The right V-belt solution is just around the bend


When a local food manufacturer was experiencing issues with the longevity of the conveyor V-belts that convey their cereal products around sharp bends, CBC’s John Perri performed a joint call with a Gates® engineer to the customer’s site to discuss possible solutions. 

“The most common issues I encounter with V-belts is in the tensioning and alignment,” says John. “Often times the belts are not fitted correctly on implementation, which causes them to jump, twist, and eventually fail. This means the customer ends up expending a lot of energy replacing them, so it’s very important we fit the correct belt with the right tensioning.” 

Getting the heart of the issue on these kinds of applications is second nature to John. He’s been part of Motion Australia’s group of businesses for more than 22 years and serves as the Key Account Manager for New South Wales. He maintains close relationships with his clients in various sectors, getting out to site whenever possible, to keep tabs on how their equipment is operating and offer expert advice. 

The customer contends with some of the highest demands in the food production sector, accounting for nearly a third of the value of gross domestic product in Australia. Furthermore, in recent years the industry has seen record breaking production from the ground up. In fact, the grain industry recorded one of the highest harvest yields on record in the 2020/2021 seasons, according to the Australian Government’s Grain Research and Development Corporation.1 

The demands of the industry make it highly competitive in nature and mean food production facilities are always in need of better, faster, solutions for conveying product. In the case of his grain customer, John needed to find the most optimal belting solution—as quickly as possible. 

“On this particular application, the conveyor was carrying the product around 90-degree bends,” says John. “Unfortunately for the customer, the belts were failing prematurely as the belts being used are not designed to bend in different directions experiencing frequent breakdowns and requiring long lead times for replacements which was slowing down production significantly.” 

“A Gates® Engineer and I took a look at the customer’s service history and the OEM manual for the original factory belt selection for their conveyor system and found that it was manufactured outside of Australia,” he explains. “Based on the dimensions and application requirements, we looked at a couple of different solutions.”

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