Monday 1st Jun, 2020

Walking on air with Aerobelt conveyors

By using a film of air, Aerobelt Australia is helping businesses reduce their conveyor's energy, maintenance and downtime costs.

By using a film of air, Aerobelt Australia is helping businesses reduce their energy, maintenance and downtime costs.

When a malt producer in Victoria wanted to develop a new plant, it turned to Aerobelt for expert advice on the best conveyor systems to get the job done.

Due to the process and material, the conveyors were required to be corrosion resistant and have a carrying capacity of 180 tonnes per hour. Additionally, a wash down feature was needed in the head station to control contamination and build-up of material during the malting process.

In order to supply the 12 conveyors needed for the upgrade, the company reached out to Aerobelt to take advantage of its unique technology.

Some of the key benefits of Aerobelt’s conveyors are their energy efficiency, low maintenance and lightweight, covered construction. Instead of using conventional carry idlers, a number of holes positioned in the trough skin creates a small film of air between itself and the belt.

As the system lacks belt carry rollers, there is a significant reduction in start-up inertia, allowing the belt to run with lower tension and smaller drives than an equivalent roller conveyor. This also has the benefit of not agitating loads like a traditional conveyor would, meaning there is less product loss, pollution and abrasion.

With the exclusion of side carry rollers, the overall weight of the system is significantly reduced, allowing for lighter construction and supporting steelwork to be installed. As the system’s only moving parts are the return rollers, it is often cost effective to perform maintenance using a mobile maintenance platform instead of access walkways.

For the upgrade, Aerobelt provided 12 conveyors with a belt width of 1,000 millimetres and a length of 416 metres, at inclinations from zero to 15 degrees. The belts are able to reach speeds of 1.75 metres per second, with a 7.5 to 22-kilowatt drive power.

The system was specifically designed with the Aerobelt’s capabilities in mind and was able to make the most out of the technology.

Some conveyors in the new plant are now fully covered, saving the capital costs of fully enclosed gantries, with a steelwork design changed to an open construction.

Simon Kutassy, mechanical engineer at Aerobelt Australia, says one of the key benefits Aerobelt provides for materials such as grains, malt and rice is the fact the carry side of the conveyor is a sealed unit.

“When material is carried there is a continuous skin underneath, with covers on top to ensure the entire conveyor is water-proofed,” he said.

“The cover also helps to keep any dust that would be generated contained and keeps the materials being handled protected from any contamination.

“It also has the advantage of lower noise emissions due to the lack of moving parts,” Mr Kutassy adds.

Aerobelt is also able to transport a variety of product and have been used by its customers for specific applications across a number of industries.

The company offers a range of installation services depending on a project’s needs and is able to meet any combination of supply, installation and commissioning requirements.