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Small modules - top performance: new modular belt with small end radius

Published 13 October 2011 | By Forbo

A new modular belt is a top performer in conveying small-sized, light to medium-weight products. The belt has a small pitch and an innovative belt tracking system, for which a patent is pending. The main applications are the food industry, as well as other industrial sectors where small end radii are required.

When small-sized articles (e.g. biscuits and baked goods), unstable products (e.g. tins or bottles), or sensitive goods (like salad or fish) are transferred from one belt to the next, there is always the risk of product damage, products accumulating on the belt or the belt coming to a standstill. Forbo Siegling's new Siegling Prolink series 4.1 has a 14 mm pitch - or in other words a hinge every 14 mm (0.5"). - As a result, the belt can be guided over small end drums or sprockets. The minimum end radius is just 22 mm. Therefore the gap between the two belts is small and the above-mentioned risk accordingly low.

Just as unwelcome as a wide gap between the belts - but unfortunately so often the case in many applications - is the modular belt (the chain) jumping over the sprocket. However, Prolink series 4.1 has come up with a belt guidance system (patent pending) that will reliably prevent this phenomenon. On the one hand, particularly wide and durable teeth and sprockets ensure deep, form-fit engagement and ideal distribution of load. On the other hand, there are half-moon shaped sections/drive bars between the teeth that ensure the belt runs straight. Consequently the belt no longer slips sideways or jumps over the sprocket due to broken or damaged teeth.
Outstanding for belts in this category is that it is exceptionally easy to clean. The innovative module design has no longitudinal drive bars or "engagement pockets" on the underside of the belt - a real bonus for hygiene-sensitive applications in particular. In addition to the hinges placed in a row, critical areas where bacteria and dirt accumulate are cut to a minimum. The flat channels that run over the entire width of the belt also ensure that water used during the cleaning cycle can drain off properly. The wide-opening hinges at the end of the conveyor are another bonus in terms of easy and thorough cleaning because dirt and residues are simple to rinse off.

Series 4.1 is available in white in the usual materials polyacetal (POM), polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP). The blue type can be supplied in POM and PP. For especially tough and extreme conditions, the fibreglass-reinforced PA-HT material is offered. The material is not just very tough, but also suitable for usage in temperatures up to 180°C.

The modules can be supplied both as closed or open types, with an open area of 21% (e.g. for drying or cooling).

All in all, a product that at first glance looks so ordinary has some sophisticated details to offer at second glance. Small modules can be top performers too.