When you think about it, a conveyor belt system is a pretty simple piece of equipment. As one of the primary methods for moving goods from one place to another, this system has been around for a long time.
A belt conveyor is an inclined plane moving materials from point A to point B. But with so many different types of belt conveyors on the market and various configurations and sizes available for each type, it can be challenging to know where to begin when making your purchase.
There are many different models and brands out there. Still, by arming yourself with the correct information before you commit to purchasing one, you can reduce the risk of ending up with something that isn’t right for your operation. Before buying a belt conveyor, consider what you need to know.
Defining your requirements
The first thing you need to do is get a clear understanding of the requirements for the belt conveyor you want to buy. This includes not only what the conveyor needs to do but also where it needs to be located.
You also need to determine the volume of material to be conveyed and the required travel speed. Additionally, you must also take into account factors such as belt length, width, and curvature.
If you don’t understand these measurements, don’t worry — we’ll look at each in more detail in the following few sections. But first, let’s look at a couple of other things you need to consider:
Determine the type of conveyor belt you need
The first step in buying a belt conveyor is determining the type of belt conveyors you need. This is important because it will impact the rest of your buying process.
For example, you’ll need to decide between a roller-type conveyor and a gravity-type conveyor. Roller-type conveyors are powered, whereas gravity-type conveyors are not.
There are many different conveyors, each with unique characteristics, so research well and decide on one that fits your needs and budget.
Size of your facility and the volume of material to move
All other things being equal, smaller conveyors are cheaper per ton than larger ones. So, if you are moving heavy material, you may need a more extensive conveyor than if you are moving lightweight materials.
It also often makes sense to put two smaller conveyors in parallel to get the capacity of one larger conveyor. When buying a belt conveyor, it’s essential to ask about the capacity of the existing belts and the maximum capacity of the existing equipment.
If you plan to expand, you must ask about the expansion capacity.
The distance the material needs to be moved.
Belt conveyors are often used to move material from one floor to another. While this is a widespread application, it’s essential to know that belt conveyors have high internal frictional losses and don’t move material long distances very efficiently.
That’s why you often see belt conveyors in factories that are only a few hundred feet long. When buying a belt conveyor, it’s essential to ask about the maximum distance the conveyor can travel. A long conveyor has a much higher total investment cost.
How fast do you need the material to move
Belt conveyors are often used in applications where the material needs to be moved relatively slowly and steadily. But many belt conveyors can move material at much higher speeds than required.
If you are buying a new belt conveyor and need to move material at a certain speed, you should ensure the conveyor can do so.
The type of material you will be moving.
Different belt conveyor types are more suitable for various materials than others. When buying a belt conveyor, asking about the maximum allowable belt load is essential.
This maximum weight can be carried on the belts without damaging them. And it’s crucial to select a conveyor that can handle the particular type of load you will be moving.
The cost of the belt conveyor
Different belt conveyor systems have different total investment costs. The main things determining the investment cost are the type of system (parallel or series), the belts’ length, width, and the speed at which the belts are moving.
Parallel belt conveyors are often more expensive than series belt conveyors, but they can sometimes be more efficient because they have fewer frictional losses than series conveyors. Parallel belt conveyors are more flexible and easier to expand than series conveyors.
Identifying the right manufacturer
Once you know what type of belt conveyor you need, you must focus more on the specific manufacturer and brand. This is important because it will help narrow down your choices and give you a better idea of what to expect from each manufacturer.
For example, let’s say you’re looking for a roller-type belt conveyor with a 24-inch wide conveyor belt. You’ve determined that you need a belt conveyor with a roller-type design, and the conveyor belt width should be between 20 and 30 inches wide.
If you know which manufacturers produce this belt conveyor, you can start narrowing down your choices based on other factors. For example, you can decide which manufacturer offers the best warranty or has the best customer service. Whatever you do, don’t just go with the first manufacturer you find. Be sure to research several manufacturers to make an informed decision.
A belt conveyor is a simple piece of equipment — but it’s also critical to many businesses. Fortunately, buying a belt conveyor doesn’t have to be overwhelming or burdensome. When choosing a belt conveyor system, there are various factors you need to consider. Not all belt conveyors are the same, and each has its benefits and drawbacks. The potential cost savings and possible performance enhancements from specific conveyors can also vary widely. You can narrow your choices and make a better buying decision by following the few simple steps mentioned above.