Archive for the ‘Belts’ Category

Everything You Need To Know About Wedge Belts

Friday, August 5th, 2016

While the word “belt” makes many people picture clothing, in the industrial world, it means something different.

A belt is a loop of material that is used to link at least two rotating shafts together. The material that the belt is made from is always flexible, and the rotating shafts are usually parallel to one another.

There are many different kinds of belts used on various types of machinery. One example is wedge belts, which are also known as v-belts. These belts are commonly used for high powered devices.


What Are Synchronous Drive Gearbelts For?

Friday, July 15th, 2016

In simpler language, a synchronous drive gearbelt is often called a timing belt, toothed belt, or cog belt.

They are drive belts that work mechanically and are engineered not to slip. The inner surface has teeth that have been molded into the surface on the inside. In use, the belt’s teeth run over pulleys or sprockets that have matching teeth.


OPTIBELT USA – News and Spotlight

Friday, June 19th, 2015

Do you like to have all the info?

We’re like you. We like to do the research, and know firsthand what the companies and products we work with are “all about.”

That’s why today we are shining the proverbial spotlight on the company Optibelt, part of the Arntz OPTIBELT Group. Optibelt is a successful, and well known v-belt producing corporation whose headquarters recently re-located to Carol Stream, Illinois.

Optibelt has facilities in South Carolina, Texas, and California, as well; each with the capability of making custom cut widths for timing belts, banded v-belts, cogged v-belts, and ribbed belts.

In 2014, Optibelt was recognized for their third consecutive year as a Partner-Level Supplier in John Deere’s Achieving Excellence Program. Status as a Partner-Level Supplier is Deere & Company’s highest supplier rating.

It comes as no surprise that John Deere continues to recognize this outstanding company. Optibelt was chosen for this honor for their dedication to providing products and services of outstanding quality, and for their commitment to continual improvement.

Global Key Account Manager, Louis Giles, along with OEM Product Specialist, Waldemar Giesbrect accepted the award during the ceremonies that were held in Davenport, IA. Giles remarked, “This award is a great honor as it represents Optibelt’s ability deliver the very best products and service in the industry year after year.”

We certainly agree with him on that point.

What is the John Deere Achieving Excellence program, and why does it matter?

John Deere is an established company with a rich history and dedication to the land. They continually strive to improve their product cycle to deliver some of the world’s finest solutions and value in equipment, service, and support to their customers.

The Achieving Excellence Program is an innovative process aimed at developing relationships, promoting communication and continuous improvement throughout the product cycle as a whole. Annual evaluations are made of the suppliers who participate in John Deere’s Achieving Excellence program. Several key performance categories are looked at including quality, cost management, delivery, technical support and responsiveness.

Does it really matter to us that Optibelt was recognized by John Deere for their commitment to being a superior supplier?

Yes. It matters, because it shows continued commitment to their customer. It also shows us that they are currently capable of giving great service. They’re not up-and-coming. They’ve “made it.”

In other news, with their new headquarters located in northern Illinois, Optibelt USA can offer its customers even better service. This was a necessary relocation in response to the continuously growing market.

There are plenty advantages to the new location:

With 2500 square meters of space, more goods can be warehoused and shipped quickly to customers, because of added personnel. Not only can they increase inventory of their main product lines, Optibelt will also be able to maintain an inventory of new products and keep them continuously in stock. Lastly, being near to the metropolis region of Chicago has its benefits in the area of excellent transportation connections.

Here’s to v-belts, and the v-belt suppliers that continually meet our needs.

V-Belt Matching – Date, Code, Machine

Friday, February 6th, 2015

For transmitting power, V-belt drives often utilize multiple belts. Belt “matching” is a term used to define V-belts that are of equal length. It is important to have matched belts in these applications to ensure even load distribution.

Should a set of V-belts be operating outside the matched RMA (Rubber Manufacturers Association) tolerance limits, several issues can become problematic – belts will fail prematurely because they are unable to work together; the act of transmitting maximum horsepower will be compromised; the sheave grooves will wear unevenly; and belt whip and vibration will be increased.

