The specific application and environmentPulleys have been used for centuries and continue to be utilized in many, many applications in our modern world. On a normal day, you’ve likely used a pulley system in one form or another. Jumping on a piece of exercise equipment, opening your garage door as you leave for work, and getting on an elevator in a building are just a few examples of where a simple pulley system is used to make tasks easier and more convenient. In heavy-duty industries, the application is on a much grander scale. Engineers take the environment into great consideration when designing a pulley system. For example, an industry that experiences constant dust and debris may require a self-cleaning pulley or special bearings and seals to protect against the elements. Environments with wet and dry conditions will need specific pulley lagging and an application with extremely corrosive products will require stronger materials that can support operations.
Industry specifications and standardizationsMost industries need to follow a set of specific safety standards for certain equipment. Additionally, the specifications required by the client can greatly affect the design of the system and its components. With this in mind, some design requests can’t be fulfilled because of safety. Experienced engineers are familiar with safety standards and protocols. They can design a system that meets all of the specifications and safety requirements while providing the solution that the customer needs.
The conveyor designPulley system and conveyor design go hand in hand. The following pieces of conveyor information is a general requirement for designing an efficient pulley system:
- Belt width
- Belt tension
- The life expectancy of the bearings based on average operational hours and the load conveyed
- The type and class of conveyor belting
- The angle of the wrap of the belt around the drive pulley
Idler for Applications with High-spillage, High-humidity, or Excessive Moisture
Our CEMA B, CEMA C, and CEMA D idler are ideal for industries that transport material with the risk of spills or in an environment that sees excessive moisture and high-humidity.
As a leading name in conveyor idler suppliers, we use our patented impact-resistant polymer endcaps to extend the life of each roller. When compared to regular steel end caps, our polymer end caps are more lightweight, corrosion-resistant, and cost-effective. Idlers are at risk of seizing due to excess debris or spillage for industries that operate in an area with potential for particle contamination. To prevent this issue, our rollers are equipped with:
- A Triple Labyrinth Seal, standard in all Luff idlers.
- An optional Safety Anti-Lock Shield, a polymer disc inside the endcap, that remains stationary as the roller rotates around it.
- An optional High Moisture Seal, the grease-packed cavity behind the shield for extra protection against moisture or contaminants.
Heavy-duty industries such as mining, ship-loading, steel and iron manufacturing, and construction, among others, require CEMA E and CEMA F rollers. These idlers are designed for heavy applications and come standard with our High Safety Anti-Lock Shield and High Moisture Seal.
Idler for Heavy-duty Applications
When it comes to tough conveyor applications, conveyor idler suppliers focus on providing durability and strength that minimizes damage to conveyor components. These idlers are manufactured with a steel end cap and an oversized shaft resulting in a longer life and less maintenance, which leads to reduced downtime and an improved bottom line.
What is the turnaround time for the drum pulley supplier?
When you’re dealing with drum pulleys or other conveyor parts that need repair or replacement, you need to know how quickly the turnaround time is. While drum pulley manufacturers can promise the lowest price or more incentives, if their turnaround time is too long, businesses may lose out on more money than they save on the low-cost product.
As a manufacturer of conveyor components, we provide delivery of just five days on non-stock standard products. This helps our clients reduce operational costs and minimize downtime by getting their business up and running as soon as possible.
What is the warranty offered by the drum pulley manufacturer?
Before purchasing a part, be sure to ask about the company’s warranty and policies related to the supplier’s workmanship. Typically, drum pulley suppliers offer a warranty on products that are used under normal operating conditions. Look for a supplier that offers at least 2 years warranty from the date of delivery that includes correcting defects in material or workmanship.
Be wary of any manufacturer that doesn’t have a warranty policy. Having a warranty in place demonstrates that the company is confident in the quality of its products and services.
When you do a search on drum pulley suppliers, you’ll likely come across hundreds of manufacturers that offer the same products and services you’re looking for. To help you narrow down your search, we recommend reading reviews from past and current customers and take a look into how the company differentiates itself from other companies like them.
