That “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” certainly rings true when considering industrial conveying systems. The components side of material transfer can be the lifeline of a manufacturer, ensuring that parts get safely and efficiently from point A to point B — saving workers strenuous and expensive labor — and going where forklifts and other material handling solutions might not be able to go. Able to move a variety of shapes, sizes, weights, and materials, conveyor systems are evolving as automated operations demand 24/7 capabilities, more sustainable options, and expanding choices as the industrial sectors continue to grow.
One of the newest material handling solutions to debut is a new and improved conveyor for metal cutting machine tool chip removal, says John D’Amico, co-principal and head of sales for Jorgensen. “So often in high demand applications today, the conveyor just fails to pass the chips and stringers through to the discharge point and chips jam up at the lower transition and elevating sections,” he says. The new hinged steel belt conveyors employ a unique stacked conveyor arrangement at the lower curve and throughout the incline and chip discharge of the system, compared to a traditional horizontal hinged belt load section that transitions to the incline when a second hinged steel belt conveyor mounted above the primary conveyor is running the belt in the same direction as the primary belt. “The new hinged steel belt conveyors are designed specifically to handle heavy chip loads and large stringy chips and balls of chips generated in milling and turning applications where high work piece stock removal rates exist,” he explains. Both of the belts are designed with carrying cleats. As the chips and “stringy balls of chips” go through the transition at the lower curve, the chips and chip balls are “literally sucked in and pinched between the two moving belts through the incline and discharge area,” D’Amico says. “Chips are effectively compressed and trapped until they are forced off the discharge end of the conveyor.” He adds that this design can be fitted into most of today’s CNC lathes and machining centers, and has little to no effect on the required space.