Conveyor Belt Maintenance

conveyor belt adjustment
conveyor belt alignment
conveyor belt alignment methods
conveyor belt coefficient of friction
conveyor belt failure analysis
conveyor belt installation
conveyor belt maintenance checklist
conveyor belt maintenance procedure
conveyor belt maintenance tool

conveyor belt operation

conveyor belt tracking
conveyor belt tracking guide
conveyor belt tracking issues
conveyor belt tracking methods
conveyor belt tracking problems
conveyor belt tracking system
conveyor belt tracking tips

Conveyor Belt Maintenance - Keeping Your Conveyor Belt Solution in Top Shape

Conveyor belt systems have a natural life-cycle. Over the course of time, wear and tear will contribute to the belt deteriorating. Depending on how well you maintain your belting solution will determine the length, in which, your belt remains at a ‘performance’ standard. 

The average life-cycle of a conveyor belt is between two to twelve years based on your maintenance. Naturally, we wish to have our conveyor systems last as long as possible; this ensures optimum efficiency and return on investment from your conveyor solution. 

In order to achieve a longstanding conveyor system, there are conveyor belt maintenance requirements that you must undertake to ensure your belt lasts as long as possible.

Installing Your Conveyor System

Before installation a conveyor belt must be squared to ensure stress payloads are even throughout the conveyor belt. In the biscuit manufacturing trade, cotton conveyor belting is used and there is less of a requirement for squaring based on weight loads as the transferring of dough pieces through a conveyor system is relatively light loading.

The recommended squaring method for belting ends is the ‘centreline’ method. The centreline method requires measuring across the belt width on both belt ends at multiple points that are evenly spaced between each, before marking  the center of each point. Finally, a chalk piece is used to draw the centreline from which the square cutting can be executed.

If this is not executed correctly, stress loads will be uneven, which can damage the conveyor belt and ultimately, reduce the life-cycle of the belt, while also ‘failing’ on multiple occasions.

A conveyor belt needs to be squared correctly to make sure stress loads are equally distributed throughout. Unequally distributed loads will stress the belt unevenly which can result in a reduced life-span and an increased risk of downtime as a result of technical failures.

Once the belt has been squared, it must be placed with the correct tension so as to avoid slippage. Having the correct conveyor belt alignment is key. The belting must be centered to avoid any potential problems that could cause further issues with the belt installation.

Naturally, a belt will have a little left-to-right sway. However, the belt tracking must be adjusted to accommodate a sway bias to one side and balance the belt tracking out again.

This will contribute to the belt running smoothly and without noise. Should the belting not be running smoothly or silently, you should review the conveyor tracking immediately.

You should also ensure the belt sits on the support system to avoid what is referred to as the ‘push effect’. This ensures the return path is at an optimal level.

Finally, you must ensure the drive and support rollers are set correctly, otherwise the belt will not run straight and will roll. 

You achieve this by ensuring that your conveyor belt supplier takes care of installing the belt system drive, idle and support roller to fit the requirements of the conveyor belt. By taking this responsibility on yourself, you risk losing the straight run of your belting, which causes a shorter belt lifespan over time.

Checking and Adjusting Your Conveyor Belt Tracking is Correct

As briefly discussed there are a few things you must consider during the installation stage of the conveyor system to ensure that the belt is tracking correctly. Failure to execute these procedures will result in incorrect conveyor tracking and will require further guidance on conveyor tracking to correct the conveyor system.

To ensure you’re tracking is correct, you should measure the belt tension – this will usually show a 1% elongation. To measure belt elongation, you should mark the edges of your belt and tension the take-up adjustment until the marks you have made on the edges align with your required belt tension.

Something to check for when making sure the belt tracking is correct is to keep an eye out for any debris from production. Older or used conveyors will naturally have debris from constant use. This includes belts used in industries like biscuit and cracker production. 

You should also consider contamination – remember the material of a belt conveyor can be susceptible to the elements. It is therefore important to understand the environmental conditions for which your conveyor belt will operate. 

Your conveyor manufacturer will know the direct sciences behind the conditions for each conveyor belting material. During the scoping phase of your build, you should liaise with the conveyor belt manufacturer regarding the belt requirements and conditions for which it is best to operate in. 

Finally, the coefficient of friction must be checked and corrected to ensure that the conveyor tracking is correct. The coefficient of friction varies depending on the conveyor belt material used. To calculate the coefficient of friction is a complex mathematical calculation, using frictional force. To learn how to calculate the friction, use this method.

Correct Way to Perform a Conveyor System Inspection

The first thing you need to look at when performing a conveyor belt inspection is check that the frame is level. A high percentage of conveyor belts that aren’t performing to maximum efficiency are usually down to incorrect tracking as a result of the belt being out of kilter and not level.

If the bed isn’t square, the conveyor will lean to one side and slip. To rectify this, it’s a simple case of using a balanced level to check the frame is straight or ‘square’ and the pulleys are level. To measure levelness, you should measure from one corner to the opposite corner on each side of the conveyor. if these do not equal, the belt is not level and should be leveled. The conveyor belts usually come with ‘squaring rods’ provided by the manufacturers. Squaring rods are used to pull the belt frame into the correct alignment.

