Conveyor belts are on the front lines of your conveyor system. They come in scores of varieties, from lightweight to heavy duty, and in a range of surface materials and coverings. With such a vast selection, it’s important to find the right belt—and overall conveying system—for your business needs and industry requirements.
A leader in conveyance automation solutions, Dorner offers standard lines and highly customized systems. We’re also one of the few companies of our kind with an in-house belting cell operation. This means we’re able to partner with leading suppliers to offer custom conveyor belts and conveying systems that perform and last.
Dorner’s conveyor solutions are organized into several lines:
- 1X Series: Conveyor belts designed for small or lightweight parts handling.
- 2X Series: Low-profile and high-performance modular and fabric belts designed for small to medium parts, precision applications and flexible layouts.
- 3X Series: Heavy-duty, low-maintenance conveyors designed for medium to heavy parts, high speeds, bulk handling and automated or manual assembly.
- 7X Series: Sanitary conveyor belts designed with food handling and easy cleaning in mind.
- FlexMove: Straightforward and compact design and able to accommodate vertical and horizontal conveying.
In these lines, you’ll find a variety of frame and belt options. Fabric conveyor belts are flexible, and they are often made from thermoplastic urethane with other materials such as polyester and nylon. Modular belts and flexible chains are typically manufactured from plastic materials such as acetal and polypropylene.
Why Dorner Conveyor Belts Stand Out
Dorner conveyor belts stand alone compared with our competition for a variety of reasons. Our in-house belting cell is peerless, carefully cutting, v-guiding, splicing, testing and inspecting all customer conveyor belts. We provide the highest-quality splicing, cleat welding and V-guiding techniques. Additionally, Dorner delivers industry-leading belt tracking, tensioning methods and speeds. All vacuum conveyor belts are made at Dorner’s facilities to ensure peak part-holding ability and perforation pattern quality. Our team oversees quality assurance, translating into more-reliable vacuum conveyors and systems for our customers.
Our unique V-guiding enables supreme tracking and accurate product movement. We apply the V-guiding before the belt is manufactured compared with other companies in the market that apply the V-guide after splicing. This reduces the accuracy of the belt tracking and creates potential failure points. By applying the V-guide before making the belt, the V-guide strip maintains its integrity for a seamless guide on the belt.
Beyond Dorner conveyor belts’ unrivaled quality, it’s important to highlight that our lead times are among the fastest in the industry. This can make all the difference in keeping a production line running in your business.
A Closer Look at Conveyor Belt Types
In the introduction we covered a few overarching categories of conveyor belt construction. Let’s explore them in more detail.
Fabric Conveyor Belts
The flexible nature of a fabric conveyor belt allows for small pulley diameters, simplifying integration and product handling. Fabric belts come in a variety of weights and materials and can be found in woven and nonwoven varieties. The belt construction comprises several layers, including the cover material, strength layer and pulley side material. Fabric belts can be used in a range of applications, from lightweight to heavy duty processing, in countless industries such as material handling, automation and FDA food processing applications.
Modular Conveyor Belts
Modular plastic conveyor belts are long-lasting, simple to clean and sanitize as well as easy to maintain and repair. The solid construction eliminates fraying, delamination and joining. Additionally, the open surface area can be an ideal solution for cooling and draining applications. Often assembled in a bricklay pattern, modular belts can be customized to fit varying widths and lengths. Our 2200 and 3200 Series Modular Belt Conveyors come in a variety of types, including flat top and flush grid. You’ll find modular belts in a variety of industries, including bakery, food, industrial and more.
Flexible chains, sometimes referred to as table top chain, are ideal for complex layouts and wide ranges of environments. Flexible chains feature a knuckle that rides along the center of the conveyor track, leaving the sides of the belt completely open. This provides use of the entire conveyor belt width and gives you greater flexibility with product handling. These durable belts are commonly used in bottling, secondary packaging, automation, general manufacturing and more. Dorner offers flexible chains on our FlexMove line and our AquaGard 7100 Series Conveyors.
How to Determine Which Belt I Need
Many Dorner conveying solutions allow you to select the proper belting option. In addition to your intended general application use, you’ll need to consider some other specs when determining which belt you need such as:
Temperature: Are you looking for a cold-use belt or one that can withstand high temperatures? Silicone holds up in extreme environments, making it an ideal material for cooking and baking industries. Polyethylene, however, is well-suited for lower temperatures.
Abrasion resistance: This is an important quality when dealing with items that can cause wear and tear on your belts. For example, the nature of the metalworking industry and other industries that might encounter sharp edges call for a durable belt that can withstand cuts, scrapes and punctures. Polyurethane and nitrile-butadiene rubber are highly rated for abrasion resistance.
- Surface layer material
- Friction level
- Static conductive or anti-static
- Chemical resistant
- Abrasion- and cut-resistant
- FDA approval
- Color preference
The last bullet point, color preference, might seem insignificant, but it’s not just for aesthetics. The shade of a conveyor can come into play for many reasons. For one, a black conveyor surface is handy in picking situations where distinguishing colors from one another is important. A dark surface can also conceal runoff from inkjet printing. More importantly, color can correspond with the material type or use: Blue often relates to hygiene and safety and is often used in food-handling processes.
