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Using Chip Conveyors in CNC Machining

June 16, 2023

milling CNC machining chip conveyor

MC3 specializes in the most effective CNC machine chip conveyors, providing our manufacturing partners with advanced scrap control technologies for greater operational efficiency. Our uniquely innovative conveyor systems are designed with a meticulous approach and uncompromising quality, allowing numerous industries to easily and efficiently remove chips, fines, or a combination of the two from production lines. 

Selecting the right CNC chip conveyor requires carefully considering several important factors, and sometimes, maximum scrap control requires a fully custom solution.

What To Consider When Picking a Chip Conveyor for CNC Machining

Selecting the right CNC chip conveyor requires carefully balancing several factors, including the type of coolant used and the desired flow rate (measured in GPM). Chip loading style is also key, as different conveyors load from the tail, side, or top. Some models also utilize a chute.

It’s best to begin by identifying the type of scrap you will produce, as chip size and shape dictate the chip conveyor’s dimensions, cooling system type, and other features. There are three considerations to make for chips:

  • Chip type: Chips vs. fines, near-fine particulates, or both.
  • Size: Most often either large vs. small chips; although some chip conveyors must accommodate a range of sizes.
  • Shape: From bushy/forming brushes and stringers to fines, curly, and long/thin pieces, shape plays an important role in conveyor gaps, magnet spacing, and other design elements.
  • Material: The material also affects how chips are configured. Manufacturing chips are usually plastic, aluminum, cast iron, steel, or hardened steel, all of which impact design considerations for the coolant management system. 

Available floor space is also critical, as your chip conveyor and all related components must interface properly with the surrounding equipment. When evaluating space requirements, it is important to consider both the physical dimensions of the equipment that will fit and its impact on workflow efficiency.

Applications of CNC Chip Conveyors

Steel-hinged belt conveyors are the most effective means of preventing small chips from dropping through gaps between belt segments. MC3’s experienced technicians and design engineers have innovated several types of CNC chip conveyors, and we’re also capable of creating fully custom, turnkey solutions.

The type of chips produced, the coolant used, and other factors impact which of the following chip conveyors are most effective:

  • Magnetic Chip Conveyors: Ideal for both wet and dry chips, including steel slugs, cast iron chips, and ferrous materials. MC3’s magnetic chip conveyor is designed with a fully enclosed machine frame, protecting both technicians and the conveyor system’s chain, magnets, and gear drive components. Chips are conveyed by a stainless steel slider bed to minimize wear and keep scrap from piling up. Usually, magnetic CNC chip conveyors are suited for 100% ferrous materials and operate best with ferrous fines, but there are exceptions. String-like scrap that’s longer than the conveyor magnets’ spacing can bridge magnets and interfere with performance.. They’re also sufficient for processes involving settling tanks or weirs.
  • Drag-out Conveyors: With more efficient coolant filtration, MC3’s drag-out CNC chip conveyors maintain coolant even with high amounts of sludge. This makes them ideal for smaller chips (especially those involving contaminants), such as wet chips or turnings, and they accommodate a wide range of metals. Because the chamber’s base resists scratching and abrasion, our drag-out conveyors are suitable for Minimum Quantity Lubricant (MQL), lengthening equipment lifespan. A drag-out conveyor is useful for a wide number of manufacturing and scrap-collection functions:
    • Machining
    • Sawing
    • Wet and dry materials
    • Fines and small chips
    • Minimum Quantity Lubricant
  • FilterMasters™: Essentially a combination of drum-drag and hinged-belt conveyors, our FilterMaster™ drum conveyor system uses a dual conveyor with an upper-hinged steel belt, which significantly increases load capacity. Using a small inbuilt window, operators can keep their eye on coolant quality. The coolant and filter bag utilize a high-pressure backwash system to provide the drums with minimal maintenance and self-cleaning operation. A lower drag-out conveyor acts in a secondary capacity to catch fine particulates, making the FilterMaster™ functional for an extremely wide range of iron, aluminum, and steel chips, including:
    • Turnings
    • Stringers
    • Bird nests
    • Fines down to 50 microns (nominal)
    • Separation of multiple chip sizes

Choose MC3 for your CNC Machine Chip Conveyor

Only the most effective CNC machine chip conveyor can fully minimize scrap buildup and reduce downtime. MC3’s experienced conveyor and filter engineers scrutinize every possible detail to ensure customers obtain maximum control over their scrap-removal processes. For more information or to request a quote, please contact us, and tell our knowledgeable engineers about your CNC chip conveyor needs.

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