Flat Belt vs. Modular Plastic Conveyors
If you’re looking for a conveyor system for an industrial material handling application, you may be a bit daunted by all the different options you have available. Belts, chains, rollers, and more are all available, each with their own specific strengths and ideal uses. But how do you know which conveyor is right for you?
Two of the most widely-used and versatile conveyor systems are flat belt conveyors and modular plastic belt conveyors. For many average applications, one of these may well be your best option. Let’s take a look at the defining characteristics and advantages of each.
Flat Belt Conveyors
Flat belt conveyors are what most people probably think of when they hear the phrase, “conveyor belt.” Typically friction-driven, or propelled by the friction between the flexible flat belt and the drive wheel.
Flat belt conveyors are ideal for handling light and medium loads, although heavy duty options are available. They’re relatively simple in terms of design and construction, making them a good choice for seamless integration into existing systems. Flat belt conveyors can also provide a good deal of friction for inclined applications, where smoother plastic or steel belts might result in increased slipping or sliding of materials.
Tears or damage to the conveyor belt do present one downside, though: if the belt becomes damaged, most of the time it needs to be replaced completely. Depending on the length of the conveyor, this can be a big problem.
This inconvenience is eliminated with a modular plastic belt, however.
Modular Plastic Belt Conveyors
Modular plastic belts consist of interlocking segments. If one breaks or is otherwise damaged, only that single unit needs to be replaced. This results in cost savings over the working life of the conveyor, savings that may make up for its higher initial cost when compared to a traditional flat belt system.
Modular plastic belt conveyors are also capable of carrying higher load capacities than most flat belt systems.
Modular plastic systems are ideal for sterile applications, since the hard plastic segments are easily cleaned and sanitized, and don’t retain liquid or other bacteria-harboring substances. This makes them a natural choice for food, beverage, and even pharmaceutical applications.
For more information about flat belt, modular plastic, and other conveyor systems, contact mk North America. They offer off-the-shelf conveyor systems as well as custom designed, custom built solutions for your specific needs.