Posted at Thursday, 08 June, 2017

On the Conveyor Belt to Sustainability

Paul Skade
By Gareth Lenton
General Manager, Power Transmission

I joined WYKO in January of 2000, the dawn of a new millennium and a completely new start for me after spending 2 years backpacking through South East Asia and Au...

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Sometimes sustainability solutions can be found in the most surprising places. Through their “Engineered Sustainability™ product program, Rexnord aim to deliver customers’ sustainability goals – by conveyor belt. 

Rexnord Conveyor Belt

 

No slip-ups

The most important sustainability goal for all businesses is the safety of their employees. So Rexnord products are always designed with optimum safety in mind.

Firstly, they require no external lubrication. This not only means operators can maintain a safe distance from the machinery and moving parts, because there’s no need to apply lubricant. It also means the factory floor becomes a much safer working environment, because the slip risk which can result from spilt lubricant is eliminated.

Removing the need for external lubrication also means the conveyor system can be closed. This makes it harder – if not impossible – for operators or other workers to come into contact with moving parts and risk being trapped or injured.

Lastly, an enclosed system reduces the noise level on the production floor – reducing the risk of hearing damage for operators and other employees, and creating a more pleasant working environment. 

Heavyweight savings

Choosing the right conveyor belt can provide some heavyweight energy savings. And the most effective route to savings is choosing a lighter-weight belt. Rexnord use plastic chains that are much lighter than traditional chain materials. This reduces the tension on the drive shaft, which means less energy is required to drive them.

But that’s not all.

The plastic material is also self-lubricating, with greatly reduced friction – which again means much less energy required to drive the belt. In addition, since most conveyor systems in high-speed beverage filling lines use large quantities of water for external lubrication, self-lubricating chain reduces water consumption, as well as eliminating the need for waste-water collection.

Less waste, more product

Products which are damaged or broken during the production process represent waste: not only of the product itself but also of all the energy and raw materials which went into its manufacture.

Product damage can often occur on an unsuitable conveyor when products fall over – particularly in the beverage industry, for example, where relatively unstable PET bottles are highly susceptible. 

However Rexnord conveyor chains are designed based on extensive customer research, and so are engineered to address these problems.

The Rexnord 1040 Series Magnetflex® TableTop® Chain and the Rexnord 1001-84mm Series MatTop® Chain both offer excellent flatness, so that beverage and food containers can be effectively and stably supported.

Innovative installation

With a well-designed conveyor chain, safety considerations start before the conveyor system even starts up. In fact, with the new Rexnord Magnetflex TableTop and MatTop Chain Series, they start at installation.

Using a hammer and punch to insert pins in the chain – for installation or during maintenance – can be a safety risk. That’s why Rexnord have developed a patented pin insertion and retention solution.

Pins are inserted in the Magnetflex TableTop Chain with a small amount of force – so there’s no need to hammer them into place. They are then locked into position by simply clicking the links slightly backwards. It’s safe, quick and easy. Pins for the new Rexnord 1001-84mm Series MatTop Chain are also quick and easy to insert safely from either side. Secured by hand, no tools or excessive force are required.

Safer all round

In the food and beverage industries, it’s not only employee safety that counts. Food safety does too. So all production line components which come into contact with the products must be food safe.

The other important safety consideration is a safe choice of supplier. As Rexnord’s preferred supplier partner for end-user customers, ERIKS can help you plan, design, engineer and install a Rexnord system which will meet all your sustainability goals, achieve your reliability targets, and safely deliver the savings you need. 

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