Conveyors Move in New Directions

Feb. 1, 2005
Conveyors of all types generated a lot of interest at the recent ProMat 2005 show in Chicago. Here's a rundown of some of the latest conveyors and conveyor components.

Ermanco (Spring Lake, Mich.) featured its RLC-25 belt-driven live roller conveyor that can be slave-driven from adjacent conveyors, eliminating motors, reducing controls and wiring, and conserving energy. This conveyor is powered by a unique segmented V-belt that can be custom-sized by adding or removing links. It offers great flexibility in system layout, with the ability to accommodate curves, spurs, S-curves, straight extensions, or any combination. The V-belt reportedly provides maximum drive while minimizing noise. The RLC-25 delivers speeds from 60 feet per minute up to 300. This makes it particularly well suited for post-sort spurs where high speeds are necessary to maximize throughput.

Along with a new narrow-drive for small belt conveyors, Interroll (Wilmington, N.C. and Copenhagen, Denmark) was showing off its new brushless conveyor roller. The NarrowDrive is a new concept consisting of a crowned two-section roller and an integrated motor drive that is easily installed within a conveyor frame. It is driven by a brushless DC motor with a control card. The self-contained driving component will increase the operating security of conveyors because there is no risk of damage to protruding gearboxes and moves unit loads with improved control at higher speeds. It can be used in a range of applications including pharmaceuticals, distribution centers and orderpicking systems. It has speeds to 394 feet per minute and can carry weights to 110 pounds. Noise emission levels are less than 60 decibels.

Interroll also introduced its 0.76-horsepower Belt Drive 113E. Developed for check-in counters at airports and foodgrade applications, technical innovations for this conveyor include helical steel gears and a re-engineered motor unit for higher efficiency and performance. It operates on 230Vor 460V/60 Hz 3-phase power and is available in belt speeds from 12 to 347 feet per minute. The shell is available in carbon steel or stainless steel with a crowned or parallel surface.

The company announced that users of Interroll 1700 series conveyor rollers can now purchase metric sizes in the U.S. The rollers are available in a variety of lengths, materials and configurations.

Siemens Logistics and Assembly Systems (Grand Rapids, Mich.) introduced the Dematic C-L100 package conveyor system. It reduces installation time of a new conveying line. The parameters of the operating system can be controlled from a central point to plan maintenance activity. The new design of extruded aluminum side channels are pre-wired with power and communications buses at the factory. Conveyor modules plug together for fast installation.

Matthews International ( Pittsburgh) demonstrated an interesting way to connect powered roller control zones. Using the Holjeron Zonelink technology, building blocks can be assembled to meet specific applications. There are drive modules with no additional control logic; ZPA modules with built-in logic to perform single-zone zero-pressure accumulation; controllers that can be combined with driver modules; and interfaces that tie systems and equipment together, but don't do any direct zone control.

BDL America 's (Wilmington, N.C.) drum motors, used in a variety of conveyor belt applications, have the motor, transmission and bearings enclosed within the drum shell. The shell protects the motor from water, dirt, chemicals and other contaminants. Power from the motor is transmitted through the gearbox, which is coupled to a geared rim fixed to the drum and housing. It mounts with two brackets and features steel gears and a reduced, 50 decibel noise level.

BDL says its motor runs at 96% efficiency, saving up to 32% (unloaded) and 47% (loaded) on power consumption when compared to exposed drives. The motor requires an oil change after 50,000 hours of operation, and the oil change can be performed without removing the drum motor from the conveyor. Motor sizes range from 3.18 to 12.6 inches, and face widths from 7.8 to 67.0 inches. Drive motors are rated from 0.11 to 7.5 horsepower. Belt speeds range from 23 to 1,369 feet per minute.

If noise is a factor, the RLC-25 is exceptionally quiet.

The high-performance brushless roller drive can convey at speeds to 394 feet per minute with weights to 110 pounds. Noise emission levels are less than 60 decibels.

The C-L 100 can handle packages as light as four ounces to as much a 100 pounds, ranging in size from as small as a CD case to as long as 53 inches long or 30 inches wide.

Most driver modules (shown in red) have connections for the zone sensor, reducing the need for sensor inputs on remote I/O.
BDL drum motors are sealed, protecting them from contaminants.