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Tokyo project for Continental conveyors

Pouch conveyor belts made by Continental are being used in a flood prevention project in Machida, Tokyo.

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Materials are removed by the Sicon conveyor belt
Materials are removed by the Sicon conveyor belt

The conveyor belt are being used in the construction of an underground catch basin for 150,000 cubic metres of water.


Over the years, numerous rivers in Tokyo have been built over or regulated to create space to live. The risk of high waters and flooding is increasing as a result. In order to mitigate this risk and protect inhabitants’ living space, the city is building the underground catch basin.


“Continental is contributing to this project and supplying a special conveyor belt that can be used to transport the material from the excavation of the collecting basin safely, cleanly and quietly from the construction site in the middle of a residential area,” the company said in a statement.


To build the basin – 20m deep, 190m long and 90m wide – thousands of tonnes of earth and bulk materials must first be excavated and transported out of the huge pit.

The Sicon conveyor belt is a closed system
The Sicon conveyor belt is a closed system

In December 2020, the installation of Sicon pouch conveyor belt with a length of more than 1,500m into the steel structure of the plant was completed. The installation, which is more than 750m-long will start operation in a few weeks. The 280t of materials excavated every hour are transported on the conveyor belt at a speed of 1.4 seconds per metre across the residential area to a nearby main street, where it is discharged onto trucks.


“The Sicon conveyor belt is a closed system from the feeding point to the discharging point. It can negotiate curves of up to 180 degrees, making it extremely flexible when routing the line and adaptable to any environment. Corners and edges can therefore be bypassed without additional transfer points – curve radii of less than one meter can be achieved,” explained Gabriele Hennig-Juman from Continental sales for conveying solutions in the Asia-Pacific region.


By using a snaking route, the belt conveyor is also able to overcome large differences in height in a very tight space.


The belt is manufactured in Northeim (Germany) and shipped to Japan. The contractors on site are the local Japanese-German joint venture of Continental ‘Bando-Scholtz’ and Furukawa Industrial Machinery Systems, a specialist in Japan in steel construction and industrial equipment, which is jointly coordinating and carrying out all work for the end customer, the Tokyo Metropolitan.

The conveyor reduces truck trips in tight residential areas
The conveyor reduces truck trips in tight residential areas

An international service team from Continental and Bando Chemicals is providing on-site support for the assembly and splicing of the belt and the commissioning of the system.


“The pouch conveyor belt meets particularly demanding requirements in terms of cost-effectiveness and environmental compatibility,” said Masaaki Ogino, CEO of the Bando-Scholtz Corporation. “This reliable and clean transport solution takes into account both ecological aspects and preservation of the quality of life for local people.”


Using the conveyor system eliminates the need for trucks to drive through the residential area to the construction site over a period of months, which would have resulted in a greater CO2 footprint and more noise pollution, as well as potentially increasing the risk of traffic accidents.


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