Production seen first hand with Gates

Finished belts ready to be boxed
Finished belts ready to be boxed

Gates’ Balsareny production plant in Barcelona is one of three sites in Europe which make the company’s new Micro-V Horizon belt.

Marc Etaix is the man in charge of making sure production at the site runs smoothly, and CAT joined a tour around the plan to see production of the new belt in action.

It’s always fascinating to see real production taking place, and the ingenuity with which man and machine come together to produce the final product. Inside the Balsareny facility we learned how a secret mixture of rubbers is first formed into flat strips, how tightly woven cord is then place in between different layers and how the different layers of the belt are heated, cooled,  made into shape, and then cut.

A particularly interesting sight for me was seeing grooves being cut into the finished belts. Where different applications require a different number of grooves the belts have to be made to order – so row upon row of machines cut just the right number of grooves for any application. There are even ways of cutting grooves in both sides of the belt for use in some modern engines.

It was an enlightening visit, and my thanks to Gates for allowing CAT to take a tour of the site. You can read more about the visit in the December issue of CAT.

Published by Darrenmoss

CAT magazine's in-house reporter and self-confessed petrol head

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