Plastic chain conveyor is a kind of flexible chain conveyor system. The flat top chain conveyor mainly uses aluminum profile or stainless steel as frame and beam. At the same time, it adopts toothed plastic steel chain as conveyor belt. This multi-flexing slat conveyor can not only suitable for horizontal conveying, but also applicable for vetical transportation. The flexlink conveyor is ideally suitable for space save or optimization occasions. The modular belt design allows for complex conveying routes. So this flexible modular flat top conveyor is very applicable for cosmetics, perfume, beverage, dairy, beverage, pharmaceutical, food, condiments and other industries. In short, it is the ideal choice for feeding and packing bottles, jars, cans, tins or small boxes.
Table of Contents
- 1. Introduction of Plastic Chain Conveyor
- 2. Tehcnical Specification
- 3. Structure of Flexible Chain Conveyor
- 4. Types of Flat Top Chain Conveyor
- 5. Features of Modular Chain Conveyor
- 6. How to Customize Plastic Chain Conveyor?
- 7. Comparision with Other Conveyors
- 8. Use & Maintance of Plastic Link Chain Conveyor
Introduction of Plastic Chain Conveyor
Flexible chain conveyor is a combined three-dimensional conveying system. It is based on the aluminum profile or stainless steel beam (45-105mm wide) with T-shaped groove as the guide rails. It guide the plastic slat chain for flexible transmission. The products are directly loaded on the conveyor chain or positioning pallet. Moreover, it allow horizontal and vertical direction changes. The width of the conveyor chain ranges from 44mm to 175mm. Because of modular design, you can directly assemble the conveyor with simple manual tools. It can form various production lines according to the different needs of users.
Flat top chain conveyor has wide application in the occasions with high sanitary requirements and small factory room space. In addition, flexible chain conveyor can achieve maximum bending in space. Besides, it can change the parameters such as length and bending angle at any time. It is easy to operate and flexible to design. Furthermore, it can be made into various conveying modes of pulling, pushing, hanging and clamping. Then it composes various functions, such as merging, splitting, sorting, and aggregate.
How does a plastic chain conveyor system work? The working principle is as follows. Similar to a table top slat conveyor, firstly the toothed chains form the conveyor belt. Then the sprocket drive the link chain belt for a normal cycle operation. Due to the toothed connection and large gap, it can realize flexible curved and vertical climbing transportation.
|Conveyor Type or Shape||Straight,double-row, multi lines, L-shape, S-shape,U-shape, J-shape, Z-shape, F-shape, circular,multi-flexing (Multiple corners), inclined, vertical spiral,gripper chain conveyor,etc.|
|Motor||AC 220V/sph, or AC 380V/3ph|
|Beam & frame material||aluminum profile or SS304 stainless steel|
|Chain material||POM, PP, Stainless Steel|
|Chain type||flat top chain, ESD chain, friction top chain,cleated chain,roller chain,steel-plated chain,roller carrier chain|
|Chain width (mm)||63, 83, 103, 140, 175, 295|
|Conveyor width (mm)||65~300mm|
|Conveyor length (mm)||600~4000mm|
|Flexible chain conveyor speed||up to 50 m/min|
|Max load per meter (kg)||30kg (horizontal transport), 5kg (vertical transpor)|
|Allow working tension (N)||500~1500|
Structure of Flexible Chain Conveyor
The plastic chain conveyor composes of several parts, such as flat top chains, bracket, beam, turning wheel, beam support parts, motor, drive head / tail, guard side bar, etc.
1. Flexible flat top plastic chain
Flexlink chain is injection molded from polymer engineering plastics. Firstly, form it into a single-plate semi-finished module by thermoforming of plastic. Then use stainless steel pins to splice the modules into a chain form. The common material is POM. So it has long time operation lifetime. If require acid and alkali resistance, it can also use PP or PE material. In addition, the standard conveyor chain width is 45mm, 63mm, 70mm, 83mm, 103mm, 140mm, 175mm, 295mm. And chain plate pitch: 25.4mm, 33.5mm, 35.5mm, 38.1mm. The flat top chain plate can adapt to the temperature of -40～90℃.