Manufacturers do make V-belts within RMA tolerances, but each will be slightly different based on their unique manufacturing processes. Because of this, it is not wise to install a drive with V-belts originating from different manufacturers.

Three common V-belt matching methods:

1. Manufacturing Date Matching

This method is the assumption that you can match V-belts by using a manufacturing date code of the same production time period. There is no assurance that a v-belt made in the same production time frame will have a length within matching limits. This method is therefore not recommended.

2. CODE Matching

The RMA publishes match tolerances based on overall belt length. Some manufacturers offer code matching to designate matched length compliance – like codes mean V-belts fall within the matching limits. Not all manufacturers use code matching and instead fall within standard tolerances.

3. Machine Matching

Although code matching, if possible, is satisfactory for the majority of V-belt applications, some require length variation that falls below RMA matched standards. For these very specific applications, some manufacturers offer machine matching from the factory. This service may come at an additional cost. The manufacturer will offer a secondary physical measurement of each belt prior to shipping to ensure V-belt lengths are identical and meet or exceed RMA standards.

For information on acceptable v-belt length deviations click the link to see our previous post.

51 V-Belt Applications

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

By definition, V-belts are: A belt with a flat bottom and tapered sides which transmits motion between two pulleys.

The V-belt has a general cross-section shape that is trapezoidal – hence giving it the name “V”. The “V” shape of the belt tracks in a mating groove in the sheave or pulley. The result is that the belt cannot slip off. V-belts tend to wedge further into the grooves as the load increases, and tend to need larger pulleys because of their thicker cross-section as opposed to previously popular flat belts.

V-belts are the workhorses of industry. Readily available from nearly every distributor and adaptable for a multitude of purposes. V-belts are easily installed and removed, quiet, and low maintenance. They are available in a wide variety of standard sizes and types, and capable of transmitting nearly any amount of load power. In addition, V-belt drives permit large speed ratios and generally endure for the long haul.

If an application requires higher power, V-belts can be joined side-by-side and run on matching multi-groove sheaves. These are then called Multiple-V-Belt drives.

Below is a list of 51 V-belt applications. Take a look – you may not even know what all V-belts are in to these days. The below list represents a wide array of industries, proving just how widely-used and versatile they are.

  1. Agitators
  2. Paddle or Propeller, Vertical or Horizontal Screw
  3. Bottling Machinery
  4. Car Dumper, Car Puller
  5. Brick Press
  6. Compressors
  7. Lobe, Rotary
  8. Cranes and Hoists
  9. Dredges
  10. Cable Reel, Conveyor
  11. Cutter Head Drive, Jig Drive
  12. Pump, Screen, Stacker, Utility Winch
  13. Dynamometer
  14. Elevators
  15. Fans
  16. Food Industry
  17. Slicer, Dough Mixer, Meat Grinder
  18. Generators
  19. Hoist, Railway Services
  20. Laundry Machines
  21. Tumbler, Washer
  22. Extractor Line Shafts
  23. Driving Processing Machine
  24. Lumber Industry
  25. Edger, Log Haul
  26. Sawdust Conveyor
  27. Slab Conveyor, Sorting Table
  28. Planer (reversing), Plate Planer
  29. Metal Forming
  30. Wire Drawing, Flattening Machine
  31. Mills (Rotary Type)
  32. Tumbling Barrel
  33. Concrete – Continuous & Intermittent
  34. Paper Mills
  35. Beater and Pulper
  36. Chipper
  37. Pulp Grinder
  38. Printing Press
  39. Pulverizers
  40. Hog, Roller
  41. Pumps
  42. Oil Well Unit
  43. Rubber/Plastics Calendar, Extruder
  44. Screens, Coal and Sand
  45. Sewage Disposal Equipment
  46. Shredder
  47. Steel Cold or Hot Mill, Coiler
  48. Feed Roll
  49. Textile Batcher, Calendar, Loom
  50. Dyeing Industry Machinery
  51. Woodworking Machines

High Heat V-Belts

Friday, January 16th, 2015

A very common question pertaining to v-belts is the effect of heat on them. How does heat affect v-belts and their lifespan? We’ll answer that today.

