Design of a Power Saving Industrial Conveyor System

Design of a Power Saving Industrial Conveyor System – Mechanical Project 


This paper looked at the design of a power saving conveyor system which involves sizing, selection and cost benefit analysis of its installation. This paper focuses on factors that cause high belt power consumption and costs which are high starting torque and more operating hours hence there is design of drive control system consisting of soft starters and variable speed drives to reduce starting torque and load detecting switching system to reduce number of operating hours. The average power savings considering all the factors of reducing the system operating hours to the average of 12 hours a day and drive control system that reduces the starting power were calculated to be 47%. The annual costs of power consumption were reduced from $86212 to $40520 resulting in the payback period after investing to be 8 months. After doing cost benefit analysis it was ascertained that installation, operation and maintenance costs of the designed system are less than that occur on the initial system hence the design is worthy to install since it results in cost savings and increase in system life. The are some recommendations for the designed system which are clean ventilated environment to promote adequate cooling, belt protection against overload to avoid stops and also soft starters , variable speed drives and sensors protection against overvoltage and overcurrent so that the drive control system will not fail.

Conveyor systems are material handling mechanisms that allow quick efficient transportation of material from one point to another. Belt conveyors involve energy conversions from electrical to mechanical energy. The system had a number of benefits which promoted industry such as reducing transportation costs, move loads of all sizes and weights and safety features that prevent accidents. Although the system mentioned advantages it needs further developments such as improving efficiency and reducing energy losses and costs.

Design of a Power Saving Industrial Conveyor System - Mechanical Project 
Design of a Power Saving Industrial Conveyor System – Mechanical Project

Most industrial conveyor systems have continuous operation without stopping for the reason of avoiding high power consumption during starting and stoppage of the system. High starting power will result high starting torque and shock loads giving rise to problems of short belt life due to more tension and also leads to more energy costs. In order to reduce these negative effects there should be a power controlling system and design of a belt with good strength qualities.

High power wastage and belt failure due to high starting torque.

Design of an automated power saving industrial conveyor system.



  • Design a system that start the conveyor belt at low power consumption
  • Increase conveyor system performance in terms of output torque and power
  • Increase average belt life

This design will have significance for the industry as its goal is to reduce power consumptions thus reducing energy cost. Low power consumption and low starting torque will result in reduction in shock loads and abnormal belt tensions hence the average belt life will be increased. The system will have speed control therefore for any load the speed will be adjusted to its safe speed that matches with its power demanding. The researchers automated the system and this reduces accidents since there will be less human interference.

Industrial visit to local industries in Zimbabwe, design and calculations using AutoCAD and Mat lab software are used.

Belt normal speed v = 500 fpm
Belt weight Wb = 17 lbs/ft
Belt length L= 2,400 ft
The belt is horizontal hence ( H )lift = 0
Capacity (Q) = 3,400 tonnes per hour
Troughing spacing Si = 3 Ft.
Belt width = 48 inches.
Ambient temperature = 60°F
Material to be conveyed = iron ore at 150 lbs./cu ft. 10-in. maximum lumps
Drive = lagged and grooved head pulley, 220-degree wrap

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Sachin Thorat

Sachin is a B-TECH graduate in Mechanical Engineering from a reputed Engineering college. Currently, he is working in the sheet metal industry as a designer. Additionally, he has interested in Product Design, Animation, and Project design. He also likes to write articles related to the mechanical engineering field and tries to motivate other mechanical engineering students by his innovative project ideas, design, models and videos.

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