A new conveyor system from Autarky Automation, UK sales partner of Schüco Design Industrial Automation, is claimed to reduce factory noise levels by up to 25 per cent when compared with conventional slat conveyors, thereby helping manufacturing, process and packaging companies to comply with the recent Control of Noise at Work regulations. Just as importantly, the new conveyor system can run at speeds of up to 80m/minute, requires minimal maintenance and is available at a much lower cost than other existing models on the market.
The new conveyor system is called CS SL (Stretch Line) and incorporates a specially developed modular belt, with robust plastic interlocking finger-shaped sections that are connected by 4mm pins. This simple yet effective arrangement offers a high load carrying capacity of up to 200kg, is flexible, tough and lightweight at just 1kg per metre of belt and is simple to install and maintain.
According to Autarky Automation, the design of the CS SL belt system dramatically reduces the hunting effect normally associated with traditional conveyor chains as they compress and expand where the chains pass around their idler ends. Although this effect can be minimised by the use of a catenary, this can be one of the main sources of conveyor noise, with overall conveyor noise or chatter levels typically exceeding 76db(A) at 40m/minute. In comparison, noise levels from the new CS SL conveyor are just 67db(A) at 40m/minute, rising to 75db(A) at the maximum rated speed of 80m/minute.
Noise levels are reduced still further both by the use of specially developed belt drive and idler sections, with extended wear strips and extruded aluminium profiles designed to guide and fully capture the belt; this also helps to eliminate the risk of damage to the belt and increases operator safety.
Operator safety is also improved considerably where the belt has to turn horizontally or vertically, as the interlocking belt fingers do not protrude or create open joints, which could otherwise form pinch or trap points. Additionally, unlike traditional slat conveyors that generally stretch in the weeks following installation as they bed-in, requiring links to be removed at additional cost, the belt design of the CS SL means that any adjustments can be made during commissioning without the need for subsequent downtime.
The CS SL conveyor system is manufactured in Germany by Schüco Design Industrial Automation, for which Autarky Automation is the exclusive UK partner, and is available with a wide range of widths, drives, guides and support components. Autarky Automation also provides full-line design, installation and commissioning, as well as technical support services.