Different Types of Industrial Conveyor Belts

Conveyor belts have been integral to large scale industrial development since the 19th century. Although a tad primitive at the time, they provided the necessary assistance.

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Industrial conveyor belts were used to shape companies like Ford by Henry Ford himself and increase fortunes of other companies such as B.F Goodrich. With their vast application potential in areas such as packaging, baggage handling and manufacturing assembly lines, it’s hard to ignore their contribution to human development.  Here are a few types of conveyor belts:

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC conveyor belts) has a wide range of use, making it the third most widely used belt type in the food processing industry. Its popularity is deservedly earned by the number of advantages it offers, including durability, ease of use, applicability to small pulley systems, light-weight, good chemical resistance, flame retardant and affordability.

Factors such as durability and competitive pricing have factored into its wide range of use, in different niches such as bakeries, fruit and vegetable, meat and dairy processing industries.

Thermo plastic polyurethane (PU conveyor belts) is a polymer indicating the wide range of materials used in the construction of the belts. These belts are most suitable for high performance applications. They offer high resistance to wear and tear, low temperature flexibility, high resistance to impact and a high resistance to oils and fats.

Their suitability for high performance application and high resistance to oils, make these belts ideal for the rigors of the confectionary industry.

Silicone is an inorganic polymer with colourless and odourless properties. Silicone coated conveyor belts are widely used due to its arsenal of advantages, which include high temperature resistance, high chemical resistance and good release properties.

Silicone offers a wide range of possibilities for the food industry not hindered by specific food stuff applications.

Polyolefin is a synthesized plastic. When converted into conveyor belts, it provides certain advantages such as high chemical resistance, non-stick properties that make it easy to clean and low density. Plus, polyolefin contains no harmful substances.

When polyolefin goes through the combustion process, it leads to the production of carbon dioxide and water vapour. Nitrogen and/or halogenous compounds have a remote chance of escaping. This makes it suitable for the tobacco industry, where passing the pyrolysis test is a requirement in the industry, reflecting the importance of polyolefin.

These are just a few examples of industrial conveyor belt types and how they factor into the daily life of modern man. For quality conveyor belts, reliable information or advice regarding conveyor belts, as well as repairs and accessories thereof, visit Belting Edge belting supplier website.

Early detection system catches Fortescue conveyor belt rip

FMG iron ore stockyards, Anderson Point

An early belt rip was identified by ‘smart data’ monitoring systems on a major Fortescue Metals Group iron ore stockyard conveyor in the Pilbara, Western Australia.

The early detection led to an automatic shutdown of the conveyor, stopping it from causing further, significant damage.

The yard belt is vital to Fortescue’s Anderson Point operation as it carries ore from the stockyards to the ships at Herb Elliot Port.

Chris Ams, conveyor superintendent of Fortescue’s Anderson Point, Port Hedland, said that this is a reward for keeping up to date with latest technology.

“Fourteen stockyard belts we operate at Anderson Point are fitted with these latest ‘smart data’ condition monitoring systems. This enables us to reduce unplanned maintenance due to belt ripping or significant belt carcass damage,” Ams said.

The belt uses Continental’s automated 24/7 monitoring, CONTI MultiProtect. It analyses the magnetic characteristics of the conveyor belt and creates an alarm when it detects cord damage, deviations in the splice and a longitudinal rip.

“All this is visible on demand by multiple users at the same time from your nominated desktop, laptop or through alerts issued to site operational systems, email or SMS,” said Edsel Lemus, manager (belt condition monitoring) at Conveyor Belt Group for Continental, ContiTech Division.

“This latest model combines the features of our traditional CONTI RipProtect and CONTI CordProtect into one multifunctional system for increased features and connectivity.”

The above article was written by Vanessa Zhou and first published by Australian Mining.

Inside Alibaba’s new kind of superstore: Robots, apps and overhead conveyor belts

  • Alibaba opened 65 retail stores over the past year, in an effort to merge online and offline retail.
  • Customers use an app to scan products, get information and pay for their groceries.
  • Alibaba is also opening robot-using restaurants, where food is ordered entirely through an app and delivered by machines.

Alibaba is rapidly expanding its new offline retail store, Hema, throughout China.

The tech giant has grown its brick-and-mortar supermarket to 65 stores over the last year. And, although it may seem a shift from Alibaba’s tech roots, the store operates on cutting-edge innovations.

“Alibaba has a very ambitious strategy of the convergence of online and offline retail,” said Gil Luria, director of institutional research at financial services firm D.A. Davidson & Co. “If you think about what Amazon aspires to do with Whole Foods, you just need to go to Hema and you get a preview of that.”

Customers use Hema’s mobile app, using it to scan barcodes throughout the store to find out things such as product information and recipe ideas. Alibaba knows everything a customer has purchased, so it offers users the option in the future to quickly order the same goods to be delivered to their home.