Most manufacturers publish that for every 35 degree increase in prolonged temperature endurance above 85 degrees Fahrenheit, a v-belt’s life is essentially cut in half.

Each belt has a specific temperature range that it is not meant to exceed. The temperature range guideline refers to sustained temperatures. Thus, operating a v-belt continually within the range will be sustainable, but once outside this range, you run the risk of damaging the v-belt and potentially the machine itself.

Alongside the operating temperature of the area in which a v-belt is present, heat is generated due to the physical flexing of the v-belt as it enters and exits a sheave. Friction is also produced and raises the heat level as the belt is wedged into the groove.

Some tips for keeping the temperature down include: (Source: Belt Drive Monthly)

  • Using the largest sheave for the allowable space. This will help reduce belt flex or resistance and improve cooling.
  • Properly align sheaves and tension belts to the manufacturer’s recommendation.
  • Check sheaves for wear and replace if wear exceeds 1/32” in the groove.
  • Consider adequate ventilation and air flow in belt guard designs.

There are different types of v-belts you can use for different temperatures. The standard v-belt typically can manage in a range of -18 to 158 degrees Fahrenheit. Raw edge belts, a step up in handling higher heat, can withstand -1 to 212 degrees Fahrenheit. These belts have had notches taken from the underside so as to allow for an increase in air flow. This makes them optimal for high heat applications.

Some v-belt manufacturers are sending out more and more AOH belts as the new standard, which are oil and heat resistant from temperatures -22 to 212 degrees Fahrenheit.

For higher heat applications, there are belts that can even withstand sustained temperatures of up to 302 degrees Fahrenheit, for instance the EPDM poly v-belt.

Note: High heat v-belts are typically more expensive and may require a minimum purchase order amount due to the quality natural rubber products they are made from.

How-To Replace Snow Blower Belts

Friday, November 14th, 2014

It’s that time of year again – cold, cold, cold, and snow. Before the stormy weather really gets going, it might be a good idea to give your snow blower a check-up. If you have owned your snow blower for more than 5 years, the belts likely need replacing.

Learn how to replace these belts on your own with the help of this how-to.

Tip: To ensure you get several seasons out of your new belts, buy genuine factory belts from the dealer or online. For this you’ll need your snow blower’s make and model number and the engine brand and model number.

Replacing Snow Blower Belts – 8 Simple Steps:

Step 1. Safety first. Disconnect the spark plug wire from the spark plug.

Step 2. Remove the belt cover.

Step 3. Disconnect the chute crank and deflector cable. Then, remove the bolts and split the frame away from the auger housing to access the belts.

(If you see cracks, cuts, fraying or splitting, it’s time to replace the belts.)

Step 4. Remove the old belts. Use a 12 in. extension bar, ratchet and socket to remove the upper belt guard. Then, empty the gas tank and tip the machine up so you can remove the bottom access plate. Slide each belt out, and note how the belts are routed. You will reverse this procedure to install the new belts.

Tip: Take pictures as a reference to make sure the new belts are routed the same way.

Step 5. Inspect the pulleys. If they spin or wobble easily, the bearings may need to be replaced. (This will be covered soon in a future post – stay tuned).

Step 6. Install the new belts. Reverse the process in step 4. Thread the new belts onto the pulleys. Once in place, make sure they aren’t rubbing against any parts of the snow blower.

Step 7. Reconnect the frame by reinstalling the bolts to hold the frame and auger housing together. Also reattach the chute crank and deflector cable.

Step 8. Reattach the belt cover and the spark plug.

Tip: Don’t forget to add fuel back into the gas tank. Also, it’s a good idea to keep spare belts on hand so that if one breaks, you can replace it immediately.

Now that your machine is in top shape, you’ll be ready to take on that first winter snowfall.