Pallet-handling conveyor systems are comprised of a variety of different conveyor types, the most versatile of which is the timing belt conveyor. In this article we will explore the many ways timing belt conveyors are used in pallet-handling systems. Additionally, this conveyor platform is not limited to one particular industry, which additionally speaks to the overall flexibility of this type of conveyor. Timing belt conveyors are ideal in all types of manufacturing – from automotive to solar cells and everything in between.

Timing Belt Conveyors for Precision Handling

Timing belt conveyors are best known for their ability to precisely move product into a particular location. This is due to the nature of how these conveyors are designed. When combined with other pallet-handling modules, such as stops and locates, the precision and accuracy of these conveyors is only amplified. This allows for the greatest degree of precision location of the workpiece pallet as possible. These conveyors are ideal at process station that require the highest level of repeat accuracy.

Timing Belt Conveyors for Indexing Operation

The timing belt conveyor’s toothed pulley and belt design naturally lends itself to indexing operations. Timing belt conveyors can be indexed (meaning moved a fixed distance over a specific time, rest a specific time and repeat) in a wide variety of ways. This is called the “motion profile”. The motion profile will in a large part dictate the best type of motor and controller for the application. In pallet-handling systems these timing belt conveyors are ideal for moving product to a precise located in a stepped fashion, keeping a fixed distance between pallets. This allows for the timing of peripheral processes to be linked to the conveyor movement and vice versa.

Timing Belt Conveyors for Accumulating Pallets

Timing belt conveyors can be used to accumulated pallets in pallet-handling conveyor systems. Granted this is exactly what accumulating roller chain conveyors excel at, and to some degree flat top chains. However, both solutions may provide more accumulation capacity than necessary. For example: the maximum payload and accumulated load permissible on an accumulation chain conveyor is far greater than a timing belt conveyor for example. However, this additional capacity comes at a price. In certain applications it may make perfect sense to use a timing belt conveyor to accumulate pallets – especially if the pallets are unloaded. The belt would have specific coatings on both the toothed side and top side which enhances performance and allows for product accumulation. Using both timing belt and accumulating roller chain conveyors to accumulate pallets in a single system can be a very practical solution.

Timing Belt Conveyors in Transfer Units

The use of timing belt conveyors in pallet-handling conveyor systems are not limited to the main, return or spur conveyors where indexing, accumulation or precision handling is necessary. Timing belt conveyors also make excellent transfer conveyors. Timing belt conveyors are used in right-angle transfers, dual-transfers and parallel conveyor transfers. Frequently the conveyor used in a vertical transfer unit (VTU) is a timing belt conveyor. Their many uses in these modules is due in large part to their proven track record of reliance and durability. But most importantly these conveyors can easily travel in two directions, called bi-directional conveyors. This feature is critical in vertical transfer units, where the pallet is often discharged in the same direction it was received from.

timing belt lift and transfers in a pallet-handling system

Timing Belt Conveyor Options for VersaMove Pallet-Handling Systems

mk North America offers a timing belt conveyor solution in each of their three VersaMove platforms – Standard, Plus and Ultra. This means that no matter what the pallet size is, or the pallet load, mk and VersaMove have a timing belt conveyor that can fit the application. If you are ready to get started on your next pallet-handling conveyor system use the form below to contact mk North America to see how timing belt conveyors can play a critical role in your application.

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