Simulating Belt Conveyor Systems

Identify occurring forces and vibrations in belt conveyors reliably through system simulation. Design and optimize drive systems and controller layouts and test the control hardware in a virtual environment for all kinds of application scenarios – reliably and efficiently with minimal costs.

Ensure reliable operation of continuous conveyors early on

From planning to testing to virtual commissioning of individual components and entire plants for continuous transport of bulk material – benefit from over 25 years of experience in modeling and simulating complex mechatronic systems. With our longstanding experience with mining and conveyor systems, we know the industry’s ins and outs.

The combination of a proven software tool with profound engineering expertise provides you with a powerful and reliable custom-fit solution for your very needs. This enables you to find solid answers to your questions already at an early stage:

  • What forces may occur in the conveyor belt during operation?
  • Is the drive performance adequate for any possible load case?
  • Which control strategy ensures the best balance between high energy efficiency and maximum availability?

You thus can avoid design errors already during the conceptual phase and achieve a high level of dependability and energy efficiency through early virtual testing and continuous optimizations.

Simulating belt conveyor systems: Flexible model concept for different load cases, boundary conditions and system layouts

The provided belt conveyor models consist of several sections and take varying loads and elevation profiles into account. Calculations of the main, secondary, slope and special resistances are based on the specifications of the German DIN 22101 standard.

You can specify a model’s properties through technical and design data, for example, for rollers, the conveyor belt, drive and drum pulleys as well as for the drive system and electric motors. Parameters can be managed through databases and tables.

Get answers to the following questions on the operational safety and energy efficiency of belt conveyors fast and economically

On the system level

  • Is the designed drive performance sufficient for any possible load case?
  • What power demand can be expected for a conveyor belt extension?
  • How does the elevation profile affect the conveyor’s operation?
  • What may happen when the belt conveyor is operated under extreme conditions, such as power outage, emergency shutdowns and restart procedures?

Mechanical assemblies

  • Is the tension device designed adequately?
  • How does changing the concept for the tension device impact the system?
  • Do oscillations in the tensile forces occur and how can they be handled?

Mechatronic assemblies

  • How does the control software impact the system behavior?
  • What is the best controller layout to prevent the belt from slipping on the drive pulley?
  • What are the effects of a tail end drive?

Systematic improvement of the energy performance of belt conveyors

Read, how the methodological approach of a digital twin can be a valuable to support in implementing the requirements of an energy management according to ISO 50001.

Read the paper

From engineer to engineer

Some questions can be better answered in a personal conversation.

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From the drive system to belt vibrations to control strategies: Simulation helps you stay on top of your game from the conceptual phase to the commissioning of your belt conveyor system

Evaluate alternative drive concepts and develop suitable operating strategies on a single platform: For the validation of initial concepts, for the fine-tuning of the controller layout and also for virtual commissioning.

  • Design and optimize the parameters for the RPM controller.
  • Test new concepts for controller layouts with model-based software development (SiL/HiL).
  • Analyze the robustness of your control system for various operating conditions (loading, elevation profile, variable belt speed for optimized load and energy consumption).

  • Master the mechanical load of your belt conveyor at different speeds – for empty and loaded states.
  • Analyze occurring forces in the conveyor belt.
  • Evaluate the behavior during acceleration and deceleration of your belt conveyor.
  • Examine the effectiveness of the tension device.
  • Analyze the belt slip at the drive pulley.

  • Calculate the optimum drive performance for different load cases.
  • Identify and optimize your belt conveyor’s energy demand.

  • Reduce the number of test runs by testing your control hardware with a virtual model of a conveyor belt (HiL test bench).
  • Accelerate the start-up behavior by optimizing the control strategies with a reliable model.

Simulation solutions for any user – straightforward and efficient

Are you a design engineer, service provider, commissioning specialist or operator of belt conveyors? With SimulationX you are enabled to conduct test series with virtual belt conveyor systems. We assist you with the modeling process for your belt conveyor and with modifications of the model for new drive concepts. We accompany you during the simulation and result analyses and help you streamline your workflow with such models – for example by linking them to parameter databases.

