Whether you package dairy products on a farm or work in baggage claim at an airport, you’re familiar with conveyor belts. These devices safely and efficiently transport materials between locations to enhance productivity and minimize required manpower. But how does a conveyor belt work? Have you ever considered how to power a conveyor belt? Let’s take a look at how conveyor belts work and what their power requirements are.

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What Is a Conveyor Belt?

A conveyor belt transports items from one location to another, often for production purposes. The conveyor belt's speed, orientation, shape, and dimensions can be customized for specific applications based on the industry using it. These systems can be used to transport goods along a manufacturing or packaging line and much more.

Most conveyor belts feature the following components:

  • The Framework: The system's structural support keeps all the components in place, ensuring safe and reliable operation.
  • The Belt: An extended, robust material surface that transports items between locations.
  • Conveyor Belt Support: Rollers play a pivotal role in guiding and maintaining the conveyor belt's motion, preventing sagging, and securing objects in transit.
  • The Propulsion Mechanism: Variable or constant speed-reduction gears in the motor drive the conveyor belt. A proficient propulsion unit must ensure continuous operation, seamless reversals, and the ability to adjust the belt's direction as needed.
  • The Pulleys: The conveyor belt envelops multiple pulleys that control the movement of the belt. The pulleys drive, redirect, turn, and track the belt during operation.
  • Clamping Straps: These straps are utilized on various machines to secure fixtures and workpieces in place.
conveyor belt moving mining materials

    Conveyor Belt Uses

    Conveyor belts serve many purposes. Here are some of the most important ones.

    • Efficiently and dependably move large quantities of material
    • Stack materials at the terminal point of a transport line
    • Simplify the process of transferring items from point A to point B
    • Enhance productivity and efficiency while reducing the need for manual labor
    • Keep workers safe by eliminating the risk of lifting-related injuries
    • Safeguard products from damage during transit
    • Easily divert a product onto an alternative route

    Industries That Use Conveyor Belts

    Conveyer belts are used across a wide variety of industries. Here are some of the ways different businesses use them.


    Conveyor belts are the optimal solution for efficiently handling, organizing, and transferring passenger luggage. The baggage carousel, for example, loads luggage and transports it to the terminal for passenger access. This continuous loop system efficiently shuttles people’s belongings from the loading area to the baggage reclaim area in a matter of minutes.


    Conveyor belts ensure the efficient and hygienic transportation of pharmaceutical products, like cardboard boxes or pallets filled with medical supplies. This mechanized system minimizes the risk of contamination and human error. It also enhances productivity by automating the movement of materials, resulting in cost savings and a more streamlined manufacturing and distribution process.

    Food Processing

    Products travel through various stages on a conveyor belt, including spreading, stamping, rolling, glazing, frying, slicing, and powdering. This mechanized process reduces the human labor required for each step in a commercial kitchen, allowing goods to be processed from start to finish in large quantities while maintaining high quality. Conveyor belts are also used for packaging and bottling products in businesses such as food manufacturing facilities and breweries.


    Conveyor belts streamline the handling of various agricultural products, like grains, fruits, and vegetables. They transport harvested crops from the field to processing facilities efficiently, reducing manual labor and ensuring faster market delivery. They’re also used for sorting, packaging, and quality control processes as well as grain drying. Conveyor belts can be customized for particular industry needs, making them adaptable to a wide range of agricultural operations.

    conveyor belts moving apples

    How Does a Conveyor Belt Work?

    Conveyor belts work by using two motorized pulleys that form a continuous loop over a robust material. When the pulley motors align in their speed and direction of travel, the conveyor belt moves between them facilitating the smooth movement of materials.

    In cases where objects are particularly heavy or large, or when the conveyor belt has to carry them over long distances, support rollers may be installed along the sides to ensure stability and efficient transport.

    Conveyor Belt Power Supply

    Conveyor belts often require three-phase power because it’s a more stable and efficient source of electricity for continuous operation. Three-phase power provides a constant and smoother energy supply, which is crucial for powering the motors that drive conveyor belts. This reliability ensures consistent and strong rotational force, making it ideal for handling heavy loads and maintaining the precision required in various industrial applications.

    It's crucial to consider how to power your conveyor belt for a few key reasons:

    1. Safety: The power source and electrical components should meet safety standards to prevent accidents and ensure the well-being of workers. Proper power considerations can minimize electrical hazards and promote a safe working environment.
    2. Cost: Choosing the right power source can impact your daily operating costs. Efficiency in power usage can lead to cost savings in the long run, while choosing the wrong power supply may result in increased expenses.
    3. Reliability: An appropriate power source enhances the overall reliability of the conveyor system. Reliable power minimizes downtime, maintenance, and the risk of unexpected disruptions, ensuring a consistent workflow.
    4. Efficiency: The power source's efficiency directly affects the conveyor's performance. An efficient system reduces energy consumption and, consequently, operating costs while maintaining the conveyor's productivity. The right power source can help you optimize efficiency.

    Using a Phase Converter to Power a Conveyor Belt

    A phase converter is a piece of equipment that converts single-phase power into three-phase power for industrial purposes. They work by generating the missing two phases from the single-phase input, creating a balanced three-phase output. This allows equipment designed for three-phase power to operate effectively, ensuring the smooth and efficient functioning of conveyor belts—even when only single-phase power is available.

    Phase converters offer these key benefits to any industry that uses conveyor belts in its daily operations:

    • Enhanced productivity
    • Reduced downtime
    • Increased profitability
    • Greater peace of mind

    Let Us Power Your Next Project

    Whether you’re powering farming equipment or food processing lines, Phoenix Phase Converters has the reliable power solutions you need to get the job done. Our digital and rotary phase converters are made with premium materials and can be customized for any application. Browse the collection today to see what phase converter is right for you.

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