Never track the conveyor solely from the steering end pulley, nor from any one side for that matter. This will cause further tracking and alignment issues for the belt; making life a lot harder to maintain or readjust the conveyor system. Any good conveyor solution will come with idlers that will sit underneath the system. Adjusting the rollers will improving belt tracking. 

Performing Belt Failure Analysis

When performing a belt failure analysis in conveyor belt maintenance, there is no specific procedure as such to do so. However, there are analysis techniques that you can undertake through any process of your choice that constitutes being part of a belt failure analysis. 

The first part of the of the analysis is undertaken as per the above process to identify and adjust conveyor system tracking as per your requirements.

Secondly, check if the belt has worn. You can find this information as a result of your conveyor belt system inspection. If the tracking is incorrect and the alignment is incorrect, then the chances the belt is wearing or worn are likely to be higher. 

Thirdly, you must check for abrasions. A belt may catch on something, debris from other machinery or logistical operations within the factory may cause abrasion or a too heavy a load may cause a tear. While quality conveyor systems should be more averse to abrasion, circumstances may cause one nonetheless. Therefore, analyzing the belt for abrasions is an important facet for conveyor belt maintenance.

 

Modular Conveyor Belts – Everything You Need to Know

What are Modular Conveyor Belts?

Modular conveyor belts are a belting solution that is used in applications and industries where curves are needed within the belting.

This is traditionally a logistical requirement to ensure efficient use of space and facilities around the conveyor belt.

Furthermore, the modular belt uses positive drive to move the conveyor forward rather than using friction as a means of pulling the belt, like traditional conveyor belts use.

The modular conveyor belt uses sprockets underneath the belt to help it move forward. The key here is in the design of the belt to ensure the right number of sprockets are used to fit the belts requirements and ensure optimal performance.

What are Modular Conveyor Belts Made from?

Modular belts (often referred to as ‘Radius belts’, are made using segmented pieces of treated plastics that are connected together with hinges and rods.

The purpose of this is to allow the conveyor belt to run smoothly around corners without collapsing along the curves of the belt.

Modular conveyor belts are made this way for food and chemical industries. This belt material is easy to maintain and clean, making it very low maintenance.

Due to the construction of the modular belt, should a segment of the belt break, it is extremely efficient in fixing. The broken segment is removed from the belt, and a new segment added. This ensures the belt is low cost to maintain and does not need to be fully replaced should a piece of it break.

Modular Belt Plastic Types

As with any conveyor belt, the environment and requirements from the belt itself will determine the material used. Plastic module belts are no different. For example, the requirement for a post-oven biscuit production modular belt will be different to that of a plastic modular belt that is needed for cold chemical production and conveying.

Therefore, it’s important as the customer that you known your true requirements prior to engaging a modular belting designer. The types of plastic and material traditional used in modular conveyor belting is:

Polyproplene

This material is used for belts that may be used in extremely hot temperatures of up to 100’C. The hardness of this material creates a strong pulling force, which is great for conveying heavier loads as it drives the belt forward.

Additionally, the Polyproplene belt has a strong resistance to chemicals, so cleaning and wipe down should be relatively easy to the belt operator.

Polycetal

This is the ‘all-rounder’ of plastic belt types. Typically strong, and can work in extreme temperatures at both ends of the spectrum; be it super cold, or extremely hot. 

This material is again, typically hard, and has great pulling force, but it also has a reduced friction characteristic, which provides support to the rest of the conveyor belt and the product conveyed.

However, this belt is traditionally sensitive to impact, and can be damaged easier than other plastic module belts.

Polyethylene

As a belt that is used in colder temperatures, this belting material also has a strength resistance to impact and blows. The belt can be used in areas of up to -75’C, and due to it’s strength resistance to impact, the belt has a much longer life-span to it’s counter parts.

What Industries Use Modular Conveyor Belts?

Modular conveyor belts are used in an array of industries due to their ability to be used in a range of temperatures, climates and manufacturing units. Typically modular belts are used in:

Biscuit Manufacturing

Towards the end of the cooling phase of biscuit production, where the biscuits have been packaged and are being distributed to lorries etc. to be shipped to customers, modular belting is used to move the heavy boxes to their final destination.

Cooling Systems

Across all industries that require cooling belts, the modular belting solution can be used in tandem with woven belting to help cool elements manufactured. Typically Polycetal and polyproplene belts are used in cooling systems as they posses a much higher performance in extremely cold temperatures.

Chemical Production

Again, due to their ability to perform in extreme environments, and their resistance to chemical contamination, and abrasion, modular belting is seen as the ideal solution for chemical and medical production. The belt is often used in conveyor systems within pharmaceutical, and chemical industries.

Food Production

Plastic module belts have to be FDA approved in order to be used in food production. This is to ensure there is no contamination when the food is being processed and manufactured through the conveyor line.

Polyethylene, and Polyproplene belting is traditionally the go-to plastic module belt for food production due to their ability to not contaminate the food, however, polycetal is not usually recommended.

Nylon material can be used in modular conveyor belts, too, and is FDA approved.

Nylon can be used in both warm and cold areas as it performs in temperatures ranging from -45’C to 160’C.

Nylon is a soft material with a good pulling force, and a high impact strength as well as great chemical resistance.