As a pioneer in the conveyor industry, what sets us apart from our competitors is our heavy duty pulleys. Luff uses steel tubing to manufacture all drum pulleys, instead of rolled steel, providing a thicker shell. This shell is then machined with a trapezoidal crown to ensure maximum pulley concentricity. The thicker shell absorbs more stress and protects against abrasive wear meaning less maintenance and reduced belt wear.
How does the company differ from other drum pulley suppliers?
How can they help find a solution to your specific problem?
A good supplier carries the products that you’re looking for, provides good customer service, and quick turnaround time. A great supplier does all of the above while working with you to find the right solution for your specific application. When you have a unique conveyor system, you need a supplier that has an in-house engineering team that can design customized solutions. This ensures that you have the right part with the correct dimensions and material required.
A refurbishment of your pulley system is vital to your productivity. Well-functioning pulleys can reduce the risk of damaged products, decrease repair downtime, increase efficiency, and ensure the quick transportation of products. Generally speaking, it is much more cost-effective to repair rather than to replace a pulley. If your pulleys are not kept up, it can cause a lot of unnecessary strain on other integral parts that help keep your machine operating functionally.
What should I have inspected during pulley reconditioning?Be sure to have every pulley component professionally inspected to ensure no shortcuts are taken and that the professional that is refurbishing your pulleys has a good reputation for quality work.
The pulley maintenance may include examining the following parts:
- Your pulley could be lagging. If your pulley is lagging, it can cause the belt to become unbalanced and pull to one side of a conveyor. Be sure during the pulley refurbishment that a lagging inspection is completed. This process could include removal or replacement of your pulley depending on what issues are found during the inspection.
- Pulleys commonly start to have issues when the bearings start to fail. In the refurbishment process, it is smart to ensure your bearings are carefully inspected. Pulley bearing inspection, removal, and replacement could save you more in the long run.
- The shaft ensures the movement and directional change of your belt or your taut cable and is also responsible for the power transfer between the shaft, belt, or cable. In your refurbishment process, it is important to inspect the shaft and repair any issues you may find.
- When refurbishing your pulley system, a good inspection of the hub and bushings will ensure the gripping force between the shaft, and is ensuring the bushing transmits the proper amount of torque and resists slippage.
- Have your shell and welds inspected during your refurbishment process. When failures occur in conveyor pulleys, the welding between the diaphragm and plate and shell could be failing.
The refurbishing, and scheduled maintenance of pulley units, as well as the possibility of saving money, have led to a significant reduction in overall maintenance costs for many companies. With just a few simple steps your machine can be inspected and repaired, resulting in a significantly reduced lead time – compared to having to build a completely new pulley.
The diverse range of products and specifications for pulley lagging reflects the unique applications of businesses all over the world. With endless options to choose from, how do you know which system ensures efficiency and longevity for your specific use? This article tells you what you need to know about the different types of pulley lagging and factors to consider when choosing a product.
Different Types of Pulley Lagging
First, let’s start with what conveyor pulley lagging or drum lagging is. Simply put, it is wrapped around drum pulleys to increase friction with the conveyor belt while protecting the shell from damage. While there are several types of drum lagging, we’ll focus on rubber and ceramic lagging below.
- Rubber lagging is the most common type of pulley lagging, that includes plain rubber lagging and grooved rubber lagging (including diamond, herringbone, and chevron grooves). Rubber is a versatile material that can be customized in thickness, hardness, and type of grooves.
- Ceramic lagging is ideal for harsh environments where durable material and long service life are required. It is available with a dimple or smooth ceramic tiles and with various coverage.
Choosing the Right Type of Pulley Lagging
Conveyor manufacturers consider the following factors when designing a system:
- Belt type and running speed – The belt’s run speed has a significant impact on the lagging. However, the belt should always take priority as they are more costly to replace. When choosing a pulley lagging, consider how speed will wear out the lagging and affect the operating temperature.
