The European market for conveyor systems is expected to continue its upward growth through 2027. This makes now a prime opportunity to invest in the proper machinery for your business.
A chain conveyor belt is one such machine. One that can efficiently move products to keep up their revenue, and overall boost productivity and revenue.
What’s a Chain Conveyor Belt?
A chain conveyor is a transport system used to relay items or products along the production line or to another location. They work using a chain as a pulley system to support materials processing.
A chain belt conveyor specifically is a type that operates on a belt system pulled by chains. It combines the use of belts and chains to create something that has the advantages of both.
There are several advantages to using chain conveyor belts, one of which is that they’re generally the most cost-effective. And since they use rubber belts, they’re great for use in facilities where the product is fragile or easily damaged.
In terms of their versatility, chain belt conveyors can also be used alongside rail systems. These rails are often adjustable and make the facility a safer environment to work in, as materials are less likely to fall off of the conveyor.
And they’re much easier to maintain and repair compared to other types. Chain conveyors are also fairly durable. This makes them valuable long-standing machines for a factory or industrial setting. Another advantage is that they operate either at a constant speed or stop as needed, which allows for more customizability in usage.
Chain belt conveyors do come with their downsides. Since they’re a mix of both chain and belt types, they generally have both of their disadvantages as well.
Since the belts are rubber, this makes them a poor choice for heavy products and loads. And it tends to get damaged easily when used for heavier materials.
Additionally, if one part of the chain breaks, the entire chain needs repair. This can become costly as the entire chain will need removal for repair or replacement. And since there’s constant metal-on-metal contact, this can lead to excessive wear and tear on the parts or contamination.
They’re also not well suited for doubling as a working surface due to the chain. So if you plan on doing so, there will be extra safety considerations to factor in, such as the speed of the conveyor and railing.
How Are They Different From Other Conveyors?
Chain and belts aren’t the only types of conveyors available for industrial or business usage. Others include roller, screw, and bucket conveyors. Each has its unique usage capabilities.
Some handle specialized materials that are extremely delicate or need to be constantly cooled. But while they do have these advantages, they often lack the power and durability of chain conveyors. This makes them a less ideal option for certain industries.
What Are the Types of Chain Belt Conveyors?
Since conveyors have such a variety in usage, chain conveyor belts have subsets and specific types for their defined usages. Here are a few of the types of chain belt conveyors that may be beneficial to you.
A drag chain conveyor is a specialized form of chain conveyor built for bulk usage. It features chains that drag the items on the bottom of a cast or trough. One of the main advantages of this model type is that they take advantage of the space available inside the conveyor to move more materials.
But a large disadvantage is that, like chain conveyor belts, the chains may become damaged and need to be removed.
Slat conveyors are also chain-driven, and utilize slats, often made of high-grade plastic or metal, instead of a belt to move items. This is especially advantageous for products with irregular shapes or that are high-temperature.
Slats can also form specific shapes for particular uses or look similar to a belt. But all provide a hard flat surface that accommodates a wider variety of heavier items than a belt would.
In addition, they can also be in smaller formats to take advantage of a smaller space. These have curves in the track for added applications, especially in the bottle manufacturing industry.
This type of conveyor is especially useful in settings where you’re producing multiple batches or products at once. This is because they have multiple individual platforms that double as workstations. They can also funnel into separate containers to maximize efficiency.
These can come in belt and roller chain configurations as well. But metal chain multi-strands are optimal for retaining the other advantages of chain conveyors. They also add more opportunities for products to move faster or at a higher rate.
Types of Chains Used
However, chain conveyor customization doesn’t stop at the overall function and design of the machine. It also boils down to the specific type of chains that can be fitted to the conveyor.
These are the run-of-the-mill standard chains for conveyors, as the name implies. They’re compliant with the ISO 1977 standard and can be altered with several modifications. These include hollowing and tweaking the pitch as necessary according to the usage.
British & French Standard
There are also chains built specifically to conform to British and French standards. These have different regulations surrounding their dimensions, strengths, and articulations. The benefit of custom chains is that they’re augmentable as necessary to fit the use and standards of the country.
There are also several options for specialized and customized chains. These are for machines or processes that need specific dimensions, strengths, and other factors.
Industries That Use Chain Conveyor Belts
This guide has gone over the general purposes of conveyors, but there are also specific ways that chain conveyor belts are effective in several industries. These include food processing and manufacturing, the automotive industry, and recycling/waste management.
Conveyors contribute to better working conditions for employees because they streamline the production process. This is also because employees aren’t tasked with lifting heavy products to other parts of a facility. Doing so may lead to strain or be impossible to do efficiently depending on the product at hand.
And food manufacturing plants using chain conveyor belts can clean them to meet their region’s or country’s regulations on sanitation. Since metal and hard plastics are much easier to sanitize than other materials, this makes them a good choice for the food processing industry. Conveyor chain belts can be steam cleaned or put through a more rigorous cleaning system to ensure that they’re up to code.
The usage of conveyor belts in the automotive industry spans back to Ford’s revolution of the assembly line. Since cars are made at least partially by hand, sending them down along a conveyor belt rather than passing them off manually cut down on the time needed to manufacture each car.
Conveyor belts are used similarly in the automotive industry across Europe, with advances being made to their maintenance needs, energy efficiency, and practical yet comfortable operator controls. These aid in materials processing by making it simpler for workers to assemble the parts. All of these benefits combined provide a better owner and worker experience.
One of the best usages for conveyor belts is for recycling and other waste management purposes. They’re especially useful in this context as they allow for a large number of multiple types of different items to be transported throughout the facility. This allows workers easy access to the items and a simple way to sort items as they pass.
They also mitigate the need for forklifts or other large machinery and vehicles to move the waste, which frees up space and reduces the risk of possible injury.
A waste conveyor can also be used to transfer waste from one step in the process to the next, whether that be to the shredder or individual sorting stations where they can be further processed.
Chain Conveyor Belts Boost Productivity
Chain conveyor belts are one of the most versatile machines used in the production process in several industries. They’re able to handle large quantities of products and materials and work in tandem with other machines along the production line.
Overall, they’re a quality part of an organized and efficient manufacturing process.
Anis is a top trusted company across the globe, with our main headquarters in Slovenia. For over 25 years, we’ve been a high-quality and reliable manufacturer and distributor of industrial machinery, from balers to conveyors for a variety of industries.
If you want to purchase a chain conveyor belt for your business, search our list of distributors to find one in your area.