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Flat-Flex wire conveyor belting and systems.

Flat-Flex Wire Conveyor Belting and Systems

The Wire Belt Co's Flat-Flex belting is a unique design of woven wire belting that is positively driven by sprockets within the wire mesh, so giving the system an advantage over other types of wire belting.

By positioning the drive so that the loaded section of the belt is pulled, perfect tracking of the belt under a wide variety of load and speed conditions is ensured. Its great flexibility allows the belt to negotiate shafts as small as a pencil, and the open area of each pitch size is approximately 80 percent, making it ideal where circulation of liquid, air or gas around products on the move is important.

Such belting can be in drying, washing, coating, cooking, cooling and inspection equipment, while products are on the move. Flat-Flex is suitable for chocolate enrobing equipment, and is widely used for the chocolate coating of products for either full or half coat operations, pralines and bars. Biscuits requiring a sprinkling of chopped nuts, coconut flakes or rice crispies can be sprinkled after the pre-coater or the main coater chocolate deposit. The belt's open area allows the surplus nuts, etc, to drop through and be collected in a hopper situated underneath and, if required, returned to the sprinkler unit, or, when enrobing, for the surplus chocolate to pass down through the belting to be pumped back via a filter system for recirculation.

A technical How to Design Flat-Flex Wire Belt Conveyors leaflet is available on request. This illustrates the use of grooved end rollers or the use of moulded transfer rollers, which can be located on stock diameter shafting to make conveyor building straight forward and economic.

This belting is manufactured from high tensile strength stainless steel or carbon spring steel in wire diameters ranging from 0.9 to 2.35mm and in belt widths from 64 to 3600mm. It is available in pitch sizes from 4.24 to 20.32mm and is driven by a range of standard sprockets supplied from stock. These sprockets are either stainless steel or nylon to allow the user to make up a simple conveyor drive shaft at low cost.

Their special compound or flighted Flat-Flex beltings have strands woven into the belting at intervals along their length to act as product push-flights or to achieve product separation.

This belting lends itself to the packaging industry, being utilized for shrink wrapping and product handling. For product battering and breading Flat-Flex is often the choice.

Equipment manufacturers worldwide build in such belting as standard into a range of equipment, and installed conveyors are currently carrying products between 50m centres. Some bakery plants have 3.5m wide belting handling bread roll products and Wire Belt supply one of the foremost chocolate enrober equipment manufacturers with a 1830mm wide enrober band for what is probable the worlds largest chocolate enrober.

For tight space situations the use of their Flex-Turn makes conveying products-in-process around corners while, keeping them in perfect alignment, very simple, with no slipping or tracking problems. Standard 90 and 180 turns are available in belt widths of 406, 610, 864, 1092 and 1270mm. All units have a fixed inside belt radius of 406mm.

Product transfers over small constant diameter end rolls eliminates the external rollers or slides normally needed with turns using larger diameter tapered rolls.

A choice of standard food quality high density polyethylene or stainless steel tops on a robust stainless steel leg frame make cleaning easy and quick.

Standard turns are available with variable speed motor gearbox units, with mechanical hand wheel speed control and separate starter units. These units are hoseproof and the chain and sprocket drives are suitably guarded.

A range of custom-built conveyors, of all stainless steel construction, accommodating Flat-Flex belting, can be produced to exact requirements. Compact, easy wash-down framework with drive motors housed within stainless steel sheet metal enclosures and optional removable scrap catch trays provide a quick cleaning and maintenance facility.

Beltings can incorporate various flights, so catering for applications requiring inclines or descents.

The necessity to spread or separate, or alternatively, converge products, while they are moving on a process belt conveyor is a major requirement for a wide range of food and confectionery applications. Awkward production problems needing sudden changes of belt width for various proprietary pieces can now be resolved. In the industry, formed products need to be separated and spread out, prior to being fed into freezers, coaters and processing machines or, following frying, products need to be converged to narrower width belts prior to cooling and packaging. Some chocolate biscuits, cakes and bakery products also require space to be generated between the rows of products to avoid them sticking together during the coating processes.

Wire Belt's answer is a simple positively driven non slip spreader or converger using narrow width strands of single space, stainless steel belting. The conveyor comprises rows of belting running on a food quality polyethylene support plate and a series of small stainless steel sprockets driving within the mesh of the belt strands.

The standard principle is the |fan-type' spreader, an alternative to this method of spreading or converging is also available and comes under the heading of Wire Belt |placement' spreader/convergers. This is used where the product is in a known location and movement is achieved by feeding the product on to a series of straight chains that carry the product to a predetermined position at the exit end of the conveyor. This method is particularly used for handling chocolate covered ice cream products being fed to packaging line equipment. Unlike the fan-type spreader, where the product moves over the belt carrying surface, with the placement type unit the product is deposited on to the chains and does not move in respect to the chain carrying surface.

The Wire Belt Co Ltd is located at Castle Road, Eurolink Industrial Centre, Sittingbourne, Kent, tel:0795 421771.

PHOTO : Spreader/converger demonstration conveyor

PHOTO : A 90 Flex-Turn unit with stainless steel top
COPYRIGHT 1991 Food Trade Press Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Wire Belt Company Ltd.'s conveying machinery
Publication:Food Trade Review
Date:Nov 1, 1991
Words:998
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