What are Conveyor Belts?

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

The conveyor belt system aims to improve efficiency levels and productivity across businesses and industries. Additionally, belting systems can reduce labor costs and help improve the company’s bottom line over time.

Due to the flexibility and webbing of the material, conveyor belts are used in both light and heavy-duty transportation. These belts are also highly regarded as they can 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, transportation, and much more. The most common industries and purposes of the conveyor belt system are:

Pneumatic Conveying

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

The air slide conveyor belt uses air or gas to pass through tiny holes embedded within its webbing, pushing the powdered material along the conveying system.

Manufacturing

Made to improve efficiency and reduce costs to the business, traditional conveyor belts are used as part of the assembly line. Various types of materials are used depending on the industry and requirements, but typically, the manufacturing industry uses 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, abrasions, or general wear and tear.

Retail

Especially in food shopping, conveyor belts are one of the most important things in the supermarket. What might be taken for granted is a solution that ensures an 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 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 gym’s cardio section. 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 some of the biggest impacts across all conveyor belt industries.

Chemical and Pharmaceutical

The specific belts in this industry are 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, ensuring 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 no damage during food manufacturing. Specific food industries that use 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 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, an array of belting solutions are made bespoke to order. These are:

Cotton Conveyor Belts

Cotton conveyor belts are the most widely used belting solutions globally. As previously mentioned, solid woven belts are often used in baking and food transportation, as well as agricultural materials and 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 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), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyester, and more.

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

More specifically, these 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 called ‘polymers’ and are made of varying materials depending on the suitability of the belt within its application. The coating is made for multiple reasons, such as; strength, durability, longevity, and impact resistance.

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

Air Slide Belts

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

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

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 segments and used in heavy-duty conveying areas where traditional belting solutions sometimes falter. This is due to potential tears and fraying during the conveying process.

Modular plastic belts do not suffer from this problem and are 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. 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 tenfold. 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 and over 25 years of experience and research. All belting receives in-house testing, ensuring all products are tested twice, using materials sourced directly from yarn to ensure the highest quality.

 

 

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