Key Characteristics of Modular Conveyor Belts

Pulling Force

The pulling force is the force distribution throughout the belt and how power is shifted between curves to maintain an even force throughout the belt. This ensures there are no problems throughout the conveyor belt during production. 

Impact Strength

Belts that have a high impact strength are preferred due to their ability to absorb impact. A belt that can absorb blunt force or impact from materials traditionally has a longer lifespan than belts with a low impact strength. Modular belts that have a high impact strength tend to be used ahead of modular conveyor belts that do not posses high impact strength.

Strength

Strength is different to impact strength. By strength, this is meant as the strength by which the belt can use the force to conveyor heavy loads around the conveyor effectively and efficiently without causing collapses, or stoppages.

Resistance to Temperature

Modular conveyor belts can perform in very hot and cold temperatures due to the materials used, making them a first choice for both hot and cold installations.

Traditionally, modular conveyor belts use a combination of these our key characteristics with the materials they use to produce the conveyor belts that can perform in harsh environments to maximum capacity.

What Does Pulling Force Mean?

There is a serious science behind the design of a modular belt. 

In a traditionally straight conveyor, the pulling force will be equally distributed throughout the entire belt ensuring no transversal force occurs along the belt.

In modular conveyor belts this is an entirely different prospect due to the belts curvature. In a radius belt, when the belt is pulled through a curve, the rows of the belt can come together causing a collapse of the transfer of force isn’t shifted correctly. If this were to happen, the traction force of the belt would need to be shifted to the outer curve to counteract the collapse of the inner curve.

The timing of this shift of force is key to ensuring a smooth conveyor solution and typically, the shift has started before the curve has begun to further safeguard the curve from collapsing.

The outer links of the modular belt carry the tangential force, this causes the radial force to take place along the curved section of the belting.  As the belt weight and carry load (product being conveyed) must be pulled, the highest traction force occurs at the the end of the belt. 

The strength of the modular belt will always be in the ‘straight pull’, therefore a conveyor designed with curves earlier on in the belt solution finalized with a straight track is always the preferred solution for the most effective radius belts.

Pro's of Using Modular Conveyor Belts

The use of positive drive means the modular belt is a more ‘user-friendly’ and flexible conveyor solution. Plastic modular belting is a low-tension solution, allowing the use of less pulley’s throughout the belt.

Furthermore, there is much more freedom in the design of a modular conveyor belt. For engineers and belting designers, the freedom of the modular belt is that it can, in theory, be wider than it is long and can maintain tracking in the process.

Historically, this belting type has been used to navigate curves and corners, and does so well when designed correctly; there isn’t another belting solution that can do this as well, for the same price. Woven belting can be manufactured to navigate curves similarly to Modular conveyors, however, this is cost-prohibitive in relation to the modular belt solution.

Finally, the belt is easy to maintain, clean and fix. This makes the belt an agile proposition and one many industry experts recommend given the requirements of the solution.

Air Slide Belts – Everything You Need to Know

What are Air Slide Belts?

Air Slide Belts (also known as Air Slide Conveyor Belts, and Pneumatic Conveyor Belts) are a type of conveyor belt that is used in dry solid powder conveying. This form of transportation is referred to as ‘Pneumatic Conveying’ whereby pneumatic conveyor systems cover long distances and transport materials from one point to another using air-activated gravity. 

As a result, the belt requires a level of air permeability to allow the the air activated gravity technique to push air up and through the conveyor belt, allowing the power to transport through the conveying system from point A-to-B. 

What are Air Slide Belts Made from?

Air Slide belts can be made from a number of materials in combination. However, some belts are made from 100% polyester or nylon. The main raw materials that air slide conveyor belts are made from are usually; nylon, polyester, P84 Polymides, or Nomex. 

The best air slide belts are abraison resistant, rot and mildew resistant, while also being able to be used in temperatures ranging from 30’C to 150’C.

A good air slide belt manufacturer will produce a belt with materials that reflect the requirements of the solution. Each material can be woven to a required air permeability, depending on the ‘holes’ from which the low-press air needs to be filtered through the belting material. 

Typically, these types conveyor belts are solid woven using the warp and weft threading technique. However, should requirements need a different weave, manufacturers can change the weave to suit the solution.

The belt can vary in width from between 150mm to 16500mm, again depending on the solution requirement. Additionally, the thickness of the ply from which the belt is woven can range from 4mm to 8mm depending on the requirement.

The Process of Fluidization

The conveying solution itself uses an enclosed conveyor system, which ensures no raw material is left behind, nor does it fall off the conveyor belt. All of the required powder is transported from one area to another using a low-pressure air flow from underneath the conveyor belt. 

During the conveying, the powder material is put into a porous state (pulverized) within the ‘fluidizing beld, before being transported through the pneumatic conveyor and reaching the required destination.

The air-activated gravity of the air slide conveyor belt, and slope from which the system is manufactured to, allows the material to flow and move through the conveyor chute in a fluid fashion.

The belt itself sits within the middle of the pneumatic conveyor, in the chute between the powder fan and the air chamber. This is where the fluidized powder moves in a liquid fashion through the conveyor belt part of the system.

The type of fluidizing beds and pneumatic transport may vary depending on the material being passed through the pneumatic conveyor.

