Distributed drive systems on long conveyors significantly reduce belt tensions enabling higher conveying lengths and capacities. Proper distribution of the drive power along the conveyor length with matching controls will facilitate use of belts of lesser strength and lighter support structures with significant benefits in investment and operating costs.
(ed. WoMaMarcel - 29/7/2014)
There are many factors to be considered while deciding on the location and distribution of drives along the conveyor. The terrain, dynamic behavior of the belt, location of the conveyor, ambient conditions, will often decide the type of drive system and their location. In most cases head end and tail end drives will be required to reduce the belt tensions. In some cases an additional booster tripper drive will help in further reducing the belt tensions. It may not be always possible to provide tail end drives and in such cases booster tripper drives may be the feasible solution. Conveyors can have more than one booster drive tripper also.
Distributed, multiple motor drives will be effective only if they are properly controlled, under all load conditions, to ensure smooth start and load sharing as envisaged in design. Ideally, the conveyor should be given just enough power to start and accelerate to the rated belt speed within a specified time. Similar controlled stop (except in case of power outage stops) will ensure smooth stop without causing any undue stresses along the conveyor. This will protect all components of the conveyor from being unnecessarily stressed.
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