Selecting an optimal speed for a conveyor line can be crucial to its success, yet is often overlooked. Most unit handling conveyors typically run at 65 FPM – roughly equivalent to walking with 50 pounds on one’s back at the average pace of a person – making this rate ideal for order picking and assembly operations but certain operations may necessitate acceleration beyond this rate.
No matter if your conveyor is troughed or pipe, certain calculations must be made in order to ensure the appropriate belt tensions and power are used when your system accelerates. A standard static analysis can help calculate start/stop times; while for large or lengthy conveyors a dynamic analysis provides more precise insight into belt velocities/tensions during acceleration/deceleration.
To calculate your conveyor line speed, simply enter in the number of containers per minute (CPM) and pitch, or distance between centers of closures on each container. The calculator will then display its speed in feet per minute (FPM).
As your conveyor line speed increases, there are certain considerations you must keep in mind to ensure its proper operation. One such factor is indentation rolling resistance – or contact pressure from folded pipe belts onto idler rolls from idler rolls from folded pipe belts – determined by cross-sectional bending stiffness and construction of belt bottom covers; when multiplied with friction factor of material being conveyed it determines the rolling resistance.
Not only must one take into account indentation rolling resistance, but also material flexure and material scuffing losses when accounting for conveyor resistance. These are mostly determined by material tensile strength as well as conformance of idler configuration when empty. When combined, forces produced result in total conveyor resistance being determined.
At the end of it all lies drive inertia – another key consideration when accelerating a conveyor. This factor depends on factors like belt length, driveshaft inertia and system mass (which includes belts, material, Idlers and Pulleys). When calculated, inertia is divided by acceleration factor to calculate required driveshaft revolutions to overcome resistance at start-up.
Once all input values have been entered, a Conveyor Calculation Report is generated. This report summarizes the results of Static analysis as well as providing details regarding starting/stopping times/belt velocities during each phase of calculation. Dynamic results can also be seen at the top left panel.