A conveyor belt has become a prominent part of the modern material handling system. It allows for automatized and efficient movement of small or heavy materials from one area of the warehouse to another, which otherwise would require manual labor and consume a lot of time.
Before the advent of conveyor belts, manufacturers and distributors relied heavily on humans for their material handling needs; thereby affecting the product quality and threatening the workers’ safety. However, nowadays with belt conveyors, the scenario has turned for good.
With high-quality conveyor systems installed, workplace hazards have reduced drastically and so has the rate of injured and tired employees. Airports, manufacturing plants, food processing units, etc. have become more productive as fewer workers are employed to carry out the jobs.
Conveyor Belts and their Benefits
Conveyors help large facilities to have better control of their operations and generate more space for new operations. Other than that, they offer:
- Great versatility. Once you visit the market, you would be amazed to see a myriad of conveyor belting options, configurations and customizations available to meet your different needs. Depending upon the size and weight of the materials to be conveyed, the distance to cover, the flow of materials, how gently products are to be handled – there are unlimited opportunities that conveyors can provide you.
- Enhanced functionality. Conveyors can move in both directions and have complete control over the speed of moving objects. This proves to be immensely useful when materials need to be moved between opposite ends of a unit or have to be monitored for any breakage or loss. There is also an added benefit of an inclined based system that allows transportation of items to/from varying elevations.
Conveyor Belt Types and their Applications
Conveyor belts come in a variety of options, each offering innumerable applications and making them highly reliable to carry out several major operations. They are the most suitable choice for industries that require movement of items and materials at regular intervals in a cyclical fashion.
Following are some of the most widely used conveyor belt types along with their applications:
- General-purpose belts. These are one of the most commonly used conveyor belts. They are typically made of materials like rubber or a fabric such as nylon, polyester, neoprene, or nitrile. You will commonly see them in mining and milling industries, grocery stores, airports, etc.
- Plastic belts. These options are commendably light-weight and durable. They are commonly used for facilities prone to rust or extreme wear & tear. Some of the industries that use them include food production, pharmaceuticals, and manufacturing.
- Hinged metal belts. As the name suggests, these belts feature metal construction and offer a stable, robust surface for small products, scraps, and recycling applications.
- Woven wire belts. They feature interlinking chains of wiring (or metal) to facilitate drying, cooling, or heating of a product as it moves along the belt. Food, electronics, and glass-working industries are some of the industries that require these belts.