Besides, the toothed flexlink chain has minimal noise and vibration during operation. So it enables high-speed and reliable operation in transportation operations. Due to the toothed structure, the plastic conveyor chain can bend freely in the horizontal and vertical directions. Flexing chain has wide applications in the operation of low noise, high speed, sanitation and cleanliness, and large center distance.
The flexlink chain types:
The plastic chain has several types, such as standard /univeral chain, ESD chain, friction top chain, cleated chain, roller chain, steel-plated chain, roller carrier chain, etc. In addition, it can install the fixtures on the plate chain. Among them, standard flexlink chain is the most commonly used type. Secondly, the anti-static chain is appliable for conveying electronic components. If you need the inclined transport, you can choose the friction top chain. It enables conveying products in inclined route up to 15°~30°. The large friction surface ensures the safe and stable operation of the products.
Of course, if you need bigger inclined angles conveying or 90° vertical transport, you can choose the cleated chain. Moreover, it can set the spacing of the baffles to fit the product lengths. And the roller chain is suitable for protecting transport of products in accumulation sections. It can reduce high accumulation pressures. Besides, it allows easy removal of products at stop point. Finally, the steel-plated chain can convey hard, burred and hot (up to 80℃) parts. Furthermore, the stainless steel is suitable for wet working environment.
2. The flexible chain conveyor beam & bracket
The beam and bracket determines the stability of the plastic chain conveyor body. The available material is anodized aluminum profile and stainless steel (SS304 or SS316). There are several types, such as light-load, medium-duty, heavy-duty. So it can adapt to the transport of different weight products. There are guide rails in the beam. It has a guiding effect on the plastic chain. So it ensure stable transport.
3. The turning wheel of flat top chain conveyor
The curve wheel is the internal support device when the plastic chain turns. It includes horizontal and vertical types. The available types of turning wheel of flexible chain conveyor are 30°, 45°, 60°, 90°, 120°, 180°. Minimum turning radius is R150. If some products are not suitable for 90° turning wheel, you can use 2 sets of 45° curve wheels or 3 sets of 30° curve wheels. The flexible conveyor chain plate is guided by the guide wheels and realizes turning. It can effectively reduce the phenomenon of excessive resistance during the operation of the flat top chain. So this avoids the situation that the flexible chain plate is broken when the turning radius is large. At the same time, it also avoids the burning of the motor when the load is overloaded. Moreover, it can reduce noise to the greatest extent.
4. Drive device of plastic chain conveyor
It include the head drive module and tail driven module. The head drive module includes these parts, such as drive shaft, motor flange, side sealing plate and sprocket. The sprocket is set between the two side sealing plates. It uses the sprocket to drag the plastic chain plate to move. There is no elastic sliding and slipping phenomenon. The device is light in weight. Moreover, it is convenient to install with the conveying beam. So it’s suitable for various series of flexible conveying systems. In addition, the cost is low, and it is easy to disassemble and repair.
On the other hand, plastic chain conveyor needs a set of driven device to make the chain revolve in order to achieve cyclic operation. It includes these parts, such as driven shaft, driven sprocket, side sealing plate and connecting strip. Their housing is made of cast aluminum.
Types of Flat Top Chain Conveyor
The flexible chain conveyor has many kinds of shapes. The shape of flexlin coneyor can be simple, such as straight, L-shape, J-shape, S-shape, U-shape, etc. In addition, its shape can be also complex, such as circular, modular pallet conveying, multiple corners, vertical spiral, gripper conveying, etc. Now introduce several complicated chain transfer conveyor systems:
1. Multi corners (multi flexing) plastic chain conveyor
- 1-drive module, 2-driven device, 3-beam, 4-turning device, 5-flat top plastic chain
When conveying materials, the conveyor belt often needs a certain turning angle. But the working surface of the traditional conveyor belt is a flat surface. Besides, the turning radius is relatively large. Therefore, it is difficult to complete a 180° turn in a small space. As a result, the transport fails. In addition, when the conveying material is large and the speed is fast, it is easy to cause the conveyor belt to break. So this will adversely affect production.
However, this multi-corner plastic chain conveyor can solve the above problems. It realizes the multi-angle operation of the flexible chain through multiple curve wheels. The turning radius of the flat top chain is very small. So it increases the conveying length in the unit area. Thereby reducing the floor space of the plant.
