Limit Switches Improve Safety in Conveyor Belts
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Imagine, in a manufacturing plant, a product moving on a conveyor belt gets out of order. If there is no limit switch to stop the process, the product and the machine could get damage putting the safety of operators at risk. That’s why a limit switch is essential in conveyor belts.
There are several other applications where limit switches are used. They are popular in consumer products and power tools. For example, in chainsaw a limit switch is used to stop the blade when the operator takes their hand off the button.
In conveyor belts, when a limit switch senses that a product is out of place, it shuts down the system to prevent damage. There are different types of limit switches that are used in conveyor belts depending upon the purpose and environment. Some of those are:
1. Heavy Duty Switches
For conveyor belts operating in rough environments, heavy duty limit switches are used to indicate the exact position of products on the belt.
Depending upon how they’re configured, these limit switches can count individual items on the belt or even ensure that each item is in its right position with the correct alignment.
2. Hazardous Location Switches
Conveyors belts can adapt to extremely harsh industrial environments and to work with these machines, the limit switches must also be capable of operating in harsh environments. That’s why hazardous location limit switches are used for conveyor belts in harsh environments.
These switches are quite similar to a heavy duty switch, but they’re encapsulated in sealed enclosures rated for hazardous locations. Conveyors belts located in outdoor environment or places where explosions can occur like grain or fuel handling mostly used hazardous location limit switches.
3. Safety Switches
It is essential to use automatic safety measure to ensure safe operations, but manual safety switches are also important. In safety switches, a cable-pull setup is used which has a snap-action switch connected with a cable.
These switches are safe to use and provide a reliable and visible device for immediately stopping a conveyor. In case any problem occurs, operators can quickly stop the moving conveyor by yanking the cable.
4. Safety and Hazardous Location Switches
In hazardous places, most conveyor belts are automated, but some are not and require human interference. Safety and hazardous location limit switches are like safety switches, except they’re rated for hazardous locations.
In hazardous locations where suspended gas particles or other compounds might be present in the environment, safety and hazardous location limit switches are used. In case of potential danger, an operator can trip these limit switches to reduce risk of disaster or explosion.
In a nutshell, a limit switch is a must for safe and effective operations of a conveyor belt. With different types of limit switches available, there’s no reason to operate conveyor belt without a limit switch.
If you’re in search for quality limit switches that can be used in conveyor belts or any other mechanical applications, we suggest you check out our range of limit switches at Midwest Equipment.
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