Different Fluidizing Beds

Bed fluidization can be both solid and fluid form (gas or liquid).  Fluids flowing through a layer of bulk solid at a ‘fluidzsation velocity can loosen the individual particulates  to ensure they enter a ‘suspended’ form. This is how a fludized bed is created and is aptly named ‘fluidization’. The flow of powder naturally acts like that of fluid to create this form and bed ready for transport.

If the velocity changes to become more excessive, particles are discharged into the pneumatic transport process.

Typically, there are three forms of fluidized beds that may occur during the fluidizing process. These are:

Homogeneous Fluidized Bed

A homogeneous bed is the name given to describe a fluidized bed that reflects the velocity increase of the fluid creating a balanced dilation of even distribution across the base layer.

Inhomogeneous Fluidized Bed

The inhomogeneous bed is the name given to describe the a fluidization process that results in heavier particles within the lower area of the fluidized bed. If gases are used as the ‘liquid’, bubbling occurs, which bursts at surface level, givnig off a look of boiling liquid within the fluidized bed.

Channeling Fluidized Bed

When finer grain bulk powder is the solid form being transported, the formation of a fluidized bed may not occur. This is due to the particles adhering to each other and natural flow channels being formed.  Therefore, in order to create a fluidized bed, manual stirring is required.

Pneumatic Transporting

Pneumatic conveyor systems are the medium for transporting the bulk powder through the conveyor system.

Traditionally, a pneumatic conveying system uses three core elements; a fan, a conveyor belt system, and a dust separation unit. The way the bulk powder is transported can be either horizontally, vertically and in a large amount of instances, on an incline.

Typically, there is a compression unit and suction unit used to pull or push the bulk powder through the pneumatic conveyor line. This is dependent on the phase of transport being used. There are two key forms of pneumatic conveyors; Dense Phase and Dilute Phase.

The Efficiency of Air Slide Conveyor Belts

Air slide belts are highly regarded due to their efficiency within industrial conveyor systems.

These conveyor belts can reach up to 100’s of meters in length, and use a low-maintenance single power source, which means running costs and manpower remain low. As the air slide conveyor belt sits within an enclosed system, there is only a requirement for one blower (fan), which sufficiently helps blow the air from top to bottom of the system. This makes the air slide belt extremely economical and also environmentally friendly.

Additionally, due to the way the system is bolted together, the solution is dust tight, which makes it very friendly to the environment.

Furthermore, the air-activated gravity is the only moving part of the conveyor belt (unlike conveyor belts used in biscuit manufacturing), which makes noise pollution for this belt minor. Traditionally, the system is attached to the ceiling, which allows for maximum floor space underneath, and the belting system is usually placed in a quieter part of the factory, which makes noise pollution even more minimal.

Air Slide Cloth Air Permeability

Air slide cloth needs to have a high level of air permeability. Depending on the materials tensile strength, the need penetration of the cloth, which in turn, impacts the whole creation within the weave of the air slide cloth. This, however, ensures increased strength when conveying heavy loads across a air fan system.

Depending on the air slide belt material combination the air permeability will have a higher propensity. For example,  a polyester and nomex combined solid woven air slide belt will have both a higher puncture index from needle penetration and higher air permeability to that of polyester air slide belt alone.

Key Characteristics of an Air Slide Conveyor Belt

When searching for an air slide conveyor belt for your bulk powder handling system, there are a few key characteristics required to ensure your pneumatic conveyor system is treated with the air slide belt it needs.

Firstly, the temperature conditions that an air slide belt can withstand are key. Usually, in pneumatic conveying, the fluidized powder that is being transported is extremely hot and therefore an airslide conveyor belt that can withstand temperatures of up to 200’C is imperative. This is key characteristic of a polyester air slide belt and why polyester is a filament used in most air slide belting systems.

Additionally, due to the type of material being transferred, the propensity for potential ‘wear and tear’ is high. Using a polyester and nylon combination combats potential abrasion and tearing.

Finally, it’s important that your air slide cloth is very permeable and doesn’t trap dust. This is naturally, an obvious requirement, but can be over looked in lieu of searching for air slide cloth that fits the above requirements. A cloth material that doesn’t clog and consume all dust, but is easy to dust off will ensure a longer living air slide belt for your pneumatic conveyor system.

Air Slide Belt Manufacturers

Finding air slide belt manufacturers is easy, as long as you are aware of what you’re the requirements for the your conveyor solution. 

Traditionally, air slide belt manufacturers are found within India or the UK, and a great conveyor belt manufacturer will look to provide an on-site review of your situation to ensure that the right bespoke belting solution is provided to you the client. 

Biscuit Conveyor Belts – Everything You Need to Know

What is a Biscuit Conveyor Belt?

Biscuit conveyor belts are a form of conveyor belt that is used in the manufacturing and production of biscuits and crackers. 

There are two forms of biscuit conveyor belts; the woven conveyor belt; which is used pre-oven and post-oven, and the modular conveyor belt; which is used for transportation and tracking.

What are Biscuit Conveyor Belts Made from?

Modular conveyor belts that are used solely in transporting the packaging of the biscuit are made from modular plastic blocks. The modular conveyor belt is a fantastic solution, because should a block break, the belt is constructed in a way that means only the block needs to be replaced, and not the whole conveyor belt. This makes the modular conveyor belt an extreely cost-effective solution.

