Conveyor belt design – keep it simple!

Conveyor belt design – keep it simple!

Installations with conveyor belts can be designed simply and affordably by taking a few factors into account. In this blog, I will discuss how customers can avoid unnecessary additions which hike up the price and complicate production. Two of the most common miscalculations are an excess of shafts and tracking guides. The engineer may feel more secure about the application, but the additions will make the installation more sensitive to defects and less hygienic.

Simple conveyor design

Here are a few easy ways to ensure straightforward production:

  • Avoid excessive use of shafts and tracking guides
  • Don’t select an unnecessarily complex belt
  • Do not install a surplus of conical shafts

I often see machines overloaded with tracking guides in simple installations for straight transport. This prevents optimum performance of the installation. In fabric conveyor belts every shaft affects the tracking. The number of these can be decreased by adjusting the design, although you must keep in mind the minimum roller diameters. Too small diameters will accelerate the ageing of the conveyor belt.

Selection of a belt with special properties and materials may lead to unnecessarily high costs. Take a critical look at the required properties and environmental conditions.

Smaller roller diameter

To avoid the use of extra tracking guides, utilize a reduced roller diameter for a smaller transfer. Many applications do not require any tracking guides when the installation is robust enough and the end pulleys have the correct shape (cylindrical or conical). The shaft width and the shape of the cone also have an influence on proper tracking.

SeleCALC calculation programs

You can find further advice for the design of your application in Habasit’s Engineering Guide. We are also pleased to introduce our SeleCalc Engineering Programs which can quickly evaluate the strength of a conveyor or transmission belt. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions.

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2018 August 23  |  Posted by

René Grevengoed

René Grevengoed is an Application Engineer who has worked at Habasit in the Netherlands since 1996. He speaks native Dutch and he is also fluent in English. Grevengoed specializes in general conveying, including fabric conveyor and power transmission belts. His expertise is applicable in several industries, including food, material handling, as well as printing and paper applications. Grevengoed’s experience began in workshops and onsite fittings where he was able to acquire the necessary special skills in order to progress to where he is today.

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  1. Hi Habasit:

    Why the SeleCALC calculation programs does not react upon initial tension change towards calculated motor power? In reality, we aware belt conveyor motor (without putting on product load) consume more power for 0.3% belt initial tension comparing to 0.15% during free run, right?

  2. Thank you for the comment.
    The influence of the initial tension is negligible on the required motor power. The main effect is a higher shaft load and the increased resistance of the bearings will have an influence on the required motor power, but this is very small and thus negligible. The required motor power will increase if the friction between belt and support increases or the load on the belt increases. Also an increase of belt speed will increase the required motor power. Please note that an initial tension of 0.15% is considered too low and can influence the tracking of the belt. Habasit advises a minimum initial belt tension of 0.3% for belts with PET as traction layer and 0,5% for belts with PA traction layer and this to obatin an optimal tracking behavior.

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