactors, as well as large 2 RAM scrap balers.
So, depending on the requirements of your application, you can always find a suitable conveyor belt.
Conveyor belts are now available in numerous sizes and designs. Depending on your industrial needs, you may want to invest in chain belt, steel belt, MRF sorting lines, or slider bed conveyors.
But how do you choose the perfect conveyor system? Well, there are several aspects to take into consideration. And these include the product type, product rate, product weight, environmental conditions, process impact, as well as the layout impact. Carefully evaluate these aspects before deciding on which type of conveyor is well-suited to your application.