What is a conveyor system?
Conveyor systems are usually defined as a conveyor, or group of conveyors, working in connection with each other or other machinery to achieve a goal. Conveyor systems can range from very sophisticated distribution applications with hundreds of synchronized conveyors, controls, and integrations to a small number of conveyors that execute a specific task in a relatively small footprint.
Conveyor systems typically have some level of controls and automation. They involve multiple conveyors working in concert with software or production machinery or material handling equipment or packaging machinery. In general, if your application requires multiple conveyors working either in connection with each other or with other machinery, it’s a “system” by definition.
What components make up a conveyor belt system?
- Conveyor belting
- Conveyor frame
- Drive and tail drum
- Belting support system called the bed
- Belt return rollers
- Gear drive motor or drum
What is a conveyor return roller?
A conveyor return roller is a tube with bearings mounted in each end that is used to support the belting as it returns under the conveying part of a conveyor system.
How long should my conveyor belt last?
Conveyor belt applications differ so much that belt life can vary from as little as a few weeks to as much as 10 or more years. The product being conveyed, and the operating environment can have a major impact on the life of the belt.
Conveyor design and maintenance are also significant factors in belt life. There are hundreds of styles of conveyor belts, each designed with unique qualities that make them better suited for the many variables found in different conveying applications. The team at EQM Industrial can help you select the best belting options for your conveying needs and also show you how to maximize the life of your belt through maintenance and design improvements.
What is a troughed conveyor belt?
A troughed belt has rollers which pick up the edges of the belting forming a trough usually used for bulk materials over long distances so that the material is guided safely and does not fall out.
Why use a conveyor belt with an antimicrobial treatment?
Antimicrobial treatment is particularly suited to agri-food industries and helps maximise the level of hygiene:
- Prevents bacterial growth
- Eliminates the risk of contamination for transported products
- Reduces odour development
- Optimizes food safety
Improves cleaning and disinfecting procedures.
What else do you need in a conveyor belt system apart from conveyor belts?
A network of permanent belts, possibly in combination with portable belts, is referred to as a ‘conveyor belt system’.
In addition to the belts themselves, you also need a control system. This makes sure the conveyor belts work in sequence effectively. These control systems usually include permanently wired variable speed motor controllers which can be linked together with a HMI or PLC, or a combination of both.
How much maintenance do conveyor belts need?
This depends on the type of conveyor belting and what it is used for. A conveyor belt with few moving parts will usually need less maintenance than a flexible modular belt with a lot of moving parts. The conditions in which it is used (temperature and in particular humidity) also impact on this.
Why do I need to implement automation in my packhouse?
Automation of your packhouse can easily increase the operational efficiency by 50 – 80%. As the demands for labour increase so do the wages increasing productions costs. Automation provides the feasibility of utilising maximum out of human resources available and speeds up the entire process due to increased reliability. It turns up for work every day! Though the initial investment costs can be high, the ROI can often be within 3 to 5 years, especially as production and the business grows.
How much do conveyor belts cost per sq. mtr.?
The cost of any conveyor depends on the path it must take, the range of loads and capacity of product transfer required. The simpler and straighter the path and lighter the load the lower the per metre cost. The higher off the floor/ ground the more the cost increases as the structure must be made more stable especially in the case of higher load, and therefore more material would be used in construction. We provide free of charge consultation services to recommend the right type of belt conveyor system to suit you.
What about food-grade or washdown applications?
Conveyor systems are routinely used in food processing, medical, pharmaceutical, and other clean, high care applications. These systems can be built with stainless steel, use plastic or PVC belt materials that serve the needs of these types of hygienic cleanable applications. All types of conveyors can be built to serve these needs, ranging from sortation to accumulation to spirals to low profile systems. These food grade applications require specific expertise and experience for successful implementations.
What are gravity feed conveyors and rollers used for?
The pull of gravity can be used on carton conveyors made up of low friction rollers often used for product movement in warehousing, stock picking, loading, and unloading applications. Such roller Systems, can reduce lifting and shifting and streamline stock movements, reduce labour requirements, and speed up product order picking.
How is the motor size in kilowatts of a conveyor system determined?
The following formula is a very simple way of calculating this:
(Weight (belting + load) x Speed (m/sec) x Co-efficient of friction) ÷ 102
Bearings and Motors
Why do you need bearings on a conveyor belt?
The bearings on conveyors serve two main purposes. Their first job is to attach rotating shafts to the stationary frame of the conveyor. Their next purpose is to allow the shafts to spin freely with minimal friction resistance. How do you change a bearing on a conveyor belt? This depends on the type and location of your bearing but usually by releasing the bearing from the shaft and extracting it using pulling tools.
What Is the Purpose of Bearings?
The main purpose of bearings is to prevent direct metal to metal contact between two elements that are in relative motion. This prevents friction, heat generation and ultimately, the wear and tear of parts. It also reduces energy consumption as sliding motion is replaced with low friction rolling.
They also transmit the load of the rotating element to the housing. This load may be radial, axial, or a combination of both. A bearing also restricts freedom of movement of moving parts to predefined directions as discussed above.
Why do you need sealed bearings in a conveyor system?
There’s dirt accumulating under the belt, plus bits of escaping load waste. Oily residues collect the gunk, and it ends up deposited around the system bearings. To solve this issue, conveyor system engineers add protective seals to their products. They take the form of steel caps and/or rubberized inserts. The best-in-class variants on this theme employ labyrinth channels and direct contact designs, which support several essential features. Among them, a low-maintenance build and a method of lubricating the internally cradled rolling elements ranks high.
Each family of bearings is uniquely qualified to suit its application, be it load conveyance work or the provision of a free-spinning feature, as used in a large group of idler rollers.
