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The Importance of Conveyor Belts

It’s hard to overstate the impact conveyor systems have had upon humankind, and although its not something you may think about very often, when you do pay it some consideration, it is quite astonishing.

Here at Central Conveyors Ltd we understand the importance of conveyor belts, and the impact they have had upon us.

In this weeks blog we wanted to bring you some fun and interesting facts about the humble conveyor system:

Primitive belts have most likely been around since the early 19th century

It is widely thought that the modern belt can be traced back to the inventor Thomas Robins

It was designed to transport coal and ore for Thomas Edison’s Ore-Milling Company. His invention was so successful that it won the Grand Prize at the Paris Exposition World Fair in 1900.

The conveyor system took a big leap forward in 1905 when the Irish engineer Richard Sutcliffe created the first conveyor system to be used underground, specifically within coal mines. In the process, the Irish inventor transformed the mining industry.

Ford take things to the next level by using a continuous system in the production of their famous ‘Model T’ car.

The Mobius Strip Conveyor Belt or The Turnover Conveyor Belt System as it was also known was invented in 1957. The idea being that this system would add a durability never seen before. It was patented by the B. F. Goodrich Company and worked by incorporating a half-twist in the belt during operation. Both sides of its surface were exposed to wear and tear thus making it last longer.

Regarding the modern system, it has evolved many times since the 1970’s when it came to its real fruition. The patent for an entirely plastic modular belting system was filed by a New Orleans-based company called Intralox, they are still around today.

In the 1970’s we also saw a remarkable piece of engineering with the longest straight-belted conveyor system in the world (for its time). It was built in 1972 by the concept designer Hyacynthe Marcel Bocchetti and the French Society REI on New Caledonia in the South Pacific and may have measured 13 odd km.

By 2015 the longest belt had grown somewhat, measuring 60 miles long and based in the west Sahara. It is used for the mining industry taking phosphate from the mines down to the coast. See our previous blog for more detail

And finally a fun fact not related to our industry at all, apart from name. The Global Conveyor Belt is a system of ocean currents that transport water around the world. Along this conveyor belt, heat and nutrients are moved around the world in a leisurely 1000-year cycle.

We hope you have enjoyed learning more about the history of our industry. We understand the importance of conveyor belts here at CCL, and if you want to learn more about how we can help you with your project please get in touch for a friendly chat.

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