Conveyor belts for high-precision goods transport

Rapid, precise unit load handling and simplified handling of foil sheeting

Belt conveyors are used to transport items such as sheets of glass and rolled materials quickly and with high precision. In contrast to using a robotic arm to handle goods, items can be held securely in one position on the conveyor belt throughout several operations with no need to keep checking the position prior to each operation. This reduces process times significantly.

When a perforated the conveyor belt is used, a vacuum can be applied which secures the items in one position throughout the operation. We match the diameter of the holes to the type of goods to be transported – when stainless steel belts are used, it is possible to have diameters on a sub-millimeter scale.

Facilitates the handling of sheeting

Conveyor belts permit continuous sheets of material such as foils to be moved. Rolls of paper or plastic sheeting can be held in the exact position required on a belt conveyor via vacuum or electrostatics and processed in that precise position.

The process is particularly suitable for multi-layer digital printing since the belt conveyor guarantees that the position of the substrate in relation to the print head remains virtually constant. Not only does this make it possible to print customized packaging material or small runs economically but also accommodates continuous laser structuring processes or the application of electronic elements to sheet material.   

Precisely the right material for highest precision

The Fraunhofer IPT customizes the belt conveyor to the process and the relevant precision requirements. To ensure that even the tightest tolerances are adhered to, we consider at the process development stage the various influencing factors such as the thermal expansion which occurs during the drying process. If, for example, there is a risk that the goods will expand beyond the acceptable limits, we might use a granite conveyor belt.

Semi-continuous processes

We allow for buffer storage to ensure that upstream or downstream processes can run without stoppages. When the transport process has to be stopped for machining operations such as applying electronic components to the sheet material, continuous steps such as masking or stamping can continue to run uninterrupted even when interim operations are required. Semi-continuous operation permits even steps involving dispensing or laser machining to be integrated in the continuous process. This is achieved by linking the buffer storage to the conveyor belt allowing the foil sheeting to be stored as required then released at the same time as the end of the conveyor belt.

Our services  Feasibility studies for individual manufacturing tasks

  • Evaluation of new manufacturing options
  • Test facility development
  • Process analyses
  • Expansion of existing systems with custom-built conveyor belts.
  • System development – from the idea through to setting up a customized, continuous production line with an integrated conveyor belt.