Conveyor belts are present in almost all aspects of human life from hospitality services to manufacturing processes. To a layman’s eye, these systems look simple, but actually, they consist of complex machinery and differ between each other. This is why companies need to know which type of conveyor belt they will need for their business in order to avoid damage or financial loss.
If you are scouting the market for one, here are things to consider when opting for a conveyor belt.
1. Know the specifications of your products
The choice of right conveyor belt depends hugely on the products you intend to manufacture and its specifications. Basically, you can’t use a conveyor belt for food processing to build cars and vice versa, so you will have to be familiar with your future production practice. There are several things to consider when it comes to choosing the right conveyor belt for your products.
Firstly, observe the weight of your product since the conveyor belt needs to be able to handle it in order to avoid damage or injury. Dimensions are also important since the conveyor belt needs to have enough room so your product can fit on the line from all sides. Also, the type of your product is also an important factor since that will determine what kind of belt you will need in the first place.
2. Give guide rails a thought
You don’t always need to use guide rails since certain products can jam them and cause an obstruction on the belt. Guide rails are used to preserve the position of a product transported on the conveyor belt and thus improve the performance. They align product for transfer to another conveyor and make sure that it is safely positioned on the belt and going to its designated destination.
There are various guide rails and which one you will use depends completely on your products and manufacturing process. However, don’t jump right into buying guide rails until you study the specifications of your products since you might not need them.
3. Pick the right transfer system
Having a transfer system in place will make sure that your products experience a smooth transition from one conveyor belt to another. It will also help you load the goods on and off the conveyor belt with fully automated processes. Depending on the type of your services and products, you will have to decide which transfer system is the most beneficial to improve your production.
For example, if you provide dry cleaning services, you won’t use the same transfer system as used for bulky items in the factories. Also, delicate and breakable items will need gentle handling and therefore an appropriately calibrated transfer system to avoid damage and material loss.
4. Know available types of conveyor belts
Before you buy a conveyor belt, you need to make sure that you are getting the right type. They use the same principle for operation with conveyor rollers or chains to provide movement. Solid, general-use belts are the most common and used systems usually made from rubber, polyester, neoprene, nylon or nitrile.
However, conveyor belts don’t offer only transportation and can also serve to filter the particles or drain excess liquid. Woven metal belts are used to dry, cool and heat foods, glass products and electronics, for example, while transporting them down the production line. On the other hand, plastic interlocking belts are very common in the food industry although they require frequent maintenance and cleaning.
5. Consider the environment around the conveyor belt
Conveyor belts may look indestructible, but they are machinery just like any other and require special conditions to work properly. Make sure that the conveyor belt is not surrounded by other equipment whose residual materials and liquids can harm it. Also, make sure that your employees know how to operate a conveyor belt before they start using it.
Paying attention to conditions that surround your conveyor belt will both preserve your investment and respect workplace safety. So, install the conveyor belt in the proper environment and respect the recommendations by its manufacturer for the optimum performance. That way you will hold the highest standard for your production processes and keep your equipment functional for a long time.
All in all
Running a business is a responsible task and requires that you are familiar with every aspect of the operations. One of those responsibilities includes choosing the right equipment in order to bring products and services to your customers. And with these things to consider when opting for a conveyor belt you will easily find the appropriate equipment and lead your business to success.