Returnable bottles & what ball bearings in vending machines can do

Returnable bottles & what ball bearings in vending machines can do

Every normal household in Germany knows the problem: plastic bottles pile up and have to be taken to the nearby supermarket. With all those bottles in tow, you go straight to the reverse vending machine, get a receipt and keep on shopping. But if you look closely, you'll see that there's plenty of technology behind the reverse vending machine that knows its stuff. During the supermarket's opening hours, the reverse vending machine is in operation almost continuously.

The components must be designed precisely for this challenge. On closer inspection, the conveyor belt is the component that attracts the most attention. The bottles are placed on the belt, the symbol identifying the bottle as returnable is automatically recognized, and the bottles are fed to the shredder. But what do reverse vending systems have in common with our ball bearings? We'll tell you.

Our focus now is on the automatic reverse vending conveyor systems just mentioned. They are in constant use and have to withstand tough conditions. One customer was using metal ball bearings in a machined housing, which was very expensive on the one hand and has too high a breakaway torque on the other. In addition, plain bearings were not a viable solution either, as the breakaway torque was too high there as well, and the wear of the conveyor belt was faster due to the sliding effect. The solution the customer found was our special parts.

A mushroom head design now ensures that the conveyor belt centers itself and runs extremely smoothly. The belt no longer slips over the bearings, as was previously the case. In addition, our special parts are 100% lubrication-free and insensitive to dirt.

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Published by Sara Khan


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