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Did You Know Interesting Facts and History of Conveyors

Did You Know? Interesting Facts and History of Conveyors

It would take ages for consumers to receive parcels without them, catching a plane would be even more troublesome, and some companies would be inefficient and unreliable. Although conveyors play a vital role in our lives, very few people know much about them. It’s time to change that. Find out the most exciting facts about conveyors.

Its first appearance was in 1795

The first time the world saw a conveyor in action was in 1795. They were small, human-powered, and made of leather and wooden beds. These conveyors were commonly seen in ports, transferring agricultural products from shore to boats.

It was considered revolutionary

Nowadays, conveyors are seen as a simple and necessary tool, but back in the Industrial Revolution, they were considered groundbreaking. During the 18th century, conveyors became steam-powered. Remember: steam was the planet’s preferred power source back then.

Conveyors helped the British empire expand

Ok, maybe that’s a stretch. But the British navy used conveyors for logistical reasons in 1804. If you are thinking about missiles being transported from land to a warship, sorry to disappoint you. The conveyor was first used in a bakery to move… biscuits for sailors! Yummy!

Temperatures too high or too low were a problem

Rubber was used in the first conveyor belts, which caused many problems. During the summer, it was susceptible to melting and becoming sticky. In winter, the cold would make it too rigid. Maintenance teams were always unhappy.

Ford didn’t invent conveyors

Henry Ford was a genius and changed the world forever. In spite of this, he did not invent conveyors, contrary to general belief. But it’s fair to say his production lines showed the world how useful this tool was. He also deserves a motion of congratulations for having improved the technology.

Goodyear helped a lot

Funny enough, another name linked to the nascent automotive industry contributed to the popularisation of conveyors. Charles Goodyear patented vulcanised rubber in 1844. The non-weather-sensitive nature of this material led to its use on conveyors. You’re welcome, maintenance.

Conveyors pushed the mining industry forward

In 1905, an inventor called Richard Sutcliffe introduced the first underground conveyor belt, made from layered cotton and rubber. Rubber-covered belts became standard in mining, quarrying and mineral processing thanks to their superior durability and flexibility.

As a result, massive quantities of coal and minerals could now be moved much more efficiently.
Before that, the mineral extraction industry had to rely on rail lines that were costly and demanded a lot of maintenance. Furthermore, when a mine was closed, the conveyor could be quickly disassembled and reassembled elsewhere. Rail lines, on the other hand, were practically permanent.

The industry is on fire

However, the conveyors are not. Modern metal belts can be flame-resistant, heat-resistant, magnetic or conductive to adapt to many manufacturing processes.

Skynet feelings

Modern conveyors can organise packages by detecting their positions and weights, and rotating or aligning them for more efficient processing. Some belts can even identify and classify different types of objects or packages, sending them in different directions as needed. It would make Skynet, from the movie Terminator, proud.

The biggest conveyor system in the world has over 60 miles

Do you think your conveyor is big? Think again. A system interconnecting several conveyors in Morocco has over 61 miles in length. It is used to transport phosphate ore from a mine in Bou Craa to the port town of Marsa. The system moves 10% of Morocco’s total phosphate production. Legend has it can be seen from space.

The longest single conveyor belt is equally impressive

The world’s largest single conveyor belt is in Western Australia, operating between the Mount Saddleback mine and the Worsley refinery near Collie. It is so big that it is featured in the renowned Guinness Book of Records. It is over 19 miles long and passes through 22 tunnels and ten bridges, transporting bauxite ore.

Joloda moves goods for a major online retailer in the UK

One of the world’s biggest retailers trusts Joloda to provide conveyor servicing and emergency breakdown support across its UK operations. The corporation, which can’t be named for contractual reasons, has 50 locations in the United Kingdom.

The choice for Joloda is no surprise. We are one of the UK’s largest aftercare providers for conveyor and materials handling products. Moreover, Joloda has an outstanding network of engineers with unparalleled technical knowledge and industry experience.

Join the revolution

As you can see, conveyor belts have kept the world moving for centuries. Are you part of the revolution? Do you want to improve your team’s productivity? The Joloda Conveyor Services crew serves the whole of the United Kingdom. Get in touch and ask for a free assessment.

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