Which Type of Chip Conveyor Best Fits Your Production Needs?
Nothing is more frustrating than production grinding to a halt because the chip conveyor can’t handle the load. Bottlenecks, cuttings building up in the work zone and contaminated coolant are just a few of the problems that reduce productivity and can even cause equipment damage.
The sad fact is, it may not be the chip conveyor’s fault. It may simply be the wrong machine for the job. Especially when you’ve changed materials or production methods. That’s why it’s important to understand the differences between the 4 basic types of chip conveyors.
If you only run ferrous materials, a magnetic chip conveyor may be the best choice. By attracting all sizes and shapes of ferrous chips, these conveyors trap the material and allow coolant to flow out of the baffle pool below the conveyor track, leaving the metal pieces behind. One caveat is that if your process generates stringy ferrous chips longer than the magnet spacing, you could short out the magnets. The biggest drawback is that you can’t run nonferrous metals through a magnetic chip conveyor because the chips will remain in the coolant and potentially clog or even damage fluid lines, pumps and coolant tanks.
- Hinge Belt:
This is a very popular choice for many turning applications producing coarse and stringy ferrous, aluminum or mixed materials, as well as dedicated plastics machining – as long as there are no fine chips involved. Because hinge belt conveyors don’t filter coolant, the fine chips can, again, result in clogs and potential damage.
- Filtering Chip Conveyors:
Flexibility is a critical component of today’s manufacturing environment. The ability to run a variety or parts and materials – often on the same multi-function machines – requires an equally versatile chip conveyor. Filtering chip conveyor designs may use replaceable filtering media, permanent self-cleaning filtering drums and scraper systems housed in perforated boxes. Once again, the style of filtering conveyor you choose depends on your applications. Some types are not suited for fine chips, for example. The most versatile type of filtering chip conveyor, is one that handles virtually all chip types and filters particles as small as 50 microns from coolant.
- Disc Conveyor Systems:
Manufacturers that produce large quantities of chips should consider a disc conveying system that pushes chips of all kinds and from multiple machines through a tubing system to a central collection point, either inside or outside of the factory. Disc conveyors eliminate labor required to empty chip receptacles at each machine tool and keep the workplace neat and clean.
Unsure of the chip conveyor type that’s right for your operations? Your local LNS representative has the expertise and applications know-how to help you make the best choice.