In the wallboard industry consumers demand virtually finished walls that do not need further treatment and fierce price competition forces manufacturers to work as efficiently as possible. In the process of efficient working, the forming line plays an important role and its belt is critical link, which needs to be both reliable and consistently smooth. The belt’s flatness determines the quality of production output, whilst downtime for installation, maintenance and repair lays a heavy burden on production efficiency and costs.
Unprecedented flatness for better output
Output volumes and quality in any wallboard factory heavily depend on the quality and condition of the forming line belt. The flatness of the belt affects the quality and consistency of the product. Any slight deformation, indent, bump, blemish or damage will negatively affect wallboard quality and output. Derco’s specially developed thermoplastic forming line belts have an unprecedented flatness, with a tolerance of less than +/- 0.2 mm (0.008 inch) in the belt.
Due to the controlled and very accurate production process the cover material is coated by a very thin layer that ensures the perfect flatness of the belt. As a result of this carefully controlled process, which takes place over 48 hours per belt on average, no sanding or talcing is required throughout the belt’s entire lifetime. Before dispatch each belt is subjected to a strict quality inspection and cut to width by using two blades to ensure perfectly parallel edges.
Quick, permanent repairs
We all know that accidents do sometimes happen and your belt may sustain damage. In the past a damaged forming belt would cause major problems in the form of lengthy, unplanned downtime and a lasting negative effect on product quality. Not only do rubber belts take longer to repair, repairs often do not last due to the gluing nature of the repairs. This leads to further downtime, repeated repairs or even replacement of the belt. Such repairs also remain very visible in the belt, impacting on the quality of the end product.
By contrast, the thermoplastic properties of the Derco Gypsum forming line belt enable quick, easy, permanent and virtually invisible repairs. The special repair kit provided by Derco Gypsum contains everything needed to carry out immediate repairs in-house, without having to wait for an outside contractor or engineer. The materials are melted together during the repair process, resulting in permanent repairs with a surface comparable to that of the original belt. After completion, operators often find it hard to relocate the place of the repair on their belt.
Unique, flat, narrow joint
Also hard to identify is the joint in these belts. In rubber belts the joint takes up a considerable area of belt and with filler strips, shows an even greater variation in thickness than the belt itself, with regular ongoing attention to the filler strip being required.
Conversely, Derco Gypsum belts have been constructed in such a way that the joint takes up no more than 260 mm (11 inches) belt length at a 90° angle to the belt sides. At the same time, its strength equals 93% of that of the original belt. Derco has achieved the same high degree of flatness in the joint as in the belt, which results in a reduction of production wastage.
The special properties of the belt materials make the jointing process much quicker and easier than that of rubber belts, the turnkey installation process usually taking as little as 24 hours. The thermoplastic forming belts are easily tensioned and tracked, thus adding to the speed and efficiency of the installation process.
No sanding or talcing
Once installed, the Derco belts require very little maintenance. Their surface is even and has a consistent friction. While rubber belts require regular sanding to maintain their sheen, Derco Gypsum belts do not need to be sanded, nor do they require the application of talc. Not only does this mean a great reduction in downtime, it also reduces wear because sanding would take away valuable material from the belt surface. Only occasional light cleaning at the user’s own discretion is necessary, together with regular maintenance.
Excellent return on investment
Derco Gypsum forming belt as offering excellent return on investment with turnkey installation process generally completed within 24 hours. The process includes a thorough pre-inspection of the plant, winding up and removing of the old belt, threading & endlessing the new belt, pre-tensioning and tracking, as well as supervision of the first start up with the new belt.
The excellent flatness and consistent friction of these belts are conducive to an improvement of output quality. Low maintenance requirements and quick, invisible, lasting repairs limit downtime to an absolute minimum. In combination with the very rapid, turnkey installation, Users have evaluated these belts positively and rightly call it an excellent investment.
Derco Gypsum aims to offer a full range of belts to the construction industry. After the success of the thermoplastic forming line belts, it is now looking to expand its program to related products. To this end, the company is currently evaluating the requirements for the next generation of cement board belts and is hoping to develop an equally successful belt type to take the cement board industry forward in terms of output quality and production efficiency. Derco Gypsum is also testing its lightweight thermoplastic transfer belts in conjunction with high-speed splicing tools to reduce downtime, improve self-sufficiency and product quality and increase the useful life of belts and machines.