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Our Client TS Global engaged with The University of Newcastle to develop a new type a clamp to measure the tension in a conveyor belt – we assisted The University and our Client to secure patent rights.

Patenting a Conveyor Belt Clamp

Patenting a Belt Clamp with the University of Newcastle

Conveyor systems often require maintenance such as if the conveyor belt becomes damaged or to change rollers of the conveyor system. During such maintenance, the belt may need to be held so that tension can be removed from damaged sections to, for example, allow a new section of belt to be spliced with the existing belt or allow a roller to be replaced.

To hold the belt – belt clamps have been developed which grip and hold the belt during maintenance. A problem with such belt clamps is that the clamps are designed with a load rating relating to the inline tension of the belt. However, it is difficult to determine, and often unknown, what actual tension is being applied to the belt or the load on the clamps, in use. Accordingly, the belt clamps may unexpectedly fail due to over loading, or the high tension within the belt may damage the belt or other parts of the conveyor system.

To solve this problem – TS Global and The University of Newcastle devised a belt clamp that is able to measure the actual tension is being applied to the belt or the load on the clamps, in use. The ability to measure the tension has numerous uses and advantages – but one of the main advantages being the ability to provide an alert if the belt becomes overloaded which may result in a safety hazed.

To secure this invention, TS Global and The University of Newcastle engaged Caska IP to file PCT/AU2020/050397 “CLAMP, SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR MEASURING TENSION IN A CONVEYOR BELT” and we thus fare have obtained an International Search Report and Written Opinion indicating that all claims are considered patentable.

Claim 1 defines:

A clamp for measuring a tension of a conveyor belt, the clamp including a clamping portion arranged to engage with opposing faces of the conveyor belt in a clamped condition to hold the conveyor belt relative to an anchor, and a load sensing arrangement between the clamping portion and the anchor, the load sensing arrangement configured to provide a signal indicative of the tension in the conveyor belt in the clamped condition.

We drafted claim 1 to provide our Clients’ with broad rights to the invention and ensure that the invention cannot be copied.

This case is a great example of a fruitful industry and university partnership and is also a great example of how the thoughtful pursuit of patent rights may result in a patent application being immediately considered patentable.

We do have a bit of an office mantra of “Think More Do Better” – you certainly can achieve MUCH better results with patents by taking a little more time to think, and the proof is in the pudding !