Flexible/Adjustable Conveyor Abstract: This paper discuss about a new conveyor system, which is capable of adjusting its length (increasing/ shortening) according to our requirements. This paper also discuss about the possible advantages as well as its disadvantages with discussion about the necessary requirements. Introduction: Continuous conveyors offer some problems, if not in all cases but may be in some case. This is especially true in situations where continuous automation were carried and the raw material (or the product) was taken along a long path, thus demanding a continuous conveyor. In order to have breaks in conveyor path (to permit cross motion from one side to other) it is required to think for a solution. The present paper discusses about a system viz flexible/adjustable conveyor, which may help to eliminate the disadvantages due to continuous conveyor. Materials:
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
The expected materials that are required for this system are: Hydraulic ram arrangement Two large rigid levers High tension belt Rollers and drive mechanism (motor) Levers with suitable guide ways Springs/bellows with high stiffness
Construction details: The proposed system consists of six rollers. The basic condition is that a set of two rollers (of equal diameters) should be inline and should be guided along that path as shown in the figure1. One of the rollers (No.1) is driven by a motor, the roller being in one extreme position and cannot be moved. The other roller (no.2) which
is in line with the previous roller is adjustable, in the sense that it can be moved towards and away from the fixed roller.
Figure 1 General description At a distance equal to sum of the diameters of smaller and larger rollers (vertically down), two other rollers of relatively smaller diameters (no.3 &4) were positioned inline. Both the rollers were fixed in position and cannot be adjusted (in terms of centre to centre distance). The remaining two rollers are supposed to be of same diameter as that of the previous rollers and should lie along separate guide way. The centers of these rollers are pivoted to the ends of the levers which are once again pivoted at the ram end. Roller no. 6 is fixed in position while roller no. 5 can be moved towards and away from the other roller. The entire setup is arranged in an enclosure, so that the enclosing sides act as suitable guides for free rolling of the rollers. Basic working of the system: In operation, the motor rotates the roller 1 which then makes the belt to roll over it. Whenever the length of the roller is to be increased, the hydraulic ram is operated so that the length of the ram shortens. In this transformation, the levers which are pivoted to the end of the ram come close, thus making the roller 5 to slide along the guide. It is important to note that a high tension spring is compressed
slightly and placed in the guide inner portion as shown in the figure. Whenever the ram shortens the spring force restores and causes the roller 2 to move away from roller 1, thus leading to increase in length of the conveyor. Spring force should be sufficient enough to keep all the rollers in position for any load variations.
Figure 2 Figure 3 shows the schematic arrangement of the guide ways with necessary arrangements
Figure 3 Roller 2 is made to accurately slide along the guides by means of shafts running all through the roller axes, which fit into the slots of the guides as shown in the figure 4.
Figure 4 It is important to note that the rollers 3 and 4 are always fixed and cannot be moved along the guides as shown in the figure5.
Figure 5 If the length of the conveyor is to be reduced, the ram is so operated that the ram length gets increased. In other words, roller 5 attached to the lever-end moves away from the roller 6. This leads to increase in the belt length along the bottom guide way, which further tends to reduce the length along the rollers1 and 2. The ram now causes the spring to get compressed. Thus the required changes can be obtained. Requirements: 1. It is required to estimate tension of the spring for a particular application. 2. Any flexibility of the belt due to changes in the lengths should be known well before the design of the system.
Advantages: The proposed system may exhibit the following advantages: 1. Flexibility, in the sense that the lengths can be changed depending on the requirements. 2. Provide side-side movements for material handling equipments, processed materials e.t.c, which is difficult in case of continuous conveyors.
Idea developed by: V.Bhanu Chander, Tirupati (A.P). India
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