Qilai Shen | Bloomberg | Getty Images
An employee carries shopping bags used to fill online orders at an Alibaba Hema Store in Shanghai, China.

The stores double as distribution centers, where assigned employees roam around filling bags with online orders, then place them on a conveyor belt to the delivery center.

Typically, customers within a three-kilometer radius can receive their groceries within 30 minutes, the company said.

Getting customers offline to become comfortable ordering online could be a key pillar to Alibaba’s strategy.

Customers pay through their accounts on Taobao or Alipay, the online payment platform from Alibaba-affiliated Ant Financial. At select Hema stores, customers can even pay by scanning their faces at kiosks.

Connected to a Hema store in Shanghai, Alibaba recently introduced its new, Robot.He restaurant. Inside, customers use their phone to scan a QR code at their table and begin ordering from the menu – all using the Hema app. From there, most dishes, save for large soups requiring a human server, are delivered to tables by robotic devices.

The high-tech stores appear poised for all manner of innovation.

“With technologies like Alibaba, I would not be surprised at all if they’re doing facial recognition, tracking, using geo-locations, trying to compel shoppers to buy more by providing what they see as a better customer experience,” Luria said.

Alibaba has been aggressively expanding into facial recognition lately.

Earlier this year, Alibaba lead a round of $600 million in funding for SenseTime, a Hong Kong software company that specializes in facial recognition for governments and companies in China. Meanwhile, last year, Alibaba partnered with KFC to offer an option for customers to pay by their face.

“They’re betting significantly on offline and the new retail strategy,” Luria said. “The stock price would probably be a lot higher right now if they stayed in online, but they’re putting a lot of their profits into executing this online-to-offline strategy.”

Alibaba’s stock is down slightly so far in 2018.

The article Inside Alibaba’s new kind of superstore: Robots, apps and overhead conveyor belts was originally written by Uptin Saiidi and published by CNBC.

The History of Conveyors

He who doesn’t understand history is doomed to repeat it.

                                                           — Pittacus Lore, I Am Number Four

Not knowing the history of conveyors may not doom your future, but that does not make it any less important to know the past. To help alleviate any ignorance, here is a quick overview of the birth of conveyors and how they developed over the last 200 years.

Wood and Leather

Photo Credit (Wikimedia Commons)

The first conveyor belts were developed in the late 18th century, with most sources pointing at the year 1795 as the first instance of a conveyor. Consisting of leather belts running over wooden beds, they were short and were powered with hand cranks and a series of pullies. Their primary use was to transport farmers goods onto ships at port. Even though over 200 years has passed there are still some connections to the first conveyors today, such as using wood as a surface for modern plastic table top chain to ride on.

Steam Power

The steam engine was invented well before conveyor belts appeared, so it did not take long for the technologies to be joined. The first steam powered conveyor belt was used by the British Navy in 1804 to make biscuits for their sailors. Hopefully they used rigorous sanitary standards to help keep the biscuits safe to eat.

The Industrial Revolution

With the dawn of the 20th century came the industrial revolution as well as many great advancements in conveyor technology. In 1901, the first steel belt was invented in Sweden, which was used to transport bulk materials such as gravel and charcoal. In Ireland the first underground conveyor belt was put in to use in 1905, greatly increasing the efficiency of mining operations. The first patent for roller conveyors was awarded in 1908 allowing for smooth transport of goods by means of internal ball bearings.

Henry Ford

Photo Credit (Wikipedia)

Perhaps the most famous use of conveyors was when Henry Ford, influenced by slaughter houses, created the first assembly lines for his Model T cars in 1913. By moving the car along a conveyor belt, the factory workers were spared the hassle of having to move their tools to each car being assembled. This reduced the time to manufacture an automobile to as little as 93 minutes, or one every 24 seconds, revolutionizing the car industry. Conveyor driven assembly lines became standard in car factories by 1919.

Synthetic Materials

World War Two saw the development of many new synthetic materials due to the restriction of natural materials such as rubber and cotton for the war effort. Urethane and synthetic rubber, along with other technologies such as rolling systems and the V-belt assembly, made conveyors more efficient. In 1957 the B.F. Goodrich Company patented the first turnover conveyor belt, which, by adding a twist in the belt, extended belt life by spreading wear to both sides of the conveyor belt.

The Modern Era

The modern era of conveyors could be said to have started in the 1970s with Intralox filing to patent their first modular plastic belting, or modular belt. Conveyors are now used throughout modern industrial manufacturing, shopping centers, and family homes. Currently, the longest conveyor in existence is in Western Sahara, measuring in at over 60 miles long and used to transport phosphate from a mining operation to the continents coast.

Title Image Photo Credit (Wikimedia)

 

The above article was originally published here: https://www.phcfirst.com/words-in-motion/2014/6/30/the-history-of-conveyors