How to Calculate the Speed of a Conveyor Belt

Optimizing your workload means maximizing the effectiveness of your conveyor belts – and that means finding the right operating speed. The balance between efficiency and practicality is elusive, especially if you’re using your conveyor belt to aid the effectiveness of your production line.

In any case, operating at the right speeds can increase the longevity of your machinery and ensure that your workspace reaches peak performance. With this in mind, here are several tips to help you calculate the speed of your conveyor belt; it could make all the difference.

The Formula

There is a reliable formula for working out the speed of your belt, and it looks like this:

· Speed = roller circumference x motor RPM (revolutions per minute)

However, if you have a gear reduction system in place, you’ll need to factor this into the equation. For example, if your gear ratio is 20:1, you’ll need to divide the RPM by 20, so 1000 RPM at a gear ratio of 20:1 would equate to 50 RPM.

Say your roller circumference was 35cm (you can find the circumference by measuring the diameter of your roller and multiplying the results by pi); you would need to multiply this by your gear ratio-adjusted RPM, so in this case, 35 x 50. This gives you the distance traveled by a point on the belt in one minute.

Next, you can multiply this one-minute distance by 60 to get the distance traveled in an hour. You can then divide this number by 12 to get the number of feet traveled per second, then divide this again by 5280 (the number of feet in a mile) to get the miles per hour.

In this example, the belt speed would be 1.65mph, making it a fairly powerful belt conveyor.

A Tachometer

A tachometer may be able to save you a huge amount of time and prevent you from having to do any math at all, which is always a massive bonus. This gadget can be used to efficiently conduct a speed test on your belt, and it does so via a wheel attachment.

The tachometer is a small handheld instrument that you can place onto the belt, causing the wheel attachment to rotate. The device will then calculate the RPM of the belt, enabling it to calculate the linear speed, which it then displays on its screen.

There are contactless tachometers available too, which might be preferable for those working with heavy duty belts or goods. The non-contact options typically use laser technology to gauge the correct RPM of the belt as opposed to the friction method.

In any case, there are plenty of different types of conveyor available, so make sure you choose the option that best suits your needs.

Contact the Manufacturer

If you would rather get more information on your belt speed right from the manufacturer, don’t be afraid to call them and ask. Conveyor belt manufacturers should be able to fill you in on the important details with ease.

Still, if you’ve worked out the speed of your current belt and it’s not doing the trick, maybe it’s time to look for a replacement. Replacement conveyor belts can make a huge difference in a workspace productivity rate, and they can be a great cost-effective option, so it’s well worth considering.