COVID-19 Northeast

Robotic Technologies Maintain Food Supply Chain During Pandemic

Belt Technologies

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted virtually every aspect of modern life and every global industry. The pace and consistency of work has suffered, as seen in the food processing and distribution industry which has seen outbreaks of the virus among its workers, as well as breakdowns in the distribution system, endangering the supply chain.

Agawam, Massachusetts-based Belt Technologies Inc. designs and manufactures solid stainless-steel belts and conveyor systems that help robotic technologies perform in the grocery and warehouse sectors reliably and efficiently.

“Warehouse and grocery sector robotics, powered by steel belt technologies, keep industries and supply chains running during this extended period of crisis,” said Mike Loomer, business development manager for the Americas. “Common tasks of robots include lifting, moving and sorting, allowing for increased production rates and 40 percent efficiencies over other warehouse designs.”

Since robots require neither social distancing nor sick time, they can continue to operate during times of crisis, such as the coronavirus pandemic, when human workers are at risk. Robots running on steel belt technologies can lift heavy grocery and warehouse totes. They can deploy multiple synchronized belts with tight tolerances, increasing the robot’s lifespan and allowing for repeatability across mass batches of production.

The high tensile strength of steel belts makes them resilient and helps prevent jams in robotic automation. Steel belts also do not stretch or elongate and can withstand extreme environments such as high or low temperatures and vacuums. They reliably perform tasks that demand rapid acceleration, precise positioning and repetition. They are also sanitary and easy to clean, making them ideal for use in the warehouse and grocery sectors, where hygiene is a critical issue, especially in today’s climate.

“Robotics, using our steel belt technology, can increase food supply security and strengthen the resilience of the food chain,” said Loomer. “This keeps supermarket shelves well-stocked and allows for timely home deliveries for customers who are wary of visiting stores during the pandemic.”

In addition to the grocery and warehouse industries, robotic technologies are prevalent in silicon wafer manufacturing for the semiconductor industry. This equipment also depends predominantly on stainless steel drive tapes for similar reasons, in addition to their ability to avoid generating particulate matter and outgassing.

Belt Technologies’ engineering, advanced manufacturing processes and custom designs can suit any application.

Belt Technologies Inc. has been producing custom metal belt conveyor solutions for new and existing conveyor systems for more than five decades.

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