FAQ

Q. Do I have to purchase the annual maintenance plan?
A. No, once you purchase the software it is yours to use indefinitely. You do not need to purchase an annual maintenance plan to continue using the software. However, the annual maintenance plan gives you free access to all major and minor software updates, technical support via E-mail, and 2 hours of call in support.

Q. We have a very long/complex conveyor. Can AC-Tek help us with the design?
A. Absolutely! The design, and more importantly the optimization of conveyor systems is AC-Tek’s core business. We specialize in long overland conveyor systems, high tonnage systems, high lift systems, and complex systems with multiple horizontal curves.

Q. We have many conveyors on a project. Can Sidewinder easily summarize all of these together?
A. Yes. Sidewinder allows you to open up to 50 conveyors in a single “project” file. This master file contains a summary of all major equipment such as pulleys, idlers, motors, and belting. An equipment summary report┬ácan be printed and/or exported to Excel.

Q. I’m not a native English speaker, how do I switch to my language?
A. Sidewinder has been translated to Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Italian, German, Finnish, French, and Afrikaans. You may select a language in the Preference page. You can then easily switch between English and your preferred language by just pressing “F8”. We also give discounts for anyone who wishes to translate Sidewinder to a new language. Contact us for more details.

Q. How do I learn how to use Sidewinder?
A. We have made a series of video training classes that we send with the software. These videos are short (5 to 20 minutes each) that target a specific item for learning. The videos are very informative and show you how to use Sidewinder.

Q. Do you have any Sidewinder training classes?
A. Yes. AC-Tek routinely gives training course on both conveyor design and Sidewinder usage. These courses can vary from 1-3 days depending on the user level. Classes can be as small as one on one, or as large as twenty or more.

Q. Can I switch between metric and Imperial units?
A. Calculations can be done in either metric or Imperial units. Furthermore, you may switch units at any time by pressing “F4”. This converts all input and output values.

Q. I have some rather simple conveyors that I need to estimate, is it difficult to make a conveyor geometry and calculation?
A. Sidewinder has an “Easy Profile” that allows the engineer to very quickly input a conveyor profile. Simply enter the conveyor geometry, then select the pre-configured head and tail pulley arrangements to set drive, take-up, and pulley configuration. A conveyor profile may be entered within a matter a minutes. With more complex geometries, the user may import the geometry directly from a┬áCAD file.

Q. How many drive stations can I have?
A. You can place up to fifteen drive stations anywhere along the conveyor (head, tail, tripper station, return side, etc).

Q. Can I import/export files to AutoCAD?
A. Yes, Sidewinder allows you to both import and export your conveyor geometries. Furthermore, almost all data sheets, chats, plots, and images can be copied and pasted to other applications such as excel, and Microsoft word.

Q. Is there a discount if I buy more than one license?
A. Yes. The cost of additional licenses is significantly reduced. Furthermore, if you purchase 3 or more licenses at a single time you will receive an additional 15% discount!

Q. Can I estimate starting and stopping belt tensions?
A. Yes. Sidewinder not only provides steady state running tensions, but also rigid body dynamics calculations for starting, stopping, and emergency (power failure) conditions.

Q. Can Sidewinder calculate pipe conveyors?
A. Yes, Sidewinder has various expanded features and calculation methods for carrying out the design of pipe conveyor systems.

Q. How do you calculate feeder belts and pullout forces?
A. Sidewinder incorporates several different calculation methods from various technical papers and publications. These include CEMA, Roberts, Reisner, Bruff, and Johanson.

Q. Does Sidewinder calculate shafts and bearings?
A. Sidewinder calculates shaft sizes based on both CEMA and the Australian AS-1403 specification. Bearings are selected based on required L10 life. Sidewinder can select shafts and bearings on default values or the user can input detailed shaft dimensions.

Q. Does Sidewinder calculate horizontal curves?
A. Sidewinder calculates lateral displacements in horizontal curves according to both CEMA 6th and a paper written by Bremmer and Kessler. Vertical and horizontal profiles are entered separately and then are automatically integrated into the final profile.

Q. I have custom idlers, can I use this custom data in Sidewinder?
A. Sidewinder allows you to enter any custom data in the idlers, including roll diameter, lengths, bearing size, shaft size, drag, trough angles, shell thickness, number or rolls (2 to 6 rolls allowed), shell type (steel, aluminum, polyurethane), and other factors.

Q. Does Sidewinder have a report?
A. Sidewinder exports the calculation results to a RTF file that is automatically opened in Microsoft Word (and can be edited in any almost any other document editor). When making the report the user has many options available. Further, Sidewinder has its own document editor if you don’t have Microsoft Word. Sidewinder also has the ability to add your company’s custom logo to the report.

Q. What advanced calculation methods does Sidewinder have?
A. Sidewinder has several advanced calculation methods including stockpile geometries, load on and off calculations (showing how demand power and tensions vary while the conveyor is loaded or unloaded), horizontal curve calculations, belt turnovers, overhung shaft loads, and earth works (estimated cut and fill calculations).

If you have any questions regarding the software, or any of its features, please feel free to contact us at info@actek.com. You can also download a demo version of the software here and being exploring Sidewinder’s many features!