Development of belt sorters smoothly adjustable belt drums
Institute of Technology, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Fr.R. Kreutzwaldi 56, EE51014 Tartu, Estonia; *Correspondence: firstname.lastname@example.org
Belt sorters are used to sort different type of objects according by their size. Making belt sorter easily and quickly adjustable in desired range has positive influence on it’s functionality and productivity. One solution for that is to use one or more adjustable belt drums. This option allows to change the distance between belts evenly and through this change the mesh size so to speak. Greater benefits will be obtained if belt drum is smoothly adjustable. The aim of this research paper is to compare technical peculiarities of two patented technical solutions for smoothly adjustable drum and identify if the newer has benefits compared with the older one. In this study comparative tests are performed using real prototypes. Both prototypes have key structure that determine the range of their adjustability. Prototype with older technical solution contains CNC milled key structure and prototype with improved solution contains 3D printed key structure. Prototype’s mechanical parameters like belt pulleys backlash relative to the fixing point, backlash between two neighboring belt pulleys and required torque to regulate slot width between belt pulleys are studied. Also, it is considered how both technical solutions influence the sorting quality. During this study different measuring instruments are used included laser scanner. Obtained results are used to develop better and more reliable technical solution for belt sorters that can be used in berry processing lines.