What are the benefits of drum-motor drives?
Drum motors feature a stainless-steel drum casing with all the subcomponents embedded inside. The totally enclosed and hermetically sealed design ensures that internal parts are not exposed to external environmental conditions or tampering.
This means, the system is kept hygienic, and in the food-processing industry, this is of the utmost importance.
What is a drum drive?
A drum motor is a one-component conveyor drive where the motor, gearbox, and all moving parts are enclosed inside the drum. The motor and gears operate in a sealed oil bath ensuring proper lubrication and cooling. With no external motor, gear reducer, sprockets, chain, or chain guard, no external component maintenance is required.
Why is it important to maintain the drum drive system?
Any problems in the drum drive system will eventually lead to a shutdown. Keeping the drum drive system maintained without oil leaks and operating smoothly greatly decreases your chances of unplanned shutdowns.
How does a drum motor work?
The electric motor is mounted between two fixed shafts each end of the drum. This motor in turn has a pinon gear which drives any number of stages of planetary gearsets with the final outer ring gear attached to the inside of the cylindrical drum itself. The external surface of the drum is crowned to help track the belting it drives. The cable to supply the motor enters through the centre of one of the stub shafts to the fixed mounted electric motor winding.
What do IP (international protection) ratings mean?
IP Rating means Ingress Protection Rating (Also known as International Protection Marking) which represents a two-digit code that the manufacturer is to supply on the electric motor label so that the client knows to what level the product is protected against intrusions of solid-state particles or liquid particles.
What stops an Internal drive-drum from overheating?
Since there is no external heatsink or large surface area with fins like a conventual electric motor a drive drum relies on the belting absorbing the heat as it wraps around the drum face. Therefore, it is recommended that the drum surface is not lagged with rubber if the diameter is small. The surface area to absorb heat becomes the entire belting surface.
How do I know if my motor is running hot?
To determine if a motor is running too hot or not, we need to measure the winding temperature. If the temperature is under the insulation class system rating of the windings, the temperature is acceptable. If the temperature is at the limit or above, the insulation is likely to start to break down creating the possibility of electrical short circuits. Also need to check the bearing temperatures so lubrication doesn’t dissolve, and bearings overheat causing bearing and motor failure.
What are the most common problems that lead to an electric motor overheating?
- Low resistance or excessive voltage supply is the most common reason behind electric motor failure.
- Overload by drawing more current than rated will lead to overheating issues.
- Contamination build-up on outside surfaces such as dust and debris will raise the internal temperature of a motor and not allow the heat to escape keeping it from cooling, which leads to excessive heat over a longer period.
- Excessive amount of starting and stopping won’t allow the motor to cool properly. The result is a high-heat environment that wears on the integrity of components.
- Excessive vibrations are severe enough, they’ll raise temperatures to unsafe levels and stress components beyond their capacity to withstand the heat generated.
Why is removing aluminum parts from high care processing environments important?
Multiple studies have shown that there is a connection between aluminum contamination of food and certain serious illnesses. This often occurs because of the introduced aluminum to the environment rather than the naturally occurring element in our foods. One way to minimise the exposure is to remove these parts from our critical hygienic food processing environments.
Why use stainless steel in the production of bearings and housing?
Stainless steel materials are used to make bearings and their housing units as it is resistant to surface corrosion due to the higher content of chromium (18%) with the addition of nickel. The chromium reacts with oxygen to form a layer of chromium oxide on the surface, creating a passive film.
Why use stainless steel in the construction of electric motors?
Stainless steel is mostly used for hygienic reasons due to its corrosion resistance. The second most common reason stainless steels are used is for their high-temperature properties.
Stainless steel meets the stringent food safety audits required to certify production facilities that produce food and pharmaceuticals fit for human and animal consumption. Being resistant to corrosion in wet, chemical, and corrosive environments ticks the boxes for auditors and food safety certifications.
Stainless steel performs comparatively better than other carbon steels at higher temperatures. It shows better fire resistance due to its high strength retention factor at elevated temperatures (above 500°C). It also has a better stiffness retention factor than carbon steel above 300°C.
How long will my stainless-steel motor last?
So, unless the o-rings and seals are disturbed (scratched, cut, or chemically dissolved), the stainless-steel motor should last forever. Where chemical washdown is applied regularly, especially chlorine-based this can shorten the life of a motor, and stainless steel is easily attacked by almost any compound containing chlorine. Therefore, the exact life of a stainless-steel motor depends on IP rating and isn’t known as they rarely fail other than by being overloaded or seal damage when being serviced.
What’s the temperature range for a stainless-steel motor?
Well, the answer varies based on a few different factors, including:
- The specific grade of stainless-steel alloy being used.
- The load on the motor.
- Any chemicals that may be present.
- The Length of time that the motor is operating continuously – duty cycle.
- Ambient Temperature
Most stainless-steel motors are rated to 90C continuous operating temperature, but these must be guarded when operating above 55C where people can touch them.
EQM to the Rescue
What is EQM to the Rescue?
EQM Rescue is an exclusive system that has been devised by our experienced team to speed up the identification of failed parts in the event of equipment breakdown. Using this system, enables us to provide rapid response times that make sure you have minimal production downtime.
How does it work?
Customers can either bring in their faulty equipment (if they’re based in Hawke’s bay) or simply email/text us at least three photos.
The three photos need to be:
- The equipment/ gearbox/ electric motor’s nameplates
- A photo of the actual gearbox and its motor or failed part off equipment
- The situation/ conveyor/ machine it is being used within
Alternatively, click on this link Support – EQM Industrial NZ to access our submission form.
A picture can tell us 1000 words with all the product knowledge we have learnt over 30years!!