Belts For Seedling Harvesting

The importance of the right cover material and modified options mean efficient seedling harvesting. Major manufacturers of wood products start with a seedling grown under controlled environmental conditions. When the seedlings achieve a certain size, they are harvested and refrigerated until replanted in large tree farms.

Tree Seedling With Exposed RootsSeedlings grown in meticulous straight rows must be removed from the ground with specialized harvesting equipment without damaging the crop. To eliminate bending or tearing of the seedling, custom made belts are used to extract the seedling.  Two belts, one at ground level the other above it, extract from the ground and gently convey the seedling to a hopper for storage.

The Problem

The belts grip the seedling, so finding the right balance of grip and wear resistance – due to the surrounding direct environment – was a struggle for a leading OEM manufacturing.  Reducing belt replacement costs, lost production time and seedling waste were their goals.

The Solution

After consulting with the technical team at Megadyne Belt Corporation, two belt designs were produced: One to grip and transport softwood seedlings, like Pine, and one to grip and transport hardwood seedlings, like oak and hickory.

Megadyne Belt Corporation suggested the use of Durataq, a newly developed blended rubber to create a cover that was capable of providing the right grip (coefficient of friction) while offering excellent wear resistance.

Furthermore, the technical team at Megadyne Belt Corporations Cumming GA location engineered a profiled cover to better assist in seedling handling.  Today, the OEM uses both a flat cover structure as well as the profiled design dependent on the tree makeup

The Results

Our customer’s tree harvesting projects can now be completed expediently and efficiently without the risk of delay, damaged goods or the need to constantly replace belts.

Learn More

Your particular application will dictate the right type of cover compounds needed to achieve your applications objective. As illustrated in the case study above, choosing an appropriate compound is key to ensuring belt durability and longevity. Megadyne Belt Corporations orange Durataq™ compound is particularly ideal for applications where grip and wear resistance are important. Because Durataq is molded, a seamless cover is offered.

Since 1985, Megadyne Belt Corporation of America has been proud to offer a range of standard and custom belts and compounds to best suit your unique needs. To learn more about how we can help you with all your product handling needs, contact us today.

Finding a Durable Belting Cover Compound for Material Handling

Many material handling applications utilize extrusion machinery. The belting used for this process must be durable, long-lasting, and reliable to ensure that projects are completed safely, efficiently, and on-time.

However, many material handling companies encounter issues with their belting, including short life spans or rapid deterioration. To prevent such setbacks, businesses should use belting cover compounds designed to withstand the environment, maintain longevity, and fit their specific application.

At Belt Corporation of America (BCA), we recently assisted a client — Central Sticks, a manufacturer of wooden sticks for ice cream and ice pops — who was dealing with extrusion belt issues. This ultimate need for this customer was a usable and lasting solution cover solution that would not delaminate or fall apart.

Case Study

The Problem

Central Sticks’ belts, which were covered with molded Linatex®, were delaminating and wearing down far too quickly, requiring replacement every few hours, causing excessive downtime and added costs. The company was seeking a longer-lasting, and a more durable solution.

First, they tried an abrasion-resistant compound with increased hardness for the belts. However, because the pulley for this application had a small diameter, the belt was still deteriorating. Using Gummy Correx Amra, belt longevity increased up to 24 hours, but this compound provided too much hardness.

durataq-blog-postThe Solution

Our team began testing BCA DuraTaq™ compound on the belts. A 100-percent natural rubber polymer (polyisoprene), DuraTaqwas molded onto base belts to create a seamless cover

Compared to other rubber compounds, DuraTaq™ provided great abrasion resistance and tear strength while also being soft enough to handle the high frequency of bending.

Results

Using DuraTaq™, Central Sticks’ belts now have an even longer lifespan. This enhancement led to decreased downtime, reduced costs, and a smooth, reliable extrusion process.

Learn More

Since 1985, Belt Corporation of America has been manufacturing OEM and custom belts and cover compounds for a wide range of industries. We can also modify cover surfaces through grinding and routing, as well as hole punching and pocket and slot machining.

To learn more about how BCA’s custom modification capabilities and tailored client solutions can help you address your belting issues, contact us today.

 

 

 

3 New Case Histories

At Belt Corporation of America, we pride ourselves on our ability to take a difficult belting problem and solve it. For over 30 years we have been finding improved or brand new belting solutions for clients in a variety of industries. In order to show you what kind of work we are capable of, we have added three case histories describing a few of our most challenging jobs.
Custom Belt Fabrication of a Transport Belt for Dental X-ray EquipmentProjects include:

Do you have a unique belting challenge? Contact us today or request a design consultation – we would be happy to help you solve it.



