Are the caterpillar belt settings & belt covering type important?

The caterpillar belts are VITAL for good cut length accuracy!

Speed stability:

Any belt speed variations should be avoided as far as possible.  Do not adjust the speed unnecessarily during a production run.  Allow time for the caterpillar to accelerate from rest to normal production speed before checking the cut length accuracy.

The more stable the belt speed the better the better the cut length accuracy.

Caterpillar belts:

Check that your caterpillar belts are in good condition.  Very worn belts, dirty belts, greasy belts or belts where the surface joint has come apart should not be used.

Ensure that the belt surface is clean, dry & free from grease or any other matter.

Make sure you are using the correct belt covering for the range of products you produce. As a general rule we recommend avoiding both very hard or very soft belt coverings.

Our best selling belt covers are either a cellular Polyurethane (PU) or a heavy-duty sponge Neoprene material. Both are general-purpose materials that offer a good compromise between grip & wear.

We can alternatives such as FDA approved belts & high contact temperature Silicone belts.

Keep your belts in good condition. Replace worm or damaged belts. Use the correct belt surface material.

Belt nip pressure/belt grip:

Check that the nip pressure & grip between the belts is adequate to avoid extrudate slippage and snaking within the belts.  This is especially important if the infeeder is pulling material from a drum or coil, particularly so if the extrudate has a curved ‘memory’, which encourages it to attempt to turn within the belts.

However, do not use excessive nip pressure or belt grip as this may damage the extrudate and place the caterpillar machine under unnecessary load.

Avoid changing the nip pressure or belt grip during a production run.  This may affect the cut length being produced, causing apparent cut length variations.  If possible set the belt grip & nip pressure to the same setting from run-to-run.

Set the belt pressure/belt grip sufficiently to avoid extrudate slippage or snaking.


For more advice please email:

Downloads (PDF):

> Download Belt Coverings and Types Datasheet

> Cutting Hints (PDF file).