Conveyors and Continuous Material Handling Standards

Conveyors and continuous material handling systems are a key part of the automation that builds the foundation of any large scale manufacturing operation and, through that, the foundation to the global economy. With such a load to bear and carry smoothly, standardization becomes an important part in promoting dependability and reliability within a manufacturer’s product line, as well as interoperability between different products and manufacturers. The Conveyor Equipment Manufacturers Association (CEMA) has published many standards guiding the field, and is joined by the American Society for Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and theInternational Organization for Standardization (ISO) in this endeavour. Designed to continuously handle different materials, in different environments, with additional specialized variations designed for specific industries and use cases, there are a great many options within the conveying field. Conveyor standards unify the field with definitions of terms and performance terminology applying across different conveyors, conveyor systems, and their allied equipment.

Conveyor Safety Standards

Conveyor safety standards address safety considerations in design, testing, and use, doing so with a focus beyond other standards that primarily address proper functioning with safety as an indirect result as proper functioning is of course safe functioning. These conveyor standards focus specifically on safety.

Additionally, significant attention is paid to fire safety, with fire simulation flammability testing and fire resistance tests taking the spotlight.

Conveyor Belt Standards

Conveyor belt standards address the most publically recognizable type of conveyor. Due to the plentiful amount of variability in the design, manufacturing, and structural composition of conveyor belts, standards exist to guide uniformity in terminology, safety codes, sampling, performance and dimensional characteristics, the test methods used to determine those characteristics, markings used as indicators, and so on. Like the conveyor belts themselves, conveyer belt standards smoothly move things along.

Food Conveyor Standards

Standards for conveyors that deal with food on a commercial scale address washing machines and conveyor ovens, broilers, and toasters. Standard specifications for washing machines with conveyor components are given, covering different types such as those with rack or rackless designs and single or multiple tank configurations. For conveyor ovens, broilers, and toasters, the standard test method to evaluate their energy consumption and cooking performance is given.

Roller Conveyor Standards

Roller conveyors are extremely popular type of conveyor, with different kinds of configurations, each with separate standards that establish recommended engineering, manufacturing, and application practices, as well as uniform nomenclature and dimensional standards. CEMA standards for roller conveyors address belt-driven, chain-driven, and lineshaft-driven live roller conveyors, as well as the non-powered varieties too.

Screw Conveyor Standards

Screw conveyor standards include the recommended dimensional values for screw conveyors, their components, and associated parts. Additionally, screw conveyor standards include the design rules for drive power of the rotating screw, as well as the safety code for the associated hazards, particular attention being paid to the shearing or trapping points between the fixed and moving parts of the screw conveyor.

Conveyor Chains Standards

Standards for chains address the wide range of applications chains have in the conveyor field, from merely being components that convey power in other conveyor designs to being the main player. In addition to specifying the characteristics of the chains themselves, these standards also address the associated attachments, sprocket teeth, connector units, and so forth, providing for a complete picture.

Light Conveyor Belt Standards

Standards for light conveyor belts define what exactly a “light conveyor belt” is due to their exclusion from many other standards that deal with conveyor belts. Compensating for this exclusion, light conveyor belt standards offer alternative test methods which are applicable, allowing for the determination of dimensions, tensile strength, electrical resistance, coefficients of friction and other characteristics vital to a reliable and properly functioning light conveyor belt.

Textile Conveyor Belt Standards

Textile conveyor belt standards address the additional tests that conveyor belts with a textile composition undergo. Flammability, tear propagation, tensile strength, and dimensional tests are included. Additionally, specifications for rubber or plastics covered belts of textile construction are given, addressing both general and underground mining, anticipating the range of environments conveyor belts with a textile carcass will be used in.

Steel Cord Belt Conveyor Standards

Standards for steel cord reinforced conveyor belts specifically address the considerations that are unique to them. Very durable due to their design, steel cord conveyor belts are thus used in environments and for payloads where the demands are high enough to warrant their use, therefore requiring thorough test methods that goes beyond what other conveyor belts are subjected to, in addition to tests that look at the bonding of the steel components to the rest of the conveyor belt.

Vibrating Conveyor Standards

Standards for vibrating and oscillating conveyors and feeders specify the basic characteristics of conveyors based upon the shape of their trough. Due to their specific dynamic nature, they are used for a wide variety of applications, often including the sorting, orienting, and screening of parts. These standards address the use of vibrating and oscillating conveyors for use as continuous mechanical handling equipment for loose bulk materials.

Other Conveyor Standards

Conveyor standards address more than just the most popular and widely used types of conveyors. Standards exist for the use of conveyors in niche applications such as fertilizer sampling from a belt, continuous manure scraping, or the sampling of waste streams on conveyors. In addition to establishing standards for the design, manufacture, construction, dimensional characteristics, and operation of a wide range of conveyors, this assortment of conveyor standards showcases the range of both the conveyor industry and standardization efforts.