2. Workpiece pallet conveyor chain transfer system
- On assembly lines, it often need conveyor systems. It transports the workpiece from one station to another. With the help of friction, the workstation tray / pallet moves with two continuously the flat top chains. The modular pallet flexible chain conveyor can flexibly adapt to the diversification of product assembly processes. It is easy to realize the optimized layout of the production line. Moreover, it can improve production efficiency, and reduce the backlog of products. Because of the modular design, you can reuse the plastic chain conveyor. This flat top chain conveyor can be used under harsh sanitary conditions such as cleanliness and safety. Flexlink conveyor is especially suitable for applications in the machining industry (such as bearings), auto parts assembly industry, electronic assembly industry and daily chemical industry.
3. Mutil-layer Curved Circular Flexible Chain Conveyor
The flat top chain conveyor achieves multiple curves in the vertical direction. It makes full use of the height space. So it can convey and store more products in an limited space. Thus it’s good for product stacking or cooling. It has wide application in plastic bottles or food industry. In fact, it is similar to spiral conveyor. The chain vertical conveyor is suitable for lifting and lowering transportation in a small space. This flexlink conveyor saves space, is easy to maintain, and has a long life. It can be matched with products that need to be temporarily stored, cooled or continuously moved up and down during the production process. It can also cooperate with the warehouse system.
This kind plastic chain conveyor is a compact and efficient products stacking platform. It is mainly used to temporarily store the products. Generally, the stacking time is about 5-20 minutes. The flexible conveyor line can be horizontal or spirally vertical.
Features of Modular Chain Conveyor
1. Firstly, clean: the flexible chain conveyor is assembled from high-strength engineering plastic chain plates and anodized aluminum profile or stainless steel. It doesn’t need no lubrication for equipment operation. And the flat top POM chain has strong corrosion resistance. Because it is white material, it is very clean and tidy, and easy to maintain.
2. Secondly, simple: use modular design and standard structure. Therefore, the flexible chain conveyor is easy to install and easy to disassemble and maintain.Basic disassembly and assembly work can be completed by a single person only with common hand tools. If production requirements change, it can easily adjust entire plastic chain conveyor system.
3. Thirdly, stable and low noise: the flexible conveyor belt transmits power through the meshing of chain plates. Therefore, the impact is small, the movement is stable, and the noise is small. Moreover, the stable performance can ensure that the product does not fall and slip off during transportation.
4. Fourth, flexible: This flexlink conveyor system composes of arbitrarily disassembled components. With different radii of vertical and horizontal curves, it can convey products in any space. It can complete many transport forms, such as horizontal, inclined, vertical, turning, spiral, clamping, hanging, overturning, rotating and other conveying forms. In addition, this flexible conveyor system can be large or small. So it can save plant area.
5. The flexible conveyor chain has many advantages, such as a wide range of temperature adaptation, good anti-sticking performance, a large lifting angle, and easy cleaning. Besides, there are many kinds of chain types, so as to suitable for different transport applications. Moreover, the plastic chains use eco-friendly materials. Therefore, it meets the production requirements of food and medicine. In addition, the reliability of the plastic conveyor chain plate is also very high. The chain links of the flexible chain plate have a multi-piece structure. Thus, when individual chain pieces are damaged during work, you can quickly replace it in time.
6. Since the conveying beam and brackets are aluminum profiles, it is easy to cut quickly. So easy can be long or short. At the same time, aluminum is easy to bend. Therefore, it is convenient to directly modify the length and height of the flexible plastic chain conveyor at the installation site. In addition, the aluminum profile is light in weight. So the work intensity of the staff is less. On the other hand, stainless steel is suitable for the requirements of food and pharmaceutical industries.
7. Finally, it can install the fixtures and pallets on the plastic conveyor chains. Fixtures and pallets enable efficient one-piece transport solutions. From the assembly of medical equipment to the engine parts, the flexible chain conveyor can adapt to various environments. At the same time, it is convenient for automatic control and product assembly.
How to Customize Plastic Chain Conveyor?
Flexible plastic chain conveyors can used in many industries, such as food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, beverages, health care products, mechanical parts and electronic product assembly industries. So how to choose the flat top chain conveyor rightly?
