Running a large factory can be complicated. There are more complex, moving parts than you can imagine. One of the most important components in our particular factory is the ptfe conveyor belt. Or rather the ptfe conveyor belts. We have several, 12 at the last count. It’s not that the factory could not function at all without them, but our production would probably drop by 90%, if not more. It is fair to say that we rely heavily on our ptfe conveyor belts to be able to run the factory properly. If they were to break, we would have a big problem. Obviously you can’t just walk into a shop and pick up the ptfe conveyor belt or components that you need. Getting the right type of belt with all the specifications we needed looked like it was going to be complicated. Our expertise were based on the product we were making, and the step to mass-production was a large one. That’s why we were happy to discover Hardick, a supplier of ptfe conveyor belts and everything related to them. After spending some time on www.hardickptfe.com reading about the type and quality of ptfe belts that they supply, we decided to contact them. They’re based in Holland and we are in South Africa, but that did not cause any communication problems at all. They were available and happy to help when we needed them. They advised us on exactly what type of belt we needed. Our priorities were that it:
- Would be hard-wearing;
- Could withstand high temperatures;
- Would be easy to clean;
- Would not crack.
Hardick understood all of these conditions and more, and pointed us to exactly what we needed. They even sent us samples of the material that they are made of. We placed our order and they sent the ptfe belts the 13,000 kilometres to our factory.
Installing our ptfe conveyor belts
It’s one thing buying the belts you need, it’s another thing entirely installing them correctly. Again, Hardick were able to advise us about getting the most out of the ptfe material that they supplied. There are all sorts of tape, seals and welding options, and you really do have to know which one your using. Improper installation of the belt could end in disaster, or at least a large loss of production time in the factory. Our engineers spoke to Hardick directly at various stages of the installation to get advice about what type of equipment they should be using, and they were able to install the belts quickly and correctly with very little fuss. I am not sure how we would have been able to complete the installation without the advice that Hardick provided us.
Our ptfe conveyor belts have been running for 10-12 hours a day, 6 days a week for nearly a year now. There has not been even one problem discovered on inspections so far. There have been no cracks and no breakages of any kind. The belts are easy to keep clean, so the procedures we have in place (in part under the advice of Hardick) have kept the belts looking the same as they did the day we installed them. Despite everything that we put them through, including high temperatures, various fluid spillages and constant use, the belts are not showing any signs of wearing out. That gives us one less thing to worry about. I just wish that all of our equipment was as reliable as the conveyor belts.