Wednesday, January 22, 2020

The A-B-C's of Conveyor Systems

Flexible Skatewheel ConveyorWhat is a conveyor?
Belt ConveyorA conveyor can do more when it is powered:
  • It can move material up against gravity.
  • It can move material horizontally across long distances.
  • One type uses a moving belt and is known as a Belt Conveyor.

What is a belt conveyor?
  • A machine with a moving belt is considered a BELT CONVEYOR.
  • Specifically this machine consists of these parts:
    1. A Bed - the conveyor bed has 3 length, width & height and comes in many different sizes (custom sizing available).
    2. A Pulley - like an iron pipe put on each end of the bed.  The pulleys are as wide as the bed and each pulley has a steel shaft through it.  The shaft turns on a bearing and the pulley turns with the shaft, moving the belt across the bed.
What is a bearing?
  • When two pieces of steel touch each other, they cannot turn easily without bearings.
  • The bearings have steel balls to keep the pulley shaft and the conveyor bed from rubbing together, allowing the shaft to turn easily without friction.
One pulley is the drive pulley and the other is the tail pulley.  The drive pulley is usually larger because it does the work. The tail pulley is located at the opposite end of the drive pulley and is designed to turn freely as the drive pulley does its job.

Drag ConveyorHow does the drive pulley work?
  • The drive pulley is driven by an electric motor.
  • A sprocket is put on the drive pulley shaft and another sprocket is put on the motor (a sprocket being a metal wheel with teeth on the outside).
  • A chain is put around the drive pulley and motor sprocket.
  • The chain is moved by the motor, which turns the drive pulley.
Because the motor turns very fast a speed reducer must also be used.  The speed reducer is positioned between the electric motor and the drive pulley, the electric motor is connected to the reducer with a V-belt or C face coupling, and the reducer is connected to the drive pulley with a chain allowing the drive pulley to turn slower than the motor.

All of these parts together is known as the conveyor drive.  The must be put together to take up as little space as possible so the motor and reducer are put under and withing the conveyor bed itself.  Now a conveyor belt can be put around the pulleys, the drive pulley turns and pulls the belt around and around.

NOTE: It is dangerous to have the conveyor belt hang down under the conveyor bed.  This is taken care of by placing small rollers into the conveyor bed to hold up the belt.  These turn freely and just idle (called return idlers).

Here at Material Flow, we offer the industry's most diverse collection of conveyors, many available for 24 hour shipment to anywhere in the USA. Call Today!

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