1. Firstly, determin the type of flexible chain conveyor according to the area of the plant and the conveying route. Choose horizontal, inclined or vertical transport. In addition, determine whether you need to transport in a straight line or in a turn. If incline flexlink conveyor, you can choose friction-resistant chain, roller chain or cleated chain.
2. Secondly, you need to inform the application of the flat top chain conveyor. If for electronic products, it can choose an anti-static flexilink chain. If for food or pharmaceuticals, then it can use stainless steel beams and brackets. In addition, if you want to facilitate the assembly of the product, it can install a fixture or a pallet.
3. Thirdly, inform the product size, weight and conveying speed. Different sizes, different types of plastic conveyor chains. In addition, it needs different materials and motor power. Of course, plastic chain conveyors are mainly suitable for light load.
4. Finally, inform whether you need to customize other functions and accessories on the flexible chain conveyor, such as cylinders, sensors, etc.
Comparision with Other Conveyors
1. Plastic chain conveyor vs belt conveyor
Firstly, they both have many kinds of application. They can be used for the transportation of finished products, as well as the transportation of powder or loose goods. Moreover, they can convey food. Secondly, their shapes diverse according to actual needs. It can be not only straight conveyor, but also curved conveyor. Besides, they can be not only horizontal conveyors, but also inclinded & vertical conveyors. Thirdly, flexible chain conveyor and belt conveyor run smoothly. Furthermore, the structure is simple and easy to maintain.
Firstly, the material of the conveyor belt is different. The flat top chain conveyor mainly uses POM plastic chain plates. But the belt conveyor is mainly made of PVC or PU material. In addition, the flexible chain conveyor is spliced one by one with chain plates. So when one of the plastic chain plates is broken, you can easily replace it. However, when the belt is broken, it can only be replaced completely. Therefore, maintenance cost of former are lower.
Secondly, due to material reasons, plastic chain conveyor can also be applicable in industries such as pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and health care products that require high sanitary environments.
Thirdly, the shape will also be different. The turning radius of the flexible chain conveyor is much smaller than that of the belt conveyor. Therefore, the conveying route and shape of the flexlink conveyor can be more abundant. Therefore, a very complicated conveying structure can be realized in a small space. So it will reduce the factory area.
Fourth, the load is different. The belt conveyor can convey both small load and large load products. However, flat top chain conveyor is often only used for light duty.
Finally, the conveying principle is also different. The principle of the belt conveyor is that the motor makes the roller to drive the belt to run. But the plastic chain conveyor is that motor makes the sprocket to drive the plastic chain to run in the guide rail in the beam.
2. Flexible chain conveyor vs table top conveyor
Firstly, the working principle is the same. The sprocket drives the plastic chain to run. Secondly, the conveyor belts are both spliced by chain plates. Therefore, it is easy to replace.
Firstly, there is a difference between the chain plates. The conveyor generally uses stainless steel and POM plastic chain plates. But the flexible chain conveyor mainly uses POM plastic chain plates. Moreover, the chain plates of the latter are mostly tooth-shaped. Therefore, the structure of the flexlink conveyor can be more flexible.
Secondly, there are also differences in structure. The side plates and guide rails of the tabletop conveyor are separated. And the guide rail usually uses the ultra-high molecular polyethylene material. But the plastic chain conveyor uses a beam structure. It is a one-piece aluminum profile.
Thirdly, the appearance is also different. The width of the table top conveyor can be large. However, flexible chain conveyors are often narrower. In addition, the turning radius of the plastic chain conveyor is also smaller. Therefore, its shape can be very complicated. When turning horizontally or vertically, the flexlink conveyor usually use the curve wheels.
Finally, the application and load are different. The tabletop conveyor load can be very large. So it is often used for conveying in the beer and beverage industry. However, flexible chain conveyors has lighter load-bearing capacity.
Use & Maintance of Plastic Link Chain Conveyor
During the installation and adjustment of the flat top chain conveyor, we must firstly check whether the plastic chain plates is stuck. Secondly, check the stability of stands. Because safety is the most important thing. In addition, when testing plastic chain conveyor, the speed should be slow. If there are problems, you can stop and adjust in time.
