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The sensor inside a conveyor belt

29 June 2021

When Habasit, a provider of conveyor and power transmission systems, hatched a plan to create an embedded wireless force-sensing link in one of its curved plastic modular belt conveyor systems, it decided to work with Mantracourt.

In 2018, Andrew Richardson was working as a Project Manager in the plastics R&D department at Habasit. A large customer in the food and beverage industry had recently come to Habasit with a query: it wanted to measure tension in the spiral conveyor belt system on its bread production line. 

After the bread came out of the oven, it made its way through the rising spiral conveyors to allow it to cool before being packaged. Reminiscent of the holding pattern sometimes used by passenger aircraft on the approach to an airport, the spiral conveyors are a common sight in many food production environments. They offer a space-saving way of increasing production throughput and are also used to move products up and down between different levels in the plant, sometimes reaching a height of two storeys.

However, because the belt in a spiral conveyor needs to follow a curved path, as well as a straight path, one of the biggest challenges these types of conveyors face is tension. High levels of tension in the belt can cause it to buckle and/or break...

Read the full article in the July issue of DPA

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