When working with customers at the planning stage, it is usual for us here at CCL to enter into a discovery piece of work, whereby we endeavour to understand the specific needs and requirements in regard to belting. Belts, sit on top of a bespoke conveyor framework and as such are exposed to the coalface. This means that they need to work with their home environment to ensure that the whole system performs to expectations.
Belts are made from many different types of material, each performing to different levels and safety standards. There are different types of rubber and plastic typically used depending on many different factors. In today's blog we highlight several considerations that we usually discuss with our customers before coming up with a specification:
Colour considerations - you may think that this is superfluous and an overreach in terms of what needs to be considered, but that in our experience, is not the case. Your company may want to transport a product that gives off a residue (think a product like charcoal) and if the colour of the belt was light then it would get stained quickly. The colour by the same measure may not lend itself to being light, especially if reflection needs to be avoided for a production reason.
Hot or not - when we are helping customers to choose a belt for their needs, they usually don't know that only certain belts are classed as being 'safe' for certain temperature ranges. Using the wrong belt type in an environment that is too hot or too cold will lead to failure and safety implications coming to the fore.
Texture - There is plenty to think about in terms of the texture that a belt has. This choice can assist the process enormously. When placing a product on the belt does the belt need to have a cushion or can it be/need to be thin? When the product goes onto the belt does there need to be a semblance of gripping, or is the opposite true?
Static shock - This again comes back to safety and the type of classification the belt has, and where it will be used ie inside or outside environment? does the belt need to be anti-static to support the type of product being transferred?
Food - If the end product is food then the belt needs to be designed with this in mind due to the food safety requirements.
Cleaning down the belt needs to be factored into the design in the early stages as well. The coarseness and material of the belt will help or hinder your cleaning protocol.
Every situation and environment is different and each belt needs to be tailored to fit each circumstance. When selecting a belt material Central Conveyors Ltd will work with you to fully explore your situation and proposal to ensure that both your project and the wider safety requirements can be met. As always feel free to get in touch for a friendly discussion about your next conveyor belt project.