Woven conveyor belts that are used for the production of biscuits and crackers are made using either one of three materials, or a blend of each. This depends on the requirement from the belt. 

Examples of requirements for biscuit conveyor belting may be:

Moisture Retention

Depending on the moisture regain reqired from the belt, the conveyor belt will vary from cotton to polyester. Cotton has a stronger moisture regain than both polyester and nylon belting. This makes cotton a better conveyor belt material for biscuits and crackers with a denser base. 

Durability

Nylon conveyor belting is known to be more durable, as it can be chemically manipulated. However, in food manufacturing this ‘coating’ treatment must be done in accordance with FDA approval to ensure the belting doesn’t contaminate the biscuit. 

Polyester when treated with a coating, is also a very durable conveyor belt solution, which is highly durable against abrasion and tear. The problem lies with polyester in it’s inability to absorb vegetable fats, which makes the material a more suitable belt for less dense biscuits. 

Air Permeability

Air permeability is about as much the material as it is the weave, do a degree. However, it is known that cotton belting provides a smoother air transition through the weave. This allows for more efficient cooling of the base of the biscuit/cracker, which positively impacts the quality of the biscuit delivered.

Lifespan

Both cotton, nylon and even polyester have strong lifespans, especially when maintained well, and in the right working environment. 

The longest lifespan is the nylon based industrial belt, closely followed by cotton. 

A strong conveyor belt system that is looked after correctly will last around 18+ months, and sometimes even longer. 

The Process of Manufacturing Biscuits Using Conveyor Belts

Biscuits all over the world are made using biscuit conveyor belts. Shortbreads, crackers, bourbons, custard creams and more. The biscuit you might be eating while reading this article with your cup of tea or coffee has a high possibility of being manufactured using a conveyor belt system.

Depending on the stage of the biscuit manufacturing process, various conveyor belting systems are used. In fact, the biscuit manufacturing process can be broken down into four key stages of production:

1) Pre-Oven stage – Rotary Moulder section.
2) Oven Stage – Here due to sever heating only wire mesh belts are used
3) Post Oven – The Cooling Section
4) Packing Section.

Stage One - Pre-Oven Stage

Most biscuits are made using a soft-dough. During stage one of the biscuit production process rotary mouldar belting, and cotton belts are used. 

During this stage, the steamed or boiled dough (referred to as ‘kibbled dough’) is put through a dough-hopper. The machine usually determines the piece weight per biscuit. 

This process usually a castellated forcing roll and molding roll to press the dough together with the engraved molding roll, giving the biscuit it’s famous engraved design (think Oreo, Malted Milk’s, McVities etc.)

Next, the woven endless extraction web is pressed against the molding using a rubber covered roll, and the  dough biscuits are removed from the engraved impressions in the molding roll.

The dough pieces are then passed onto a panning web with a nose form from the molder roll, and move on to the next stage of the biscuit production process.

Traditionally, cotton conveyor belts have been used throughout this process due to their effective ply. The cotton belting is used in both stage one and stage three of the biscuit conveyor belt solution. 

Stage Two - Oven/Baking Stage

During the the baking stage of the biscuit production process, different biscuits will be cooked at varying temperatures inside a ‘tunnel oven’. These temperatures are set based on desired softness, color and texture of biscuit depending on the grain used to create the dough. Depending on the type of oven, and amount of zones used, the number of extraction points and biscuit size can also vary.

During this process the dough may go through a number of heating methods, to facilitate baking, and the ovens will manage the moisture removal internally, before passing the cookies and biscuits onto metal wire mesh for the next stage of the biscuit manufacturing process.

By the end of the bake the biscuit produced will have changed it’s moisture content, density, shape, color.

Stage Three Post-Oven - The Cooling Section

As the biscuit is finished baking, it needs to cool, and be ready for handling. Therefore, it is placed back onto a cotton conveyor belt, or, in some cases, a woven air slide belt

These types of woven conveyor belts are typically used as they help aid the cooling process of the biscuit manufacturing much quicker than other conveyor belts would. This is due to their air permeability (the ability the belt has to use it’s ply to allow air to pass through the bottom of the belt, cooling the bottom of the biscuit as well as the revealed top of the biscuit being subject to fan air within a convection tunnel. 

Later on in the cooling stage of biscuit production, the hardened, yet still hot biscuit is moved onto a modular conveyor belt and the process of removing burnt and broken biscuits is formed before moving into the final stage of biscuit production, the packaging section. 

Stage Four - Packing Section

The packing stage of biscuit production needn’t require a cotton conveyor belt, and usually further utilises the modular conveyor belt.
 
As the biscuits are moved into the packaging phase trained staff then take the biscuits and move them into the required packaging based on the production and customer needs. 
 
The biscuits are boxed and stored away, ready for delivery to supermarkets, and online buyers.

Biscuit Conveyor Belt Manufacturers

Biscuit conveyor belt manufacturers in India will usually source materials such as British cotton, and manufacture in Asia before moving the belt to the required location. This is not an uncommon practice, and any conveyor belt manufacturer worth their grain of salt will have a robust and efficient logistics and delivery plan for their belting. 

