4 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Conveyor Systems

4 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Conveyor Systems

modular belting on a conveyor-system

When you look at the world around you, most everything you see has at one point been on a conveyor system. But for it to reach its destination, it has to travel safely and efficiently from entry to exit. Here are the top four ways to ensure that your product can do just that. 

Ensure Proper Selection 

Conveying belts are used in a variety of applications. Key industries include agriculture, package handling, and food processing. Matching your belt to your needs is crucial. Considerations could include abrasion resistance, sanitation and temperature restrictions, oil resistance, non-sparking requirements, set pulley size, and washdown requirements. 

It is also important to look at existing equipment and ensure the belt provided is meeting your needs. Many times, the stock belt is multi-purpose, and you may realize efficiencies by customizing it to your specific application. 

For example, when using modular belting, evaluate your need for an open or closed hinge. Many modular belts approved for wash-down applications have an ‘open hinge’ design, which exposes the rod on the underside of the belt for cleaning purposes.  If easy access for cleaning is not needed, a closed-hinge design may be preferred.  The closed hinge utilizes the entire rod width as a bearing surface, trading “cleanability” for extra strength and wearability– which can contribute to a longer belt life.

Preventative Maintenance 

Selecting the right conveyor belt is crucial, but so is maintaining the one you have. Begin by visually examining your lines. Spending some time simply looking at your equipment can help you spot problems before they happen. 

With modular belts, you should first inspect your drive sprockets. Most conveyors need to have 180 degrees of belt engagement on the drive sprockets.  This allows the belt to engage and disengage the drive sprocket teeth, ensuring the belt is driven effectively. Lastly, inspect all equipment for material buildup, and verify proper lubrication where appropriate. 

Also, consider adding extra length to your belt to form a 1-4” belly of slack belting after the drive roller. This extra length is called catenary sag, and it serves two purposes– the extra weight and tension holds the belt to the sprocket teeth for efficient drive, and second, the extra length will account for thermal expansion or contraction of the conveyor belt

These steps are worth the extra few minutes to avoid lost product, or worse, downtime. 

Monitoring Systems and Automation 

Monitoring systems can play a critical role in efficient conveying, and provide insights that will keep your conveyors moving. A common type of monitoring is temperature analysis. For example, a heat sensor can alert you to an overheating bearing on a conveyor before it results in costly downtime.

Automation technologies like sensors, programmable logic controllers (PLCs), and other enhanced control systems can help reduce the margin of human error and optimize your output. These can help evaluate belt tracking, material load, and speed. 

Real-time monitoring systems can provide in-depth information, allowing for earlier detection of problems. These innovative system controls can also save you money on energy consumption.

Being proactive with monitoring and automation will allow you to intervene before equipment fails.

Belt Modifications

Modifying an existing conveyor belt with extra features that boost performance and productivity are also available. Cleats, flanges, backings, sidewalls, lugs, v-guides and more can all be added to customize your belt for your application. 

IBT’s in-house belt division is experienced in adding specific modifications to belts. We can also provide on-site splicing services. Our Grain Division also specializes in grain industry specific belting and hole punching. Contact our belting industry experts for more information.  

Beltservice: An Industry Leader For All Your Belting Needs

To offer an even wider range of belt modifications, we partner with Beltservice. Beltservice is a world-leading fabricator of custom conveyor belting, with expertise dating back 50 years. They offer the largest variety of modular belts, slat-top chains and conveyor belts in the industry, specializing in applying the correct belt to each individual application.

For example, Beltservice’s plastic modular belting is an excellent option for food & beverage/sanitary applications due to its superior hygiene, and features precise sprocket engagement that enhances its performance.  

Modutech Plastic Modular BeltingOptimize Your Lines With IBT’s Expertise

IBT Industrial Solutions is ready to assist you as you determine the best conveyor belt for your application, evaluate your current system, or look for a new solution. Reach out to our experienced team for guidance, request a quote, or call us at 913-677-3151 today. Our team of dedicated experts are ready to help.

Want to learn more about getting the most out of your conveyor belts? Check out this article on conveyor belt troubleshooting.


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