- Pulley type – You can choose two different types of lagging for drive pulleys and tail pulleys even if they are on the same conveyer because they have different responsibilities. More grip is required for a head pulley lagging compared to a tail pulley.
- The environment and operating conditions – The climate, wet or dry conditions, and chemical contact all play a role in the type of pulley lagging to choose. Conveyor manufacturers like Luff Industries can recommend the right kind of pulley lagging ideal for your operating conditions.
- The type of material being processed – Product abrasion is an essential factor to consider. The abrasiveness of the material on the belt impacts belting requirements, which affects the type of pulley lagging to use.
When building a conveyor system, the belt and pulley should all run smoothly. A conveyor system aims to transport material as efficiently as possible while minimizing wear on the system’s components. Conveyor manufacturers can design and engineer a system tailored to specific applications and type of material being transported.
Extends the life of conveyor belt componentsIn a conventional drum pulley, the material can build-up which leads to reduced traction and premature damage to the conveyer belt. If this problem is not addressed, companies experience a decrease in production and reduced belt life. Wing pulleys are used on the tail end of bulk handling systems where loose materials commonly slide through and sit underneath the conveyor belt. Wing pulleys, also known as self-cleaning pulleys, are comprised of individual wings or fins for non-continuous contact. This design allows material spillage to escape between the wings and minimize the amount of built-up material.
Ideal for bulk handling applicationsDrum and wing pulleys are designed for welded steel conveyor pulleys that are typically used in bulk handling applications. For industries that handle bulk materials including minerals, coal, sand, gravel, grain, sugar, flour, animal feed, tobacco, agricultural material, electronics, metals, textiles, and more; the efficiency of the conveyor belts and its parts are vital for smooth operations.
Can be designed for continuous contactFor applications where continuous contact with the belt is needed, spiral wing pulleys are used. Spiral wing pulleys comprise a pair of steel bars wound around the drum pulley that meets at the centre and spiral out to both ends. This ensures constant contact with the belt while still reducing material build-up between the belt and the pulley face. Spiral wing pulleys are ideal for high tension or high-speed applications where cleaning action is required. An advantage of spiral wings in comparison to individual wings and fins is reduced belt vibration and noise.
Key takeawaysMaterial spillage in bulk handling facilities impact conveyor belt performance and is one of the top causes for premature wear and damage that requires repair or replacement. This can result in companies needing to stop operations altogether. The increased downtime can greatly impact a company’s bottom line. Drum and wing pulleys are a simple yet innovative and cost-efficient solution to this constraint.
Before the invention of conveyor belts, material handling involved incredible effort, time, and manpower. Today, conveyor belts are a crucial tool in the material handling industry and are most commonly used to transport bulk materials safely and efficiently.
Belt conveyor systems consist of two or more pulleys, also known as drums, with the belt on an endless loop. The drive pulley moves the belt while the idler pulley is unpowered and redirects the belt. Side guide rollers help protect the conveyor belt and prevent premature wear.
Companies that understand the different types of conveyor belts can choose the safest and most efficient system for their needs. We list a few different types of conveyor belts below.
General use conveyor belts
A common type of conveyor belt is solid belts made from rubber or fabrics such as nylon, polyester, nitrile, or neoprene. The right type of belt material depends on your use. For example, rubber conveyor belts are typically used in mining and milling industries, while grocery stores commonly use PVC belts.
Woven metal conveyor belts
Interlinking chains or wiring make up woven metal belts to allow for airflow. This design is made for industries that require drying, cooling, and the heating of food, electronics, glass, and more. Conveyor belt manufacturers can build woven metal belts to the company’s specifications.
Plastic interlocking conveyor belts
Plastic belts are a modular alternative to metal interlocking belts and are ideal for applications that require frequent cleaning and belt replacement. You’ll commonly see plastic belts in food handling, packing processes, or in the automotive industry.
Industries that use filter belts include water treatment companies, breweries, and chemical factories. Filter belts are made of metal or synthetic fibres and drain excess liquid, filter out toxins, and allow particulates to pass through.
