There is more than one way to drive a conveyor, and, as Dorner Manufacturing’s Food Marketing Manager, John Kuhnz explains, motorized pulleys that were once unable to manage such jobs, are now managing more of them. Unlike traditional systems, the drive is installed in the drum shell within the conveyor frame, and it rotates stationary on a fixed shaft. The rotating outer drum drives the belt. The pulleys suit environments where external space is at a premium because they do not require a gearbox or external motor. It is also more sanitary and easier to clean.
“The technology has been around for a long time, but when they were first introduced, their use was limited to a few applications. They were either too large to be effective or too small to accommodate the needs of the job,” said Kuhnz. Today’s pulleys have much smaller diameters than those on the market even five years ago. “Manufacturers can design components that increase the productivity of the motor itself,” Kuhnz said. The pulleys now come with options that were previuosly unavailable.
For example, the spindle itself can vary. “The motor is cast in a shell. That shell comes with either a smooth finish, or you can cut a V-guide into it. On the back of the belt is a piece of clear urethane, which keeps the belt straight so you do not have to track it. In addition, the shell can come with grooves to drive a positive driven or ribbed belt,” said Kuhnz.
The motorized pulley is more sanitary than a traditional gear motor. It is totally enclosed within a steel shell. Its smooth, profiled, stainless steel finish, sealed design, and ingress protection reduce the risk of contamination. What’s more, cleaning is simple. “There is no need to take it out to clean it. Just hose it down, in place, and it is ready-to-go,” said Kuhnz.
The company’s AquaPruf Series of conveyors is available with the option of a motorized pulley. “Our customers are driving these changes. In certain industries, they are an absolute requirement,” said Kuhnz.
Filed Under: Material handling • converting, Conveyors