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14 Roller Zones can Theoretically Move Very Heavy Loads

Picture color code:
Orange -- 1/8" thick x 1.25" wide flat belts
Red -- Powered roller
Yellow -- Pseudo powered rollers
Green -- .235" HT (High-Tension) O-ring belts
Blue -- 1/8" thick PVC roller covers

The flat belts are designed to add extra drive to 4 rollers, effectively making them "pseudo powered rollers". We have taken a zone with one powered roller and made it look like it has 5 powered rollers, so the O-ring belts think they are only moving one slave (or at most 1.5 slaves.) This makes the O-ring belts much more efficient, minimizing the loss in RPM of slaves far from the powered roller.

14 roller zone with flat and round belts
This design is very low cost because it uses only four 4 flat belts. The O-rings are slightly oversized (.235") so that they protrude about .025" above the roller after being stretched 20%. Placing the flat belts over the O-ring grooves allows us to use the O-rings as the crown for the flat belts, thus eliminating the need for tracking sleeves. The grooves edges should have a minimal radius in order to provide more surface contact between the rollers and the flat belts.

This cost advantage is somewhat offset by the need for PVC sleeves to raise the OD of the rollers to the OD of the flat belts, but these should cost significantly less than one or two more powered rollers, plus they provide other advantages, e.g., more grip and less noise. Of course, sleeves would not be necessary if boxes were prevented from riding up on the flat belts.

Sleeves are unnecessary if skids (pallets without bottom cross-supports) are used. Flat belts can be located so that pallet legs will never touch them. Rhino Pallet Company makes light weight aluminum skids that work well with our belts.

flat and round belts
Note that we can add more flat belts and PVC sleeves to cover any open spots on the rollers.

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