INDIANAPOLIS—Chiorino Inc. has launched a synchronous homogenous conveyor belt line made from a unique compound that company officials believe will have a major impact in the food industry.
Called HP Compact Drive, the new line features belts using a special polyurethane formulation developed from the company's previous experiences with urethane belts produced with stricter requirements for transporting food in mind, according to Philip Carlson, national sales manager for the U.S. subsidiary of Chiorino S.p.A., headquartered in Biella, Italy.
He and two other members of the company management team—David Pickrell, president of the U.S. operation, and Gene Torres, marketing and training manager—discussed the new line at the NIBA—the Belting Association conference, held Sept. 14-16 in Indianapolis.
Chiorino's original HP family of products hit the market in 2013. Since then it has been expanded, Pickrell said.
Its HP Contact Drive conveyor belt, “while derived from that experience, is a totally new product,” Carlson noted. A synchronous homogenous belt using the HP system, it's competing more directly with monolithic homogenous belt types.” The company's original line of belts competes against traditional fabric conveyor belts.
Featuring a special PU formulation, the line is completely sealed and is harder and denser than normal thermoplastic urethanes, he said. “Our teeth are the same formulation as the belt. They are applied to the belt with high frequency machines designed for this product.”
Chiorino—which is headquartered in Newark, Del., in the U.S.—applies the teeth so the pitch between the teeth can be wherever customers want to place them, he said, adding that this gives the company more latitude with HP Contact Drive than extruded monolithic homogenous belts.
“We can also make belts up to two meters wide, which is far wider than extruded homogenous monolithic types,” Carlson said.
HP Compact Drive belts feature two tension layers, the combination of which yields greater stability than monolithic extruded homogenous types, he said. The tension layers are a hybrid design developed for the new belt line, which is aimed at the food industry.
Pickrell noted the belts are easily cleaned because of the urethane compound. And they are REACH compliant, have received National Safety Foundation certification and are USDA approved, the three officials said
Chiorino's original urethane compound was developed by the firm's coated fabrics division in Italy as a coating for military applications, including use on uniforms for Hazmat protection, that required the elimination of liquid absorption in fabrics but remained capable of working well in extreme climactic conditions, they said.
“The new compound was so good we brought it over to the belting end of our business because it's resistant to oils and other contaminants,” Pickrell said. From it the company developed a non-toxic, high-performance belt line, which it has been expanding regularly and creating new generations of belts since then, the officials said.
HP Compact Drive is the fourth generation of the HP family. Chiorino claimed there is a 60 percent reduction in water usage and the in the amount of time to clean the belts and up to a 60 percent drop in energy costs compared to modular belts.
Chiorino produces conveyor and process, power transmission, timing and seamless rubber belts, and machine tapes. It serves virtually any industry, the officials said, among them agriculture, textile, food, paper and printing, airport, packaging, cutting and punching, and material handling.