Digging Deeper into Conveyor Belt Construction
Conveyor belts have a lot of options, including surface material and texture, pitch and hinge design.
The previous section listed a few material examples for specific use cases. Here’s a more complete list of surface layer options you’ll find in Dorner systems:
- Thermoplastic urethane: Typically white, blue green or black in color.
- Polyester: Typically clear in color.
- PVC: Typically white, black, green or grey in color.
- Silicone: Typically white or grey in color.
- Nylon: Typically clear in color.
Your intended application will help define which surface design is best for you. Examples include:
- Rough top
- Longititandle groove
Modular Belt Pitch
In modular belt conveyor systems, pitch is the distance between pins. Our 2200 Modular Belt End Drive offers a 0.33-inch micropitch belt option as well as a 0.6-inch pitch metalworking belt..
Modular belts come with open and closed hinge options. An open-hinge design is ideal in situations where sanitation is of the utmost importance. This open design allows you to spot debris and residue, and the enlarged gaps allow for easier removal and cleaning. Closed-hinged belts are more durable and abrasion-resistant than their open-hinged counterparts.
Modular Belt Surfaces & Materials
Modular belts are available with a variety of surfaces, including flat top, flush grid, raised rib and more.
Modular belt material options include:
- Polypropylene: Typically white or grey in color with a medium hardness.
- Polyethylene: Typically natural in color with a soft hardness.
- Acetal: Typically white, brown, blue or dark grey in color with a very hard hardness.
- Nylon: Typically tan or white in color with a very hard, coarse hardness.
Pin Materials include:
- Polypropylene: Higher temperature, medium abrasion.
- Polyethylene: Low temperature, low abrasion.
- Acetal: Medium temperature, high abrasion.
- PBT/Nylon: High temperature and high abrasion. Avoid use with water and other fluids.
Replacement Conveyor Belt
If your current system is in need of an overhaul, Dorner also provides high-quality, durable replacement conveyor belts. We’re equipped with cutting-edge conveyor belt construction technology in house such as splicing, cleat welding and V-guiding.
If you need a new or replacement conveyor belt that requires customization, rest assured that Dorner can create a product that will not only meet your automation needs but enhance your conveying system.
You can request a replacement conveyor belt through our online form or by calling one of our experts.
Custom Conveyor Systems
The right conveyor system for your needs leads to higher quality, increased productivity and optimized efficiency. When one of Dorner’s standard lines doesn’t meet your production or space needs, a custom solution is worth considering. Custom conveyor systems can be transformative for your business and bottom line.
Dorner’s Engineered Solutions Group specializes in custom conveyor systems, which are designed, built and installed to fit your company’s specific applications.
How to Order the Belt I Need
The Dorner team is happy to help you place your replacement belt order as well as provide information about our Parts Kit program so you have what you need in-house before you need it.
If you’re looking to replace a Dorner fabric or modular belt, your first step is to locate its serial number and model number. You will need these two pieces of information to make your request. Then you can complete and submit this form, and someone from our parts team will be in touch with you.
If you need a non-Dorner replacement fabric or other belt, our aftermarket department might be able to help. Contact us by email or call us at 800–397–8664 to speak with a customer service representative.
How Do Conveyor Belts Work?
Whether it is moving pharmaceutical drugs for bottle filling or delivering fresh globs of cookie dough from prep area to oven, when you see a conveyor belt in action, this work appears almost effortless—magic even. This brings up the question: How do conveyor belts work? What factors are considered in conveyor belt construction?
First, it’s important to consider that not all conveyor systems have belts. Roller conveyors are commonly used to accumulate items, while belt conveyors are designed to move items of varying size such as parts or finished products.
Fundamentally, though, conveyor systems run similarly whether rolled, wheeled or belted. They are generally motor-powered, positioned on a solid frame and run in a loop to move items from point A to point B. Configuration such as the frame shape or drive placement is another aspect of conveyor belt construction.
A conveyor system’s specifications determine its capabilities such as load capacity and flow rate. For example, the speed of a conveyor system ultimately defines speed capacities. Conveyor belts are rated by per minute, while roller conveyors are measured by linear velocity. This speed, regardless of how it is measured, is what gives conveyors such an advantage over human labor.
Conveyor System Training Services
Keeping your employees adequately trained and informed reduces downtime and increases workplace safety. Whether as part of your installation or at a later date, our knowledgeable field service staff members are available to lead a variety of training programs for your team. Our conveyor system training services include group and one-on-one sessions that cover use, care and preventative maintenance. We cover topics such as system safety, mechanical troubleshooting, and parts and belt changing.
In addition to on-site conveyor belt training services, your team will have access to our extensive online library of guides, whitepapers, case studies and videos. Finally, the Dorner blog and newsletter often features how-to and other helpful content.
Conveyor Belt Maintenance Program
Dorner offers a comprehensive preventative conveyor belt maintenance program, available in two tiers: labor or parts and labor. This program begins with a free site visit during which our team will evaluate your needs. From there, we will develop a custom proposal outlining our recommended service intervals.
Among the services provided in the conveyor belt maintenance program are inspection, adjustments, debris removal and lubrication. Additionally, members of the Level 2 service plan receive a 10 percent discount on parts.