Sept 09: Dunlop's new press will further improve quality standards. The new vulcanising press which arrived in April is now ready for use.
Dunlop Conveyor Belting have long been recognised as the forerunner in producing top quality conveyor belts. Having invested in a new 3m euro ‘state-of-the-art’ vulcanising press, they are confident that they will further widen the quality gap between themselves and their competitors.
Although the new press may not appear to be very different from previous designs, according to manufacturing director Dr Michiel Eijpe, it has major advantages that provide far greater quality control. “Conventional presses have a limited number of hydraulic cylinders (often only 12) that exert pressure on the vulcanising plate. Our new press has 42 cylinders that can be adjusted individually. This results in a much better consistency of quality overall”.
A second big advantage is that there are 50 temperature sensors compared to only 5 in the old model. “This gives us a constant view on the temperature across the whole area of the plate and the press itself and therefore much greater control throughout the vulcanising process” says Dr Eijpe. “This again leads to greater consistency, especially in terms of essential qualities such as resistance to abrasion, heat etc and in mechanical properties such as tensile strength and elongation”.
Dr Eijpe explains that in the past, quality control was focussed more on making specific checks during and after the vulcanisation process. This included making repairs afterwards whereas the highly advanced process control provided by the new press automatically creates a much more consistent quality in the finished belts and, most importantly of all, the ultimate operational performance of the belt.