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DuraTaq™ Goes Head-to-Head With Linatex®

When it comes to belting, there are several material options to choose from—all of which depend on the specific needs of your application. At Belt Corporation of America, we take pride in offering customers a wide variety of materials to complement our customized belting solutions.

Dura-Taq-RGB_(1)Our capabilities and resources have expanded greatly over our 30-year tenure. In addition to materials such as polyester, urethane, fiberglass, and many others, we also offer two interesting materials called DuraTaq™ and Linatex®.

The Materials

DuraTaq™ is an orange-colored, 100% natural rubber with a high coefficient of friction and elongation percentage. One of the latest innovative offerings from Belt Corporation of America, DuraTaq™ can repel various chemical substances while providing industrial belts with the abrasion resistance and tactility needed for the most heavy-duty applications.

Linatex® is a red-colored, 95% natural rubber that is particularly resistant to wet or sliding applications. This substance has been utilized by manufacturers for several decades. With its abrasion resistant qualities, Linatex® can outlast steel alloys, polyurethanes, and other materials slurry handling or valve and pump applications.

The Comparison

Here’s how these two materials compare to each other:

  • Hardness – DuraTaq™: 45 ± 5. Linatex®: 38-45
  • Coefficient of Friction – DuraTaq™: 1.50. Linatex®: 1.43.
  • Abrasion Resistance – DuraTaq™: 120mm³ (Din), 1.26g (Taber), 105% (NBS). Linatex®: 200 mm³ (Din), 2.59g (Taber), 70% (NBS).
  • Density – DuraTaq™: 1.06 gr/cc. Linatex®: 1.0gr/cc.
  • Tensile Strength – DuraTaq™: 3300 psi. Linatex®: 3140 psi.
  • Elongation Percentage – DuraTaq™: 600%. Linatex®: 350%.
  • Tear– DuraTaq™: 220 pounds per inch. Linatex®: 175 pounds per inch.

Each material has a thermal resistance of -40°F to 212°F and a good to excellent compression set rebound. Additionally, each material is not recommended for applications involving petroleum products.

Choosing the Ideal Material

DuraTaq™ boasts enhanced durability that works well in many harsh applications, but Linatex® is not without its merits. As mentioned earlier, your material will ultimately depend on your needs.

If you’re unsure about the ideal material for you, Belt Corporation of America can provide you with a free design consultation—our team of design engineers is always ready to help!

Capping—Not Crushing—Plastic Bottles

We are now in an age where manufacturers and consumers alike are increasingly conscious about the environmental impact of their actions. One of the effects of a greener philosophy is a push towards using less plastic in everything from shopping bags to water bottles. This posed a unique problem for one of our customers, who used machines to cap plastic bottles. BCA helped this customer adjust to the wave of eco-friendly packages on the market today.Capping.jpg

The problem, according to the distributor, was that the newer bottles were too delicate for their equipment. The bottles utilized less plastic, and thus had thinner walls that were easily crushed when their machines reached out to grip and stabilize them. The distributor’s previous supplier was unable to help them solve the issue, so they turned to us for assistance.

Our solution was to develop a bull-nose profile and mold a soft cover made with natural rubber to the back of the belt. Our gripper belts featured a rounded, convex shape that perfectly matched the profile of the plastic bottles. Thanks to the new, rubberized surface, the belts were capable of grabbing and spinning the plastic bottles without crushing them, allowing the machines to apply and torque the caps successfully.

We also improved the design of the machines so that the belts would grip the bottles around the neck, rather than in the middle. The bottle necks were thicker and sturdier than their flimsy, middle portions. This design modification further improved the performance of our gripper belts by minimizing the risk of damage during the bottling process.

BCA was able to provide our customer with an innovative solution for an unusual problem. Our specially-designed gripper belts did not crush the newer, eco-friendly plastic bottles like the customer’s original equipment did. By modifying the position of the belts so that they gripped the bottles at their sturdiest point, we also further minimized the risk of damaged products in the future.

Case Study: Stamping Mylar Balloons

A manufacturer of Mylar balloons approached Belt Corporation of America with a unique problem. Their balloons were made on a large piece of equipment that stamped sheets of Mylar to create the balloons. In a short amount of time, the belts were growing worn and damaged due to the abrasive stamping procedure. Belt Corporation of America was asked to make an improved belt with better performance and a longer service life.

mylar_baloonsThe customer was originally using a fully endless felt belt with a silicone cover. The belts were not only expensive, but their supplier could only provide a 40A durometer silicone. This durometer is similar to the hardness of a pencil eraser. As a result, the stamping blades would sink easily into the silicone cover during production, damaging the belt. The manufacturer wanted to maintain a silicone cover on the belt, but could only keep the silicone if it had a harder durometer that could withstand the abrasive stamping motion of the equipment.