Conveyor belt manufacturers, like ClipOn ship to biscuit manufacturing companies in Egypt, Africa, India, China, the UK and America. 

When dealing with a biscuit belt manufacturer, ensure you receive first-in-class consultation and analysis of your current situation before engaging in a conveyor belt solution. Again, the best conveyor belt manufacturers provide consultation, analysis of your work area, and conveyor belt solution, and requirements before providing a final solution.

Biscuit Conveyor Belts to Choose from...

Cotton Conveyor Belts are our specialty, and can be used across all food production verticals due to their durability and long-life span.

Air Slide Belts are used specifically in the cooling section of the biscuit manufacturing processes as air travels through the underneath ply.

Modular belts are robust belting solutions that are traditionally used during advanced cooling and packaging stages.

Solid Heavy Duty Belt

Our in house specialty renders us the unique ability to form heavy conveyor belts. Belts from 6mm to 16mm, and in 4000 GSM to 14000 GSM . These belts can endure pressure upto 75 Mpa with  coeffecicient of friction greater than 0.4. Our belts can be made with blended yarns that we would design to ensure your material would be transported seamlessly.

Other Industries we Serve...

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Conveyor Belts and Their Usages

What are Conveyor Belts?

Conveyor belts are various types of industrial belting that are used solely to transport materials and goods from one area to another. There is often a confusion between conveyor belts and machine belts, with the latter being used to transmit energy.

The purpose of the conveyor belt system is to improve efficiency levels and productivity across business and industry. Additionally, the use of belting systems can reduce labor costs, and help improve companies bottom line over time.

Due to the materials flexible and webbing, conveyor belts are used in both light and heavy duty transportation. These belts are also highly regarded as they’re able to change direction and elevation depending on the conveying system customers require.

Which Industries are Conveyor Belts Used In?

Conveyor belts are used in almost every industry you could think of. From manufacturing to retail, health and fitness to transportation, and much more. The most common industries and purposes of the conveyor belt system are:

Pneumatic Conveying

Pneumatic conveying is system designed to move powdered materials from one destination to another, using a specific type of conveyor belt.

The airslide conveyor belt uses air or gas to pass through tiny holes embedded within its webbing that pushes the powdered material along the conveying system. 

Manufacturing

Made to improve efficiency, and reduce cost to the business, traditional conveyor belts are used as part of the assembly line. There are various types of materials used depending on the industry and requirements, but typically, the manufacturing industry used cotton, PVC, rubber, neoprene, urethane and polyester conveyor belting systems.

Belts used for manufacturing industries are often coated to ensure longevity and resistance to liquids and abrasions or general wear and tear.

Retail

Especially, in food shopping, conveyor belts are one of the most important things within the supermarket. What might be taken for granted is actually a solution that ensures efficient flow of customers and their food through payment checkout. The retail conveyor belts (similarly to belts for manufacturing), are designed to be robust, and can repel water due to their coating.

Additionally, they too are manufactured for longevity, due to the continuous pressure and abrasions from products on the assembly line. These conveyor belts have a strong life expectancy.

Health and Fitness

Similarly to both belts for manufacturing and retail, the belts used in health and fitness need to be adverse to abrasion. Specifically, the belts used in health and fitness are within the cardio-section of the gym. The treadmill uses a traditional endless seam conveyor belt solution, and is designed for longevity against wear and tear (constant running).

Belts for health and fitness take the some of the biggest impacts across all conveyor belt industries.

Chemical and Pharmaceutical

The specific belts used within this industry is usually Urethane or Thermoplastic conveyor belts. These belts are traditionally very hygienic (FDA approved), and easy to maintain, which makes them perfect for the pharmaceutical industry.

Additionally, these belts are non-absorbent, which, ensures any spillage does not contaminate the belting or product/medicine being transported.

Food Manufacturing and Transportation

Food manufacturing, packaging and transportation industries also use belting. These conveyor belts are used in high-temperature and are robust to ensure there is no damage during the manufacturing of the food. Specific food industries that using belting are baking and cooking.

The biscuit manufacturing industry is one of the main drivers for using conveyor belting solutions during its manufacturing and transportation phases.

Specifically, cotton conveyor belts are the main material, and a key conveyor belt that is used in biscuit production and manufacturing.

The cotton belt is used during the moulding process and forms the core component of the rotary moulder belt.

Different Types of Conveyor Belts

Depending on the conveyor belt solution a manufacturer requires, there are an array of belting solutions that are made bespoke to order. These are:

Cotton Conveyor Belts

Cotton conveyor belts are of the most widely used belting solutions across the globe. As previously mentioned, solid woven belts are often used in baking and food transportation, as well as agricultural materials and/or simply moving boxes around.

These belts can be open roll, and in pure endless forms (as can many other types of belts), which means they have no splice or seem and are woven to be ‘endless’.

Thermoplastic Conveyor Belts

Thermoplastic conveyor belts are developed through heating and cooling methods to create robust, hygienic and abrasive-free conveyor belts.

Thermoplastic belts come in many forms of plastic, from polyethylene (PE), polyinyl chloride (PVC), polyester and more.

These belts are predominantly used within the pharmaceutical industry, and food industry. They are treated with coating to work in high-temperatures; ranging from anything between 80’C to 160’C, with a thickness of up to 30mm, and a hardness of up to 50shA depending on the requirements on the belt solution.

