What is a belt conveyor system?

Belt Conveyor systems are the most versatile and simplest material handling systems. They work with two or more pulleys driving an endless loop belt. The loop then moves a product from Point A to Point B on the belt. We use belts made from fabric or rubber. Belt conveyors are commonly used in both manufacturing and distribution facilities.

Ultimation designs and builds systems from 5′ long to 102′ long and in widths from 6″ wide belts up to 72″ wide. They are great for transporting regular and irregular shaped objects. Typical items transported on these conveyors include totes, packaged goods and bulk boxes. Due to their simplicity in design and construction, motorized belt conveyors are easily installed. Ultimation can guide you through the selection process of the models available. Heavy duty styles are available as well as lighter duty models. The variations are endless, but most are quite simple.

If you’re ready to buy, we have links to some models right here on this page. Other quick-ship models are listed in our online store. We’ve implemented thousands of systems, and there are hundreds of combinations available.

Belt Conveyors for Industrial and Warehouse Applications

A belt conveyor system can be implemented with a very economical cost per foot of the conveyor for many warehouse and industrial applications. Because it includes just one motor and a simple belt system they are quite simple. Hence they’re often one of the first productivity improvement purchases that a growing company will make. Although there are many belt conveyor types, the simplest style is known as a slider bed style. When linked together with sensors and other automation equipment a conveyor belt system can greatly enhance productivity.

The weakness for them though is that generally they are only used for transport applications. This means that the belt conveyor equipment just moves the product from point A to point B. This may be sufficient, but a belt conveyor cannot typically buffer or accumulate the parts. Nor are they typically used as a working surface for production team members. As one of the leading online belt conveyor manufacturers, Ultimation can guide you through the pros and cons of the different types of belt conveyors. We’ll also help you compare if another different type of conveyor would be a better choice.

What are the types of conveyor belt systems?

  • Slider Bed Belt Conveyor
  • Roller Bed
  • Incline Belt – Slider
  • Incline Belt – Roller
  • Troughed Belt Conveyor
  • Trough Drum conveyor belt

Looking for a conveyor belt for sale? These models shown below are a small sample of the variations available from our catalog. You can download the full catalog from this page or call our team for help.

Belt Conveyor Advantages – Use them to:

  • Move simple products from one location to another
  • Move products up or down inclines. Check with our engineers on the highest angle for your product. We generally limit the incline of a belt style system to 25 degrees
  • Move in either continuous or indexing modes. The belt can stop and starts each time to move a product. If you place a sensor at the end of the belt, the conveyor can stop. In other cases, packages are loaded and unloaded from a continuously running belt
  • Use when changing the speed is necessary. We can add a VFD (variable frequency drive) for speed control. This works by changing the frequency of the electrical current. A powered conveyor with a belt is a simple conveyor to adjust the speed on
  • Moving a product around curves. Curve style systems are available to maintain the proper product orientation while a product moves around the curve

Disadvantages – Don’t use them if you need:

  • Accumulating products (i.e. for a buffer). Belt style conveyors can’t allow the products to nest up against each other (“accumulate”). If you let products pile up against each other, they will get damaged. You could also have problems with them pushing product off the belt. If you need accumulation, use a roller conveyor or overhead conveyor. Accumulation means buffering.
  • Products that won’t slide or roll off the belt. A powered belt system requires the part to ride on the belt without sliding. If you need the parts to be held while on the conveyor, there are other alternatives. Consider a slat conveyor which can be fitted with tooling to hold the product in place. As the conveyor moves along the product rides in the tooling on the slats.
  • To use the conveyor as a working surface. Belt style conveyors are made for transport, not for production operations on them. Use a slat conveyor or roller conveyor for these type of situations.

Different types of belt material choices

  • General purpose belting material
  • Rough top belt – for extra grip on inclines, declines and products that might slide
  • Higher chemical resistance – for best protection from chemicals
  • Cut resistant conveyor belt material – for rough or sharp items like sheet metal or bricks. The extreme heavy duty belts are very strong
  • High temperature conveyor belt. For parts coming out of hot presses, we have belt materials available. In some cases, belt conveyors can run through lower temperature ovens.

Styles available in custom configurations:

Depending upon the product weight and type, we have many different types of powered belt style conveyors. The styles are available for handling the loads with product weights from 5 lbs. up to 1,280 lbs.

  • Heavy Duty models with channel frames
  • Belt curves
  • Incline style
  • Troughed belt (with side rails to keep products on the belt)
  • Bolt-together or welded construction dependent upon duty
  • Belt widths up to 72” for heavy duty
  • Lengths in 1’ increments ranging from 5’ to 102’
  • Multiple drive packages and mounting options
  • Power Belt Curves and Belt Inclines available
  • Various head pulley and tail pulley sizes and styles available

Conveyor Belt Definition

Are they called “conveyor belts” or “belt conveyors”? Technically the entire assembly as shown here is known as a belt conveyor, or a belt conveyor system. The belting material is fabric, rubber or flexible plastic. It’s the belting material itself that is the “conveyor belt”. They are sometimes also called “conveyor belt system” to mean a system. This comprises the actual conveyor belt and the movement system for the belt. They move the belt across a supporting steel plate so that as the belt moves it is supported from below. This style is a slider bed style. Alternatively, the belt is supported on top of spaced rollers. This style is a roller belt style or roller conveyor belt.

If you would like to get into greater technical detail, this PDF on belt conveyor design is available for sale from the Conveyor Equipment Manufacturers Association.

Electric motor options

Electric motors that conveyor belt manufacturers use are both AC and DC models. In the AC range, you can use 120VAC for lighter duty models. 230V and 480V three phase models are common in heavier industrial operations. All are available with optional variable speed controllers.

The 24V DC model belt systems come with their own power supply. You can plug them in to a regular wall outlet. All 24V models come with variable speed controllers standard.

Conveyors for bulk materials like coal or minerals have special requirements. Ultimation focuses on industrial conveyors for unit (individual) loads. Bulk material loads for grain, coal, sand and other materials use different systems.

Call us. Our staff are ready to help.


Ultimation Spec Sheet Catalog - Belt Conveyors


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