The flexible chain conveyor can achieve maximum curve in space. Due to the modular design, you can be install it quickly. Firstly, fix the stands at the installation area. Then use the bracket and curve wheels to install the beam and plastic chain plates. Finally, install the motor and the guide bar, etc.
Standard use of flat top chain conveyor:
1. Firstly , prevent starting the conveyor with load. After the flexible chain conveyor runs smoothly, then put products for transport. Besides, remember to exceed the allowable load of the plastic chain conveyor.
2. Secondly, if the flexible chain belt deviates, please correct it in time. When the plastic chain plates are damaged, replace it with a new one in time. It is necessary to check whether the sprocket and the chain plate are working in a normal meshing state.
3. Then, flexible chain plates of different types and specifications should not be connected together for use. In addition, the type, structure, specification, and number of layers of the plastic chain should be selected reasonably according to the conditions of use.
5. Finally, the feeding direction should follow the running direction of the flat top chain conveyor. At the same time, it should reduce the impact of material falling on the flexible chain. Reduce the drop distance.
Maintance of flexible chain conveyor:
The plastic chain conveyor system is easy to clean. It can directly wash the conveyor surface with water. (But don’t wash the power part and the control part with water). Generally speaking, please replace the motor oil in time after about half of one year. Normally, after using the flexlink conveyor, turn off the power in time. Clean the surface of the conveyor equipment for a period of time. When the equipment needs maintenance, it should be maintained by professional persons.
Troubleshooting of Flexlink Conveyor
1. Plastic chains are damaged
There are several reasons for the damage of the flexible flat top chain. For example, sometimes the load on the plastic chain conveyor is too large. Or the impact of the chain plate is relatively large. In addition, it is possible that the chain plate tension is too large during installation.
2. Plastic chain conveyor belt deviation
Generally speaking, the flexible chain plate is not prone to deviation. Of course, the flexible chain is loose during transmission. At this time, it will cause deviation.
- (1) Wear of sprocket. There is a certain deviation in the sprocket in use. This will cause abnormal meshing between the flexible chain plate and the sprocket. Therefore, try to choose suitable sprocket according to the model and size of the flexible chain conveyor. Then reduce the friction loss of the sprocket . Regular maintenance and inspection.(2) Another reason is the deviation of the flat top chain pitch. It is necessary to check the wear of the flexible chain and whether there are impurities.
3. The phenomenon of plastic flat top chain conveyor crawling
What is the phenomenon of plastic chain crawling? When the flexible plastic chain is driven at a constant speed, the phenomenon of periodic move and stop or slow and fast.
- There are many reasons, mainly as follows:(1) The normal load is too large. Or the plastic chain conveyor is too long. Solution: When designing, the length of flexlink conveyor should not exceed 15 meters as much as possible. When longer than 15 meters, it is advisable to connect by several conveyors. At the same time, the load of the flat top chain conveyor must be reasonable and not overloaded.
- (2) The tooth profile parameters of the drive sprocket are unreasonable. Therefore, the pitch of the flexible plastic chain is not properly matched with the drive sprocket. So it will be very easy to produce crawling or teeth jumping phenomenon. The solution is to correct the tooth profile of the drive sprocket. Make it and the pitch of the chain plate must be consistent.(3) Insufficient rigidity of the plastic conveyor chain plate will also cause crawling. In order to save costs, some manufacturers blindly use low-rigidity cheap POM materials. The solution is to choose high-rigidity POM chains.
- (4) The change in friction is also an important reason for the phenomenon of flat top chain plate crawling. When the conveyor has too many joints and curves, if the handling is not good, the friction will change greatly. At this time, it is easy to produce crawling phenomenon. The solution is that the arc design should be reasonable. When it must make a sharp turn, try to use a curve wheel. This can reduce friction. If there are no restrictions on sharp bends, try to use a smooth design with large arcs.
(5) In addition, the rigidity of the flat top chain conveyor frame will also have a certain impact. The beams of the flexlink conveyor system should use aluminum profiles. It will ensure the high rigidity of the conveyor beam. At the same time, the support of the beam should be fixed firmly.
Q2. How long is the warranty time of your flexible chain conveyor?
A2. The warranty time of our plastic chain conveyor is 1 year. And the motor of flat top chain conveyor is 1 year.