Proper alignment of products is critical at many stages of the production process. Problems often arise when products have to be transferred from one conveyor belt to another. Fragile products may break, and even robust items can slide or get trapped between the conveyors. Tight transfers of small objects are a particular challenge.
One way to avoid this is to use dead plates, which are generally installed as close as possible to the shafts. Unfortunately, these plates don’t move the products (the clue is in the name), so the products can remain stuck and cause problems for the production line.
What’s the best way to avoid this and make sure your products transfer smoothly and reliably between conveyors? The solution is to use the smallest nosebar (knife edge) diameters possible, install the shafts very close to one another, and decrease the length of the dead plates.
Long and large conveyors
Plastic modular belts with nosebars of 18 mm diameter, or even 12.7 mm, make it possible to design long and large conveyors that can reliably convey and transfer heavy loads. Thanks to the wide range of materials and features available for these belts, Habasit has helped clients build such systems in nearly all industries like wood, materials handling, packaging, paper, food and so on. There are even solutions available for bottling lines or 90° transfers using ActiveXchange belt types which, due to the shape of the plate, can get very close to the other conveyor.
Small and delicate products
But what happens if you need to convey very small, unstable or delicate products? The solution is to use nosebars with a diameter down to 6 mm, meaning a 3 mm radius knife edge. This permits such a tiny gap that even very small products are safely transferred, positioning issues are minimized, and there’s no need for dead plates at all.
Plastic modular belts do the best job
Where short lengths and large widths are involved, fabric conveyor belts can often prove unreliable due to tracking issues. Plastic modular belts on the other hand use positive engagement, which avoids mistracking. Small lateral profiles can also be fitted as necessary. For applications in the food industry, where aggressive cleaning agents are used, plastic modular belts also deliver the benefits of higher chemical resistance and improved lifetime.
Habasit’s two plastic modular belt series: Minipitch (for longer conveyors) and Micropitch (for shorter conveyors), are designed for applications requiring tight transfers and precision product positioning. They offer a wide range of surfaces (e.g. flat top, flush grid, diamond top, cone top) to meet the needs of numerous applications, for example in the food, packaging or materials handling industries.