Conveyor Belt: What Is It? How Does It Work?

Editorial Team

Conveyor Belt: What Is It

Today, modular conveyors have become a must-have for different industrial applications. From food processing and packaging to airport baggage handling, conveyor belts have become an integral part of many businesses. But what exactly is a conveyor belt? How does it work? Let’s take a closer look.

Understanding a Conveyor Belt

A conveyor belt is a handling system that people use for relocating objects or products. It can be made up of a variety of materials such as steel, aluminium, and plastic, each with its own unique set of properties that make it perfect for certain applications.

Most conveyor belts consist of two or more pulleys that rotate around a looped belt, providing the power and support necessary to move objects from one place to another. The most common type of conveyor belt is the flat-belt variety. They are made up of two layers: an inner layer (called the “carcass”) and an outer layer (called the “covers”). The inner layer is made up of a strong and durable material that can withstand the weight of whatever is being transported, while the outer layer is designed to protect the inner belt from any outside damage.

How Does It Work?

Conveyor belts are powered by either electric or manual motors. The motor provides the power necessary to move the belt, which then transports materials from one location to another. As the motor rotates, it moves the pulleys along a looped path and drives them in order to turn the conveyor belt.

The speed of the conveyor belt is determined by how fast or slow you want it to move. Depending on the motor, some conveyor belts can be adjustable in speed, allowing for more flexibility when transporting goods.

It’s worth noting that conveyor belts can also be used for descending objects, such as when items need to be lowered from a higher level. In this case, the motor will move the pulleys in reverse and cause the belt to move downward.

Conveyor belts have several safety features, such as emergency stop buttons and sensors designed to detect any problems or obstructions in the belt’s path. Always ensure you follow the safety features and instructions provided by your conveyor belt manufacturer.

Tip: Regardless of the type of conveyor belt you choose, the safety of anyone using it should always be a priority. Therefore, place guards around the belt and ensure that your staff has been trained to operate it properly.

How to Keep a Conveyor Belt Running

In order to ensure that your conveyor belt is running smoothly, it’s important to perform regular maintenance checks. This includes:

  • Check the tension of the belt: Always check the tension of the belt and ensure it’s properly aligned with the pulleys. You can do this by using a tension meter or measuring the distance between each pulley.
  • Check for any signs of wear and tear: Regularly inspect both the inner and outer layers of the belt for any signs of damage or wear and tear, such as fraying, tears, or cracks. If necessary, replace any damaged parts to ensure that your conveyor belt is running smoothly.
  • Lubricate: Regularly lubricate any moving parts, such as the motor or pulleys, to keep them from becoming stuck. Only use lubricants that are specifically designed for conveyor belts.
  • Ensure the right load capacity: Make sure that the weight of the objects being transported on your conveyor belt is within the recommended load capacity. This will not only help you avoid any potential problems but also ensure that your conveyor belt is running safely and efficiently.
  • Have your conveyor belt checked by a professional: Having your conveyor belt serviced by a professional will ensure that any potential issues are identified and addressed. Professionals have the knowledge and experience to spot any problems that you may have missed, and they can recommend solutions to ensure your conveyor belt runs efficiently.


Conveyor belts are an essential tool for many businesses, providing a reliable way to transport items from one place to another. By understanding how a conveyor belt works and performing regular maintenance checks, you can ensure that your conveyor belt is running smoothly and efficiently at all times. This, in turn, will help you save both time and money.