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SPECIALIST EQUIPMENT


Options such as solar are not well suited to the general conditions of a conveyor system, as monitoring devices are often required in an enclosed structure without access to sunlight, or for continuous operation during both day and night. A conveyor is driven by a multi-


kilowatt motor, and this power is readily available system-wide in the form of the moving belt. T e motors driving the belts are typically sized with a considerable power safety factor to account for parasitic loads, such as rolls with damaged bearings, tracking devices (that may work almost continuously), sealing systems, belt cleaners and material changes due to diff erent moisture levels and variable loads. For these reasons, engineers have searched for ways to take advantage of the available kinetic energy of the moving belt to bring power to the specifi c places where sensors and other devices would provide advantages. In most conveyor designs, the belt runs on a set of rollers that provide


support and guide the belt. T e typical conveyor roller is a very reliable device, with key components such as bearings, seals and the ‘steel can’ all well understood in the industry. Product designers theorised that they could draw power from a moving belt by attaching an independent generator directly to one of the rollers. In this way, they felt that power could be drawn from the conveyor without altering the structure of the system or aff ecting its physical confi guration. Being able to add a generator to a


roller delivers the benefi t of utilising the proven reliability of existing roller designs, while drawing power from the belt for a wide variety of electronic devices. T e goal was to engineer a device with the versatility to retrofi t existing idler designs, so operators would not be required to maintain a special stock of conveyor rollers, as the generator could be employed on virtually any steel roller. Martin Engineering’s product engineers developed a design to accomplish this through the use of a


The belt cleaner forms a 3D curve beneath the discharge that conforms to the pulley’s shape


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