More specifically, these types of belts must be Food Grade Certified by SGS under the US FDA Norms to be used in food production and conveying.

Woven Synthetic Conveyor Belts

Woven synthetic conveyor belts are made with various density and air permeability levels due to both their top and underside coating.

The coatings are referred to as ‘polymers’, and are made of varying materials depending on the suitability for the belt within its application.The coating is made for multiple reasons such as; strength, durability, longevity, and/or impact resistance.

These belts are used in heavier conveying systems, and provide a high-grip and ‘non-fray’ solution, which is perfect for food conveying industries.

Air Slide Belts

Air Slide belts are used in close conveyor systems which form a key component of pneumatic conveyors. These are a woven type of belt that uses bespoke permeable materials to allow low-pressure air beneath the air slide.

This causes ‘air activated gravity’ which allows powder etc. to be conveyed through the closed conveyor system seamlessly and efficiently.

Air Slide conveyor belts are traditionally used in pneumatic conveying solutions due to their permeability, and heavy duty properties such as; durability, strength and long-life-cycle.

Modular Conveyor Belts

Modular belts are made with long plastic plastic segments, and are used in heavy duty conveying, in areas where sometimes traditional belting solutions may falter. This is due to potential tear and fraying during the conveying process.

Modular plastic belts do not suffer from this problem, and are seen as the correct solution for heavy duty and high-pressure conveying purposes.

Furthermore, the modular belt is highly regarded due to its agility. If a piece of the modular belt breaks, it is easy to replace, and is also cost-efficient. This makes the modular belt a worth conveying solution for manufacturers transporting heavy duty goods.

Where Can You Get Conveyor Belts From?

You can find conveyor belt manufacturers across the globe. More specifically, the best manufacturers are found across the Asian and African continents. ClipOn is based in India, however, we have partners across Africa and Asia, which allows us to reach customers in areas such as Egypt, Bangladesh, India, South Africa, China and more, very efficiently. ClipOn also delivers bespoke conveying solutions to European and Western countries to order.

The beauty of working with experienced, and highly-regarded conveyor belt solution providers is ten-fold. Each conveyor belt provider should showcase technical expertise to provide pre-treatment and a strong quality assurance programme. Based on our experience, we recommend working with manufacturers who provide 48 hour maximum response times.

Working with providers such as ClipOn ensures this. Furthermore, ClipOn ensures FDA approved belting, over 25 years experience and research. All belting receives in-house testing which ensures all products are tested twice, using materials that are sourced directly from yarn, to ensure the highest quality available.

Cotton Conveyor Belts – Everything You Need to Know

About Cotton Conveyor Belts

Cotton conveyor belts are predominantly in the food and baking industries. The cotton conveyor belt is seen as the go to belt medium food production conveyor requirements due to it’s array of key features. These key features suit requirements from manufacturers around the form of the belt, having an ‘endless’ seam, long lifespan and high air permeability.

For baking biscuits and crackers, cotton belting is used as the sole solution for key areas within the biscuit production process (outlined further in this article). The key features of the cotton belt is it’s ability to be woven differently depending on the biscuit production requirements. This can compliment the moulding extraction process and the release process during the key stage of biscuit production whereby the dough pieces are moved from the moulding roller to the cooking belt.

Cotton belts are used in this area in particularly due to their ability to absorb moisture, and work well with the pull and release of doughs depending on their oil depth and density. 

Traditionally, cotton conveyor belts are deemed to provide moderate strength, and are high absorbing and high in bulk. The belt is plied on multiple occasions, and this increases the bulk of the belting on applications where resistance is key, but strength is not.

The cotton conveyor belt is typically spun by warp and weft (transverse weaving) cotton fibres. This particular type of weave is referred to within the industry as a ‘plain weave’ which is the standard weave within biscuit manufacturing as it provides the belting with balanced extraction and release features, along with providing a good level of air permeability.

Cotton belting is most suitable for shorter distances and lower transmission capacities. It is not a belt made for heavy duty conveying.

What is a Cotton Conveyor Belt Made of?

Cotton conveyor belts are made specifically from food grade standard (FDA) cotton yarn. Depending on the industry you are in, the type of cotton may be different. For example, synthetic woven cotton belts shouldn’t be used in food or hygienic industries as they are not naturally occurring and are generally made of petrochemicals.

Cotton belts use a specific cotton yarn that is farmed to perfection and operated under high-quality looms from Britain. The weaving process and further treatment helps in the extraction of oil and fat rendering it perfect for the bakery and bread industry.

The belt also uses a coating (usually PTFE) to ensure a robust, and hygienic conveyor belt system is crafted. Cotton belting are also traditionally coated on the surface traction side of the belt to ensure strength and long life span of the belt.

What are the Main Industries that Cotton Conveyor Belts are Used In?

Conveyor belting is usually made to order, and specific to industry. Cotton belts won’t be used in Chemical, Pharmaceutical, printing or hygiene industries due to their ability to absorb and collect materials. 

Within health and hygiene, thermoplastic and modular belts are used. These are lightweight, but strong, durable, and easy-to-maintain belts that use plastics such as; PU, PVC and PE, which are easy to clean, and work in both high and low temperatures. 

