how conveyor belt works
Written by Brian B

How a Conveyor Belt Works

Different industries leverage from conveyor belts and how they operate. It provides ease of transport for a wide variety of materials, ranging from small objects to large ones. In this article, we are going to try and answer some of the common questions about conveyor systems, belt conveyors, or more specifically, how does a conveyor belt work?

The Working Principle of a Belt Conveyor

A belt conveyor is a material handling device that uses an endless belt to transport items from one place to another. The components of a belt conveyor system include the pulley, the belt, and the motor that drives it. The working principle of the belt conveyor is simple: it uses a motor to power an idler pulley, which in turn causes the pulley to move the length of the belt. The force that drives the conveyor is produced by friction between the idler pulley and the underside of the conveyor’s moving surface. This powerful frictional force is what leads to movement in both directions along a given route.

The key parts of conveyor belt systems are its supporting structure, drive mechanism, and loading device; these components work together to create an effective transportation system. The supporting structure serves as a platform for all other components and must be constructed to handle maximum loads while maintaining its shape throughout operation. On top of this support lies two main components: the drive mechanism employed by motors and gearboxes, which pushes or pulls objects along the track; and finally, a loading device which enables operators to load materials onto or off of belts easily.

The Purpose of the Pulley

For conventional conveyor belts, the drive pulley is the most important part of the conveyor system because it provides the necessary momentum to propel materials along the belt. The purpose of the pulley is to create frictional force between it and the underside of the conveyor’s moving surface in order to power movement forwards or backwards. Motors provide the energy for this motion while gearboxes assist in distributing power to each individual component within the system, allowing precise control over speed and efficiency.

This material is seen to whether you have industrial conveyor belts that handles bulk materials or motorized conveyor belts that carry lightweight goods. A conveyor belt works in simple principle and can be seen transporting materials from one place to another in production lines, warehouses, and many other areas. With this overview on how a conveyor belt works, you now have an understanding of what makes the most important part of any conveyor system work.

Ideal Location to Where a Conveyer Belt System Should be Placed

There are two deciding factors of where the conveyor belt system should be placed: first, it must be situated in an area that is easily accessible and provides ample space for all components of the conveyor system, while second, it should be located far enough away from any hazardous areas or materials.

It is important to remember that conveyors are usually used in production lines and warehouses, so it is important to determine the best possible layout for a conveyor belt system in order to maximize efficiency and minimize any potential safety risks.

Depeding on the operational and environmental conditions, it may also be necessary to install some form of shielding around the conveyor belt in order to protect workers or objects from moving parts.

Different Types of Belt Conveying System

Now that we’re through with how conveyor belts work, let’s discuss about some of the most basic belt conveying systems that are used today.

  • Sandwich Belt Conveyor: Compared to normal rubber conveyor belts, the sandwich uses two belts instead of one. They are positioned face to face (same direction) to firminly contain the items being transported.
  • Flat Belt Conveyor: A flat belt conveyor is a very simple and cost effective system that is ideal for large scale operations. It consists of two or more pulleys that are connected by an endless loop of flat belt material.
  • Incline Belt Conveyor: This type of conveyor is usually used to transport items up and down inclines. The belts move along a set path while the load remains stationary on the conveyor bed.
  • Curve Belt Conveyor: This conveyor works similarly to flat belt systems; however, they are designed to move items around curves. They use flexible belts that can bend and twist as needed to follow the desired path.
  • Specialty Conveyor Belts: There are some manufacturers that customize conveyor belts depending on the application or client requests. They use anything from motorized pulleys, plastic belt, hinged steel belts, and more.
  • Sanitary and Washdown Conveyors: These are designed for use in food processing, pharmaceuticals, and other industries where sanitation is a must. The belts and frames are made of stainless steel and they can be easily washed down to maintain cleanliness.

From bulk material handling to simple transportation of lightweight goods, there are different types of conveyor belts you can opt for depending on your requirements.

Factors to Consider When Choosing The Right Conveyor Belt for Your Business Operation

There are several factors to consider when choosing the right conveyor belt for your business operation. These include:

  1. Material handling needs: The type of material you need to transport will determine the type of conveyor belt you need. For example, if you are transporting heavy items, you will need a belt that can withstand the weight and wear and tear of these items. On the other hand, if you are transporting lightweight items, you may be able to use a lighter and less durable belt.
  2. Conveyor length and width: The length and width of the conveyor belt will depend on the size of the items you need to transport and the space available in your facility. It is important to choose a belt that is the right size for your operation to ensure efficient material handling.
  3. Speed and capacity: The speed and capacity of the conveyor belt will depend on the volume of material you need to transport. If you have a high volume of material, you will need a belt with a higher capacity and speed.
  4. Environment: The environment in which the conveyor belt will be used should also be considered. If the belt will be used in a wet or corrosive environment, you will need a belt that is resistant to moisture and corrosion.
  5. Maintenance: The maintenance requirements of the conveyor belt should also be considered. Some belts require more frequent maintenance than others, so it is important to choose a belt that is easy to maintain and has a long lifespan.
  6. Cost: The cost of the conveyor belt should also be considered. While it may be tempting to choose the cheapest option, it is important to consider the long-term costs of maintenance and replacement.

By considering these factors, you can choose the right conveyor belt for your business operation and ensure efficient and effective material handling.

The Bottom Line

Conveyor belts are an essential part of many business operations, so it is important to choose the right type for your needs. Understanding the different types available, along with the factors to consider when selecting one, can help you make an informed decision and ensure your operation runs smoothly and efficiently.

If ever you need help with your conveyor belts, feel free to contact Storage Equipment Systems. We offer conveyor belt systems for sale, as well as a range of other storage solutions. Our experienced team can help you find the right solution for your business needs and budget. Contact us today to discuss your requirements.

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