Hinged belts feature interlocking hinges that are capable of rotating around the pulley system while offering a flat, solid surface. Hinged conveyor belts are often used for small products and recycling applications.
Whether you need a conveyor system to transport sensitive materials or one that can handle bulk-steel handling, conveyor belt manufacturers like Luff Industries can design and engineer a belt specific to your application.
Conveyor belt idlersLuff’s idlers are built with patented polymer endcaps with triple labyrinth seal. These specialized polymer endcaps surround a maintenance-free bearing that are sealed for life, eliminating contamination from dust and moisture. This saves companies downtime from maintenance and reduces operating costs.
Luff offers the following conveyor belt idlers:
- CEMA B: For light to medium loads and applications
- CEMA C: For medium loads and applications
- CEMA D: For medium to heavy loads and applications
- CEMA E: For tough loads and conditions
- CEMA F: For extreme heavy-duty applications
Conveyor belt pulleysWhat makes Luff’s conveyor belt pulley design superior is the concentricity of 0.0000 – 0.030” compared to the industry standard of 0.080-0.125”. The difference in constant contact with the belt translates to reduced belt wear, less stress on bearings, and less deviation of the shaft. Luff’s belt pulleys are made with heavy schedule pipe and a pulley shell capable of handling more stress. Luff manufactures:
- Drum & wing pulleys
- Spiral drum & wing
- Helix wing pulleys
- Pulley lagging
Impact bedsLuff’s impact beds are designed with a heavy-duty frame that slides apart in two sections. The unique side profile of the impact bars absorb the impact of heavy material and disperses the energy outwards. This prevents premature damage to the belt, reducing maintenance and downtime costs.
- Impact beds and slider beds
- Impact bars made with polyurethane and a UHMW cap to eliminate bold holes
Conveyor belt parts and accessoriesFrom belt cleaning systems to safety products, Luff offers one of the most complete conveyor belt product lines available. To improve the performance of your conveyor belt and increase the life of your conveyor system, Luff manufactures the following accessories:
- High moisture seal
- Belt brush cleaner
- 2300-3400 rollers
- Composite rolls
- Take-up frames
- Retro protector
- Guide rollers – UGR & SGR
Wing pulleys are an ideal alternative to conventional drum pulleys for environments that experience excessive material build-up. Helix Wing Pulleys provide a unique design that allows for constant belt contact with open voids to expel and dislodge material. This leads to better traction, reduced abrasion on the belt and pulley, and a quieter operation.
Let’s take a closer look at the role of Helix Wing Pulleys on the conveyor system and its advantages.
How does a Helix Wing Pulley work?
Wing pulleys are used on light and medium-duty conveyor operations and can typically be found on the tail end of bulk handling systems. The Helix Wing Pulley is a robust pulley construction that maintains constant belt contact at a helix angle. This intelligent design works for conveyor systems that have a tendency for the loose material to reside on the underside of the conveyor belt.
What are the advantages of Helix Wing Pulleys?
- Less vibration – Vibration is reduced with a helix design that remains in constant belt contact. This means less stress on the belt and bearings, quieter operations, and less wear on the belt. Helix Wing Pulleys effectively increase the life of conveyor systems by minimizing the need for maintenance and replacement parts.
- Rejects material – Deflectors discharge material out of harm’s ways and pulls it to the sides of the conveyor where it falls away from the pulley and belt contact surface.
- “Self-cleaning” belt – Traditional drum pulleys feature a design with intermittent belt contact, which entraps and recirculates the material rather than displacing it. Excessive material build-up often leads to belt damage and pulley failure. With a helix angle, the material can be shed away from the belt surface without breaking contact to reduce build-up effectively.
The right pulley design for specific applications is essential for productivity and maintaining a good workflow. While simple in design, the helix can be the difference between unnecessary expenses from premature wear on the belt and an improved bottom line from cost-savings and a more efficient conveyor system. Using the correct pulley protects your investment by enhancing your system and increasing pulley life.