Glossary of Terms for Spiral Food and Beverage Systems


These sprockets engage directly into the belt and are used to drive the belt. They are typically fabricated in UHMW, but are also available in steel or stainless steel


The force applied to the spiral belt by the take-up motor relative to the Main drive motor. As a practical matter, belt tension is a function of overdrive, assuming there is no physical resistance to the belt moving through the system.


Located inside the Control Panel. Used to trim the take-up motor for fine tuning overdrive corrections.


Cylindrical structure at the center of a spiral system that supplies the drive force to the spiral belt, also referred to as the drum.


The Chain Oiler is a mechanism that sprays or spreads oil on the drive chain to maintain it integrity. (The chain oiler is called also “Lincoln Oiler” when it is fully automated or “Automated Oiler”).


A rod of equal thickness and length as the rods existing throughout the belt, used to splice or join belt sections together. A connector rod usually has one end threaded and comes with a nut for installation.

The threaded end must always be towards the outside of the belt.


Located under the belt away from the edges, these pulleys support the belt for weight and tension.


The point at which the Spiral Belt changes it’s direction from straight running to a curved or spiral path through the System.


The location where product exits the spiral system and is removed from the belt.


The shaft by which the belt is driven at the Take-up by Belt Sprockets.


A Spiral that Infeed at the top and discharges at the bottom, also called downcage. (See Upgo system later on).


The control scheme in which the overdrive is controlled by setting the speed of the main drive and the take-up drive by two VFDs and the ratio between them is called Dual-Inverter Scheme.


Opposite of Collapse Point: The point at which the Spiral Belt changes its direction from a curved or spiral path to a straight path.


Idler wheel located beneath the cage. Used to accommodate belt returning to the spiral Infeed when

Infeed and discharge are not on the same tangent.


Located on the outside or inside edge of the belt, these rollers have one side raised, giving the belt lateral support which is required at certain locations where tracking is important.


In order to protect the motors and belt, the system uses the ampere readings to first warn the operator and when it reaches the pre-defined limit, to stop the system altogether.


The location where product is placed on the belt surface and enters the spiral system.


The means by which the cage is driven, also called Cage Drive. The Main Drive provides the main driving force for conveying the spiral belt around the cage: which drives the spiral belt through the system. Also, please refer to Take-up Drive.


The Main Drive Assembly consists of a drive motor, gear reducer, chain, chain tension arm, drive sprocket and tension sprocket. The Main Drive rotates the cage assembly and provides the friction drive necessary to move the belt through the Spiral System.


The chain is designed to turn the cage by engaging the Tooth Segments.


Reservoir brush and piping assembly used to lubricate the Main Drive Chain. This can be a manual or automatic oiler.


The Main Frame Assembly provides the structural framework to create an ascending or descending spiral path, and entrance and exit tracks. It also houses the cage assembly.


A “not to exceed” height of the product to avoid contact with the track support rail above or other frame components.


The difference in relative speeds between the cage surface and the inside edge of the belt, sometimes referred to as slip. In all instances, the cage must travel faster than the belt.


Too much take up drive force resulting in decreased belt life, excessive wear to the Vertical Cage Bar

Wear Strips and unusual or unpredictable belt operating characteristics.


The control scheme in which the system uses one VFD to change the line speed, sprocket ratio to adjust the speed of the Take-up compare to the Main Drive and Powerstat to fine-tune the torque and the speed of the Take-up.


The amount of total clear space available from the belt to the track support above. This space must be large enough to fit the maximum product height and airflow required.


Depending on the configuration of your system, there are safeties located throughout the system to protect your plant personnel and the spiral system.

  • 1.Safety Sensors located in slack take-up area that monitors take-up weight position.
  • 2.Safety Sensors located at top level (Upgo system only) or bottom level (Down-Go system only) 90 degrees back from the discharge to monitor belt position.
  • 3.Safety Sensor located at the main drive motor base to monitor the position of the tension arm.
  • 4.Personnel Alert – A safety line that is installed around the perimeter of the system, when pulled, it will shut down the spiral.
  • 5.Man-In System – Notifies plant personnel that an employee who entered the system has not emerged after a predetermined safe time.

Note: This applies to systems that were supplied with an Insulated Enclosure.


Horizontally mounted pulleys or guides used to keep belt edges in line with Infeed and discharge pulleys.


Area where excess belt accumulates.


The carrying surface of the spiral system. The Spiral Belt is able to collapse around turns as well as travel on straightaway. It transports the product through the spiral system from entrance, around the ascending or descending cage, and out the exit.


There are three standard System Protection Controls on all Spirals. These are the belt edge sensor, the upper and lower take-up sensor and the optional main drive chain sensor. Each of these devices is monitored through the electrical center.


This drive is basically a tensioning drive and governs the transmission of drive force between the cage and the belt.


A roller chain designed to link the Take-Up Drive Motor with the Take-Up Drive Shaft.


The Take-up Tower Assembly is designed to give the Spiral the ability to make automatic belt adjustments by providing a storage area for the excess spiral belt. The take-up tower houses the take-up drive consisting of a drive motor, reducer, chain, drive sprocket, and torque limiter to maintain proper cage overdrive by a predetermined amount of tension.


Used to assure proper Main Drive Chain tension.


The vertical distance, measured in inches, from the top of the belt on one level to the top of the belt on the next level. Sometimes referred to as tier pitch.


A safety device located on the Take-Up Drive designed to slip in the event of a jam or emergency.


To overcome increase of friction between the belt and the track support system, in some cases there is a possibility to add a system that spread thin layer of oil on the bottom of the belt. In some cases, the Track Oiler is connected to the High Tension Alert system. When this is the case, the oil is spreaded in conjunction to a certain level of amperes reading on the Main Drive.


Metal rail underneath the spiral belt that provides support.


Plastic covering the track support rails, designed to provide a low-friction surface for the spiral belt.

This wear strip also protects the support rail and the spiral belt.


Too little Take-Up drive force; which results in a loose spiral belt. The spiral belt will exhibit unusual operating characteristics such as, chattering, stalling, or surging.


A Spiral that Infeed at the bottom and discharges at the top, also, called upcage.


Vertical rectangular tubing covered with plastic wear strip material that form the outside surface of the cage.


Plastic wear strip designed to protect the spiral belt and the Vertical Cage Bar.