Where to start? They are used everywhere. Ever seen the massive stock piles of coal, grain, ore, etc? Well, they are stock piled for a reason – so the company has a buffer stock for when the diggers go down or the men go on strike.
The crane jaws or the front end loader buckets lift the product into a hopper which then trickle feeds the product onto a conveyor belt, usually in a trough shape. In some cases these belts can travel for miles, and mostly uphill, until the product drops into another hopper for further processing, or directly into the hold of a ship or even into bulk containers (which we recently discussed in a previous blog). Imagine the number of angled rollers and miles of very heavy reinforced rubber conveyor belt, plus the weight of the coal, and you can then appreciate the massive motive power required to run these babies.
At the other end of the scale is a small belt conveyor with a belt no wider than 150mm, which is placed under a bottle filling machine. By utilizing a series of stops, it allows the bottle to sit under the filler nozzle for a pre-determined time then shoots it along to a turntable for accumulation, or into the hands of a packing operator who sticks the bottles into a carton, or into a shrink wrap tunnel to be packaged into say six or twelve packs. In the middle, we have conveyors that are vertical and have buckets attached to them. They take things like sweets from the manufacturing conveyor up into a hopper where they fall down into individual weighing chutes which, when full, allow the product to fall into bags or cartons which then travel on to be sealed.
Telescoping Container Loading Conveyor
An angled conveyor could be taking individual products from floor level up to the mezzanine floor, where they could then proceed along a gravity conveyor to accumulate ready for the operator to put the goods into racking for storage. Reverse the operation, and the goods are sent down again to be despatched. An extending belt conveyor is a great thing to watch. It is used when loading or unloading containers. For loading, it starts out fully extended. Switch on, and the cartons travel all the way up to the end where the operator only has to turn around to accept the next carton. As the container fills, the extending conveyor is reduced in length. It goes on like this until the container is full and the conveyor body is sitting outside the container.
General Industry Conveyor
The secret is that the belt is pulled back and under the main body, looping it several times inside the main body. So, here are a few of the belt conveyors in use around the world. A very useful product – when you need it!