Conveyor Systems are mechanical devices or assemblies that transport material with minimal effort. While there are many different kinds of conveyor systems, they usually consist of a frame that supports either rollers, wheels, or a belt, upon which materials move from one place to another.
Conveyor belts are meant for conveying bulk materials at a low cost when compared to other available means. It runs on two pulleys at two ends and is operated with the help of a motor. On its path, rollers are laid for easy movement. The belt is given a trough shape with the aid of troughing idlers. The trough shape is important to avoid spillage of materials from the running belt.
They may be powered by a motor, by gravity, or manually. These material handling systems come in many different varieties to suit the different products or materials that need to be transported.
Conveyors are used in:
- When material is to be moved frequently between specific points.
- To move materials over a fixed path.
- When there is a sufficient flow volume to justify the fixed conveyor investment.
Materials of Conveyors:
There are main materials that conveyor belts are made out of: thermoplastics, metal, rubber, fabric and leather. Plastics include polyester, polyvinyl chloride, silicone and polyethylene. The metals are stainless and carbon steel, and the fabric materials are canvas or cotton. The most popular material is a rubber composite because it is flexible, resistant, smooth and seamless.
It also doesn’t have any holes or openings. To increase strength, many belt materials contain additives, including fabric, steel, polyester or fiberglass. Many flat belts are actually composed of a core material and a covering. These belts are parts of many different types of conveyors, including troughed, inclined, horizontal, food grade and overhead conveyors, but they are not used in chain, pneumatic or screw conveyors.
The major types of conveyors are:
- Chute conveyor
- Wheel conveyor
- Roller conveyor
- Chain conveyor
- Slat conveyor
- Flat belt conveyor
- Magnetic belt conveyor
- Troughed belt conveyor
- Bucket conveyor
- Vibrating conveyor
- Screw conveyor
- Pneumatic conveyor
- Vertical conveyor
- Cart-on-track conveyor
- Tow conveyor
- Trolley conveyor
- Power-and-free conveyor
- Sortation conveyor
Choosing the right belting material is the most important specification involved with conveyor systems because the wrong material could compromise productivity or worker safety.
Conveyor systems, especially those in manufacturing facilities, travel through many different environments.so they must be resistant, durable and able to handle these harsh conditions on a continuous and regular basis to face any change in environment.
Belts that carry ingredients, raw materials and finished, unpackaged goods in food or beverage processing plants are made of either stainless steel or a heat resistant, non contaminating plastic resin. They must be easy to clean and sanitize. Materials like some hard plastics or metal lack the flexibility needed to convey, which requires the belt to bend, as they are on a continuous loop around two sets of rollers.
In these situations, small parts are interlocked together or woven in order to bend and twist. However, these tend to have holes or cracks and are not smooth or water tight. They are not made for carrying small or irregularly shaped objects as well as products in bags, which could sag or fall through the cracks.