Vertical Conveyors: Challenges of Moving Bulk Materials
One of the toughest challenges in any industry is finding a way to efficiently move bulk materials vertically. When handling materials for industrial use, space, belt durability, and capacity are often limiting factors. An ideal vertical conveyor will not take up too much space, but must be able to transport products quickly and with minimal downtime.
Difficulties of Vertical Materials Handling
Incline conveyors are efficient tools for handling bulk materials, but they also may take up too much valuable floor space in a particular operation. Being able to maintain fast movement of products along vertical conveyors while taking up the smallest amount of workspace is often essential to an efficient business operation. This is easier said than done, however. The sacrifice of saving space is often diminished load capacity.
Speed and load capacity
Many of today's vertical conveyors and other transport machines struggle to fluidly move materials along upward paths with sufficient volume to keep up with operations. Vertically moving packaged products can be done on fast moving spiral conveyors, but these are less well suited for loose bulk materials.
Bucket elevators are the most efficient implements for vertically moving bulk materials. But they have their own challenges. Some bucket conveyors can be sloppy where moving from horizontal to vertical paths. Vertical conveyors that use hold-down disc assemblies along these transition points function much more efficiently than those that don't. Therefore, they can move at faster rates.
Bucket size is another way to improve capacity. But many buckets are bolted directly to the base belt or to laminated extensions. These solutions can greatly reduce the life of the belt and lead to significant downtime.
It is possible to maintain belt durability while maximizing load capacity. But this must start with the highest quality base belting and cleats. Laminated belts can come apart at anytime, and it usually happens at the most inconvenient time possible. That's why a one-piece molded belt, including cleats and sidewalls, is needed for maximum durability. Buckets should be securely attached to the belt without piercing the belt or cleats.
Considerations for your conveyor system
Based on the needs of your operation, look for the conveyor system that meets all your needs the best.
- Of course durability and efficiency are requirements of any system, so start by looking for the best engineered conveyor systems. Fully molded belts and hold-down disc assemblies should be a given.
- Consider your space requirements. Sometimes, a moderate angle of incline can get the job done as or more efficiently that a vertical conveyor. With the right belting, you can get systems ranging from 30 to 75 degree inclines, that can handle almost any dry bulk solid.
- Think of your environmental concerns. Is it important to prevent dust from escaping? Avoid environmental contaminants? Regulate moisture and temperature? Then you may require an air tight enclosed conveyor system.
- Remember the simplest solution is usually the best. You shouldn't have to rearrange your operation to accommodate a conveyor that is meant to make your job easier. Look for vertical conveyor solutions that can be customized to your situation and needs.
With the growing demand for quickly delivered products, it is important for companies to get the most out of their machinery. Industries everywhere require only the best operating equipment in order to meet the needs of the economy.
Cambelt offers both vertical and incline conveyors designed specifically for vertical movement of a diverse range of dry bulk solids. They are reliable and long lasting, and will cut down on costly repairs and avoid downtime.