Belt drives are used to transfer power from one shaft to another, each with advantages and limitations that are suited for specific purposes. When designing a conveyor system, experts need to consider the pros and cons of the different belt drives for the application needed. Depending on the product, positioning accuracy, distance, and speed plays a key role in transporting items of different sizes, shapes, and weight.

A timing belt is used when products need precise placement and positioning for heavy and bulky products as well as light and dainty items. This article details what a timing belt is and lists the pros and cons you need to know when designing a conveyor system.

What is a timing belt?

A timing belt conveyor system consists of a driver, driven, and idler pulley connected with the timing belt for synchronous motion. Timing belt conveyors consist of one toothed pulley and one idler pulley with the belt looped around them. The belt’s teeth match those on the pulleys and engage during operation. The biggest and most important difference between timing belt conveyors and other conveyors is the precise positioning of products, which can be further enhanced with positioning sensors, locating devices, the type of belt, and other control systems.

The pros of timing belts

Compared to flat or round belt drives, some of the advantages of timing belts include:

  • Minimal noise
  • Minimal vibrations
  • Precise motion with accurate timing
  • Low maintenance and clean operation
  • Constant velocity ratio
  • No slippage
  • High mechanical efficiency up to 98%
  • Resistant to abrasion and rust
  • Resistant to chemicals and contaminants
  • Energy-efficient
  • Cost-effective as there is no need for drive enclosures, lubrication, disposal fees, and tensioning devices

The disadvantages of timing belts

Understanding the limitations of timing belts helps our clients make an informed decision for their particular application. Timing belt disadvantages include:

  • Higher cost
  • Ideal for transferring at a relatively low power
  • Compared to other drive belts, the transfer power is at a relatively smaller distance

Final thoughts

If the disadvantages lead to major inefficiencies, a timing belt may not be the right component for your particular conveyor system. Whether your application requires precision and accuracy or speed, conveyor manufacturers can outfit a solution for your conveyor design. The correct design assembly can be the difference between costly constraints and high company productivity.

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