New range of Conveyor Components
For OEMs and end users alike, flexibility in conveyor design is crucial. This requires support in components to achieve the required specification, including a wide product range, bespoke work if needed and technical support to meet design needs. WDS has a newly expanded range of components for material handling and provides support to OEMs and end users in conveyor design.
John Marshall, Technical Manager at WDS Component Parts, discusses the considerations for the design and expansion of conveyor systems.
For conveyor systems, flexibility of design is perhaps the most important requirement. While this is true for OEMs as specialist designers of conveyors, it can be even more important for end users. As operations grow, end users need to expand or adapt their conveyor system, usually within a confined factory space and surrounding in-place machinery. Whether it’s for manufacturing, be that food and beverage, pharmaceuticals or electrical and industrial products, through to packaging and stacking, it’s the conveyor that needs to fit within the existing setting.
This means that for conveyor design and extension or modification, the first requirement is to offer a wide, flexible range of well designed, durable components. WDS supplies the full range of ancillary conveyor components, supplying all parts of the conveyor except the framework, belt/rollers system, and the range is regularly updated.
New components to the WDS range include conveyor linear guide rails, which can be fastened to existing mounting brackets via T-slot to provide additional guiding. Constructed from stainless steel, instead of a standard, rounded 12 mm bar as their covering, they feature taller, softer faces in a range of four sizes. This is to protect the products travelling on the conveyor from impact against the rails, which is particularly important to avoid damaging soft food products or to reduce noise of impact on packaging such as glass. The covering is constructed from high-density polyethylene (HDPE), a food and beverage industry standard, selected for the soft support it provides as well as its excellent resistance to wear.
Similarly, the new conveyor guide rail wear strip, also in HDPE, can fit onto a conveyor guide rail with T-bar fitting, such as WDS’ new aluminium conveyor guide support. Different sizes or profiles of HDPE, such as the new semi-tubular designed sheath, can also provide protection and can be used dependent on requirements of the conveyor application or the products it carries.
Sliding into a matching T-slot rail, the new conveyor guide rail shoe guides conveyor-mounted products safely towards a desired direction and away from damaging protrusions, such as sharp angles. As products travel down the conveyor line and reach an end point or sharp corner, rather than collecting and potentially impacting against a nylon-coated barrier, these curved, aluminium rails guide the product safely to a holding area or onward direction.
Meanwhile, to open the possibility of a wider conveyor for increased product throughput, the range of clamping rods has been extended, and in addition to 100 mm and 150 mm sizes, 200 mm and 300 mm sizes can be used to extend the conveyor width.
To support the conveyor itself, WDS’ new, compact double cone clamp mounting brackets are designed for where physical space is at a premium and can be used to replace more bulky, larger footprint brackets. Constructed from 304 stainless steel, they provide ample support for the conveyor frame despite their compact design. In addition, a range of larger conveyor mounting brackets, constructed from robust polyamide nylon thermoplastic, with a steel bolt are available in standard, mini and adjustable sizes.
Support bearing housing mounts are also new to the WDS range and have been introduced for end users to fit their own industry standard 25mm diameter rollers. Available in three- and four-hole mounting as well as a threaded variant, the support bearing housing mounts are self-aligning with allowance for approximately three degrees of movement. In the near future, a kit will be available featuring the bearing housing, bearing and the end cap.
In addition to supplying standard parts, bespoke items can be designed and manufactured should WDS’ broad range not fulfil the specific need. At the same time, they regularly provide technical support to OEM conveyor builders and end users relating to suitability of components for specific designs, which could relate to options for component sizes or materials of construction. For example, major confectionary brands extending their conveyor lines have recently sought advice on how to modify and extend their existing conveyor system within their factory setting.