Benefits of conveyor belts in the pharmaceutical industry
Many industries and operations require conveyor belts to help everything to run smoothy, one of the most pivotal industries that rely on conveyor belts is pharmaceuticals. Conveying products in this sector demands a high level of precision and control. They are small, lightweight, and fragile, making them challenging to handle, co-ordinate, and move.
With the range of medical products in this industry, having a proper pharmaceutical conveyor belt is essential. In this guide, we’ll be looking at the exact benefits of conveyor belts in this area and what you need to consider when choosing the right conveyor system.
Benefits of conveyor belts in pharmaceuticals
Managing high demand
Pharmaceutical manufacturing is a consistently growing industry, and as a result there is a strong need for a large number of medicines to be produced quickly and efficiently. Our belt conveyor solutions are designed to cope with the demand for mass production on a large scale. Also, they are made to be strong and durable so they will have a high tolerance to abrasions, meaning they will be long-lasting and reliable to safely produce such delicate and important products like medication.
Easy to clean and maintain
Hygiene is possibly the most important part of conveyor belts within the pharmaceutical industry. Medicines play a crucial part in maintaining the health and wellbeing of our society, so it is equally as vital to ensure there is no risk of contaminants breaching the medicines. This is important as not only can cross contamination impact the performance of the medication, but also create unwarranted side effects.
All of which will invalidate the integrity, reputation, and insurance of the manufacturer and production company as a whole. Conveyor belts for the pharmaceutical industry are easy to clean regularly as well as carry out regular maintenance, so the risks of contamination or the equipment breaking down and disrupting production are mitigated as much as possible.
Achieving high levels of accuracy
Similar to the need for perfect hygiene, conveyor belts in pharmaceutical manufacturing demand the utmost accuracy to make sure vials, tubes, or jars are all packaged and labelled correctly, correlating with the medicine that has been put into them. Ultimately this will be a combined effort between the belts working efficiently and for the staff to be vigilant as well.
What to consider when choosing conveyor belts for the pharmaceutical industry
There are many uses for conveyor belts from accumulation to high-speed bottle filling and blister packaging, labelling, and tracking that needs conveyors to work quickly, precisely, and cleanly. You shouldn’t settle for a system that doesn’t work that way. Below are some other considerations you will want to think about when implementing conveyor belts into your pharmaceutical process.
Size and speed
There are specific types of high-performing belt conveyor systems that are best suited to lightweight products, precise applications, and the flexible layouts that are often in place in pharmaceutical factories. If the product you’re making is less than an inch wide, you don’t need a conveyor that is 10 times that. The right conveyor belt for pharmaceutical industry will be smaller in width and still be able to run at high speeds.
If your line incorporates accumulation, make sure the conveyor you select is bi-flow and scaled specifically for smaller products. This is because the majority of product accumulation belts are scaled for food and beverage size containers, so smaller tablet bottles or packets tend to tip and get stuck more.
When it comes to pharmaceuticals, transfers from one conveyor to another is essential. Products that are smaller than an inch (which is most if not all medicine products) require a roller diameter that is less than an inch or the product will fall in between the conveyors.
Conventional conveyors normally have a roller diameter of 32mm or bigger. However, you can find belts with end rollers as small as 16mm, and even smaller nose bars, that can move products of less than an inch in diameter.
For applications like filling and labelling, having a flat, true belt is key. However, this is particularly difficult to achieve with lighter weight products for a number of reasons. Lightweight medicines can’t force the conveyor belt flat, and the belting used on smaller end rollers has to be very thin, and thin belts curl when tension is placed on them.
Small, light items are difficult to keep in place on a conveyor belt, making accurate spacing and orientation challenging. Vacuum belting can help keep down light products like blister packs and can be customised depending on the size and shape of the product.
Using the right conveyor can open the door to a wide range of benefits for your pharmaceutical manufacturing. As pharmaceutical engineering consultants, we can help you optimise your operations with the best equipment to suit your application. Contact us today and book a free site survey to get started.