Cost-efficient development of reliable and powerful machinery

Regardless of your objective, by employing dynamic system simulation, you will save time and money by:

  • dimensioning your machinery based on reliable simulation data during the design phase
  • reducing the number of tests on the real machine and the time needed for the commissioning process on site
  • having optimized your operating strategy for higher energy efficiency

Efficient conveyor systems and minimal commissioning times with the new SimulationX Belt Conveyors library

System simulation for belt conveyors

Belt conveyor systems belong to the category of continuous conveyors and are used all over the world for bulk material handling over long distances, for example, in open-pit mines, such as the lignite areas in Germany or copper mines in Chile.


From digital prototype to Hybrid Twin™

In many industries, system simulation is now the standard tool for the development, design and analysis of all types of complex machinery and systems. Are you curious to know what the new potential of dynamic simulations of belt conveyors is?

read the article
New in SimulationX 4.0
  • Extended scope of the Belt Conveyor library: Pipe Conveyors and CEMA regulations

    The belt conveyor library available since SimulationX 3.9 includes now virtual analysis of pipe conveyors and computation according to the American CEMA regulations.

    to SimulationX 4.0
  • New GUI concept for enhanced clarity and productivity

    New graphical user interface of SimulationX 4.0 including backstage, ribbons and floaties

    to SimulationX 4.0
  • 3D view with dynamic labels and collision detection

    Use the 3D view to present your results and to detect collisions between bodies.

    to SimulationX 4.0
  • Automated model validation with the Simulation Task Manager

    The Simulation Task Manager introduced with SimulationX 3.9 now includes an automated model validation.

    to SimulationX 4.0
  • Improved computation and handling of Functional Mock-up Units (FMUs)

    Computation of system models containing FMUs significantly accelerated

    to SimulationX 4.0
  • System Reliability Analysis: Integrate behavior deviating from the nominal condition in system simulations

    As a major step towards the hybrid Twin™, the new module enables manufacturing tolerances, aging, wear and faults to be systematically integrated into system models.

    to SimulationX 4.0
  • Efficiently computing and creating clocked control systems and Modelica State Machines

    SimulationX 4.0 contains the new library Clocked Signal Blocks with easy-to-use model elements based on the Modelica Synchronous technology.

    to SimulationX 4.0
  • Convenient data handling through new, table-based signal sources

    New curve elements and signal blocks in SimulationX 4.0 allow you to manage parameter data as a text file independent of the model.

    to SimulationX 4.0
  • New symbols for the Signal Sources and Hydraulics libraries

    Information about the system status at a glance with meaningful symbols in the structure view

    to SimulationX 4.0
  • References

    Customers and References

    Romonta analyzes vibrational behavior in bucket wheel excavators during normal operation. Tenova Takraf increases power density of large drives and masters the dynamics of sophisticated conveyor belts already in the design phase. ABB uses simulation for drive optimizations and virtual commissioning of drive and control systems in their extraction equipment to ensure their quality and timely completion. Find out more about ESI ITI customer applications:

  • ABB

    ABB uses SimulationX for the optimization and virtual commissioning of drive systems and automation solutions for mining equipment and bulk material handling machinery

    About ABB`s Project
  • Romonta

    Romonta uses SimulationX to optimize operations of their mining equipment

    About Romonta`s Project
  • Siemens Minerals

    Siemens Minerals utilizes ESI’s SimulationX to optimize belt conveyors

    about Siemens Minerals' project
  • Tenova TAKRAF

    Tenova TAKRAF optimizes equipment and machinery for mining and bulk material handling with SimulationX

    About Takraf`s Project
  • Contact
    Jörg Arloth Sales
    Dr. René Noack Engineering
    Florian Ohser Engineering
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