Chip Conveyors Guide

What are chip conveyors?

Chip conveyors play an important role in processing efficiency in the machine tool industry. The main purpose of using chip conveyors is to transfer metal chips after the workpieces are machined and discard or recycle them for further usage. People may consider chip removal as a secondary issue, but in fact, for machine tools like lathes, milling machines, boring machines, and so on, the way of chip transferring is very important.


The conveyance of chips by metal chip conveyors determines the success or failure of the process, because only with a good waste conveying system can the working site remain clean. The clean working site refers to the smoothness of operation since it prevents the cutting tools from deflecting when machining on the workpieces. 

During the metalworking process, the materials removed from the workpieces are called chips. If arranged properly, the chips can be naturally discarded from the working site. However, depending on the requirements of different machining works, the temperature, humidity, or cutting speed make the variation in chips production. This explains the reason why chip conveyors are significant in the metalworking industry. With a chip conveyor, the chips in whatever condition can be efficiently removed, which thus promises the optimal performance of the machines.


Conveyor systems are common components of mechanical processing equipment. You can move materials from one location to another where chip removal has difficulty occurring naturally. That is, these conveyors are especially suitable for transferring heavy-duty or bulky materials and parts. 

Not only can the chip conveyor systems remove waste materials, but they can transfer raw materials during the machining process. The versatile feature makes them popular in material handling and transportation, and be adopted in almost every metalworking factory.

There are some chain metal chip conveyors, which can also be set on the ground or elevated. Each of them consists of closed rails, I-beams, tow chains, power and free rails, and hand-push trolleys. Conveyor systems have been widely used in many industries, including mining, automotive, agriculture, computer science, chemistry, electronics, aerospace, food processing, pharmaceuticals, bottling and canning, printing processing, packaging, and many other industries. There are many types of conveyors, such as aviation machinery conveyors, automobile conveyors, bucket conveyors, but here we will focus on machine tool conveyors. 


● Hinged steel belt conveyor

The most common chip conveyor is the hinged steel belt type, which makes the belt-driven operation method. As the chips are transferred from the working site to the surface of the conveyor, the belt movement keeps pushing the chips from the trays to the tank. In other words, the removed chips would be generated into the tank, so it is required to clean the tank regularly. If operated with a hinged steel belt conveyor, it can easily handle hot chips, wet or dry chips, or materials of boring, turning, and other machining techniques.

● Dimples on the trays

On the trays of chip conveyors, there are small dimples, which are designed to prevent flat chips from sticking and being trapped on the surfaces. This design not only facilitates the smooth operation of the conveyors but also maintains the optimal performance of chip removal.

● Perforated surface

As mentioned above, the conveying system is able to adapt to various conditions that differ in temperature, humidity, and speed of chip production. In most cases, heat would be generated as the chips are produced. In order to prevent the machine from overheating, the perforated surface on the conveyor enables the filling of coolant. In this way, it ensures the optimal condition of the conveyor, which benefits the entire production line in the long term.

● Magnetic components

Some chip conveyor suppliers have also added magnetic components to the chip conveyor, which helps in the differentiation of materials. With these components, the conveying efficiency will be higher compared to the traditional version. The workpiece material largely determines the number and size of chips, just like the processing technology and processing materials. The design of the chip conveyor is highly customized according to the processing program. The customers and suppliers of chip conveyors should have a full discussion and fully exchange specifications before cooperating. To achieve the best chip conveying and cutting process performance to be achieved.

Future Development

In the future, it is expected that the chip removal efficiency will be further improved, and the chip classification will also be well managed. These jobs are now manually operated and can be solved by robots or automated systems in the future. These robots or automated systems save a lot of energy consumption and manual expenditure, thereby bringing maximum profits to business owners and improving production efficiency.

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