To meet the customer’s demands, the team at Belt Corporation of America was able to work with one of its material suppliers to create a silicone with a durometer of 50A, which is between the firmness of a pencil eraser and a car tire tread. This new material was tougher than the original and more resistant to cuts. The balloon manufacturer has found the silicone to be superior to their previous cover.

At Belt Corporation of America, we were able to go above and beyond the capabilities of typical suppliers to find a solution to our customer’s issues. The new belt that we produced was not only more efficient but also less expensive than the belts that the customer had been using in the past. We were able to meet the customer’s requirements and deliver cost savings, customized service, and high quality at the same time.

Case Study: Saving Time and Money at the ATM

At Belt Corporation of America, one of our specialties is reverse engineering. Reverse engineering is a process in which manufacturers disassemble a product and rebuild an improved version of it. We used reverse engineering to help one of our customers in the banking industry upgrade the belts on their ATM machines.

Diebold_ATM_restart-1-1The customer was a third party repair contractor who was experiencing quality issues with the belts inside Diebold ATM machines. While new belts performed well, they had a very limited lifecycle. Compounding this problem, the OEM responsible for making the replacements was running behind schedule. The contractor asked us to reverse engineer the part to make it more reliable and durable over a longer time span.

To meet this challenge, the engineers at Belt Corporation of America received the current belt from the customer, along with information about the machine in which it was being used. We analyzed the belt and its application in order to design a modified version. Our solution was to develop a belt from a longer-lasting compound. The EPDM rubber compound that we ultimately used contained carbon, which made it better suited to long-term use.

In addition to meeting our customer’s requests for a tougher ATM belt, we were also able to cut costs and ensure timely delivery. The improved belt not only lasted longer than the original, but also had a lower initial cost. These factors, combined with reliable shipping, helped us earn the trust of our customer and made this project a success.

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Case Study: Improving the efficiency of a Food Packaging OEM

Belt Corporation of America helped one OEM in the food packaging industry increase production by making their equipment more efficient. In this case, the OEM had issues accommodating larger packages using their vertical form fill seal machine for potato chips.  Our role was to refine the belts on the equipment, making it faster and more productive.

plastic-bag-thumbA form fill seal machine is a three-in-one piece of equipment that makes bags, fills them with product, and then seals them. It relies on a pair of belts to pull the bags through the machine to complete the process. The problem with the OEM’s machine was that it could not maintain its normal speed of production with a larger bag. The OEM  was not making enough bags, and came to us looking for a way to address this issue.

To solve the problem, we selected a pair of belts with a high coefficient of friction and designed it with a row of vacuum holes. This reduced slippage made it easier for the distributor to increase the speed of production and create more bags. The belts were also more efficient at pulling the larger-sized bags through the bagging machine.

Belt Corporation of America has years of experience with using belts to improve and solve manufacturing issues. A positive outcome of our success with this project is that we are still in touch with this manufacturer today. As this case illustrates, we have the expertise and knowledge to design high quality, practical belts for a number of different applications.

Case Study: Improved Belts for Tree Harvesters

Belt Corporation of America has a proven history of success in solving belt problems, both large and small, for distributors as well as for OEMs.  Often businesses will come to us with a specific problem that needs to be addressed, and in these instances, our engineers have applied innovative solutions to solve their most difficult belting issues.

harvested-treesIn one such case, a distributor approached Belt Corporation for help. The customer needed to improve the performance of a belt – that they were using – that was simply not doing the job.

The belt in question was being used for a tree harvesting operation.  These particular belts are used to pull whole tree trunks and limbs through a machine that strips away the bark and branches.  The process involved using a two-belt system, each with a cover that fit inside the other one.  However, the belts the customer was using were not lasting long enough to be effective. The customer needed a belt with increased durability and longevity.  In addition, the pre-cured rubber compound cover glued onto the belts was not suitable for prolonged outdoor exposure, as it resulted in cracking.

Our solution was to produce a belt with a molded cover – a specialty of Belt Corporation of America. Molded covers are truly endless and contained no splices that could potentially compromise the performance of the belts. This feature is critical for use in a heavy-duty, rough application such as tree harvesting.  The newly developed belt easily handled the severe-duty tree harvesting application.

In addition, our engineers developed a compound that is both abrasion and oil resistant.  The resulting product provides increased durability while maintaining flexibility in varied weather conditions.

Our distributor continues to order what has now become one of our standard belts, and still looks to Belt Corporation of America to solve their customers’ difficult application issues.