Major users of the webbing belt have always been concerned that in due course a few fibers from the web belt might break from the woven belt and get in contact with the food being produced. This was also one of the primary reasons that a lot of companies moved from woven cotton belts to PU Belts.

Cotton conveyor belting is, of course, perfect for specific stages of food production. Cotton belts make for great rotary moulder belts and cooling belts; they have to be FDA approved by the US food standards authority in order to be fit for manufacturing and this has alleviated the concerns businesses had around the hygiene of the cotton belt.

Due to the methods of which the cotton is harvested and manufactured into a conveying system, the coton belt is best suited to both food production and transportation.

As of now, the main uses for cotton conveyor belts are for the biscuit, cracker and bread production. They are fungus resistant due to the pre-treatment process and coating driven into the yarn weave.  This manufacturing process ensures oil absorbed from the dough.

Rotary Moulder Section (Pre-Oven Stage)

The Rotary Moulder stage of the biscuit development is the pre-oven stage. This stage uses cotton conveyor belts with multiple ply that have a strong pull and release capability. The reason for this is cottons absorption properties which are better than those of nylon and other woven conveyor belts.
 
The cotton belt used at rotary moulder stage has a 6% absorption profile, 3% higher than that of it’s sister belts. This higher absorption profile allows the cotton rotary moulder belt to achieve a better pull and release functionality across key stages of the biscuit development process.
 
During the moulder stage of the biscuit making process, the rotary moulder conveyor belt is used to pull shaped dough pieces from the roll, and release them from the knife edge onto the next oven/cooking belt ready for the biscuits next phase in its production life-cycle. 
 
Throughout this process, cotton web belting is preferred as the best media for the transfer of the dough pieces. Webbed belting provides the correct consistency and and density in order to effectively trigger the pull and release of the dough pieces throughout the rotary phase. 

The Cooling Section (Post Oven Stage)

During the post oven stage, the cotton conveyor belting is used to cool the cooked biscuits.

Cotton belting is known to have higher air permeability properties than those of Nylon, and Polyester. The biscuits are put into the cooling tunnel, and air is transferred from underneath the biscuit through the cotton belt to penetrate the underside of the biscuit, maintaining equal cooling throughout the cooling process.

How are Cotton Conveyor Belts Made?

Cotton yarn is sourced from quality controlled units traditionally from British cotton farms. The cotton is then woven into the belt form. This process uses automatic power machining to ensure that the cotton fibers are woven in ‘strength’ form. This further ensures that the fibers will not come out when used throughout the full life of the conveyor belt. Due to this, whether the cotton belt is used at angle, plain or horizontal on the conveyor line, the fibers will always stay in tact despite the product load, making the cotton conveyor belt one of the strongest conveyor belts around.

The threads for cotton belting transverse to create the ‘hatch’ or ‘twist’ weave you traditionally see within the belting weave. From here, the ply treatment is applied, using up to three layers of ply coating. The conveyor belt, can also be manufactured to varying sizes depending on its principle purpose and conveyor requirements.

The belt is then put through a steam pre-treatment process to ensure that minimum contraction during usage is achieved. This part of the belt manufacturing process also allows the belt to remain fungus free when coming into contact with liquid based materials and this is a key characteristic of why cotton belting is so popular across food manufacturing for hygienic purposes.

To finish the belt, a post-treatment synthetic coating is applied which helps create a high-grip material. This allows the conveyor belt to pick up the material that is required for transportation.

The weave itself can vary in type (plain, twill, broken twill etc.) and the purpose of this is to adhere to the characteristic requirements from the belt itself (such as pull and release strength, absorption of oils etc.) The main characteristic requirements of a cotton belt are; strength, friction resistance, durability. These characteristics are usually chosen to ensure maximum extraction.

The overall function of the belt is to transport food and absorb oil and fat from the dough. The dough is then transported to the oven to make biscuits, bread etc.

Choosing a Cotton Conveyor Belt Manufacturer

It is extremely important when manufacturing your conveyor belt solution, that you understand the characteristics and requirements you need before manufacturing of your cotton conveyor belt takes place.

Briefing your belt manufacturer is key to the success of the solution provided. The beauty of ClipOn conveyor belts is their seamless weave, and ability to create not only bespoke sizes but also altering technical characteristics to fulfill the product manager’s dream. Fundamentally, ensuring you communicate what kind of weave, purpose, and sizing you need will ensure the best solution for your conveying needs and requirements.

Furthermore, ClipOn Engineers can also visit your site to conduct a survey to understand your needs and propose a superior state of the art solution.

With a strong customer base world-wide, we know how to make your production efficient.

More information on cotton conveyor belts

5 key facts about cotton conveyor belts

Cotton belts can be used across many verticals and mediums. Discover more about cotton belting and how you might be able to use it in your manufacturing process.

A guide to rotary moulder belts

Cotton rotary moulder belts are one of the key conveyor belts in biscuit production. These can make or literally ‘break’ your biscuit. Learn what you need to know about rotary moulder belts to ensure your biscuit dough is always superb!

A guide to biscuit conveyor belting

Learn the intricacies of biscuit production and the types of conveyor belts used during each phase of the biscuit making process.

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