A conveyor belt can consistently move a lot of materials ranging from heavy pieces to light pieces. Despite the fact that a belt conveyor is a pretty simple machine to operate, a simple glitch can delay your entire production line.
Your conveyor belts should be well maintained to get the most out of your conveyor belts and increase their use and service life.
Here are 10 ways to keep your conveyor belts running:
- Selecting the Right Conveyor Belt
The first stage is to select the right conveyor for your business application of which you can choose from those with the low-profile or aluminum frames to the self tracking or cleated belts. The best way to find out which conveyor best suits your application is by consulting a couple of the conveyor supplier’s technical services departments. The experts are trained to guide you on the best conveyor belt
- Keep Your Belt, Rollers and Pulleys Clean
A belt that has a dirty underside may slip which reduces the conveyor’s weight moving capacity. Most belt conveyors have either a slider bed or rollers that the belt moves over. A build up of dirt on these parts can reduce both your belt and your motor’s life.
- Check Your Bearings
Loose bearings and dry parts are going to lead to a break down sooner or later. Sealed bearings don’t need as much lubrication but other bearings in your conveyor belt system may need it a lot more. Certain lubricants can damage your belt materials however. If your bearings don’t self align then check to make sure that the crooked bearing isn’t binding the pulley which can cause an early failure of your bearings and put unnecessary strain on your motor.
- Check Your Pulley Alignment and Wear
The tension of the belt should be the same on both ends if your pulley has been properly aligned with the rollers but if it is unaligned then the belt will be stretched unevenly. Place your material in the centre to optimize your belt life.
- Inspect for Belt Slippage
Belt slippage is caused by improper tension of the belt or loading your conveyor belt with a heavy load. If your pulleys are worn smooth then the chances of your belt slipping are high. Pulleys that have still got their grips tend to handle loose belts easier but also tend to abrade the bottom of the belt if it is too loose. If your belt is slipping then it’s time for you to get a new conveyor as you will eventually experience complete application failure if you don’t.
- Ensure that the Conveyor Motor and Drive Fit Your Application
This is usually not a problem with a new conveyor as your supplier makes sure that you get a conveyor with the right motor and drive to handle a new application. But sometimes a conveyor is moved to a plant location which it wasn’t designed for. In such situations, all you need to do is call your suppliers and ask them if their conveyors will work for this application or need a simple upgrade.
- Replace Worn Out Parts and Keep the Spare Parts Handy
Check with your supplier as to which of your parts are most likely to wear out fastest then find out how long it will take you to get spare parts from your supplier. If there is a lot of loss of productivity then it is advised that you order the spare parts well in advance to cater to such emergencies.
- Keep Your Motor Clean
A lot of conveyor motors have cooling fans and vents that blow cool air on the motor which keep it cool but if these become blocked due to dust or grease then your motor can overheat and fail. So keep on regularly cleaning and maintaining your fans and vents to avoid this.
- Set Your Conveyor to Pull Rather Than Push
Your belt’s conveyor motor and drive pulley can be set to push or pull the loaded belt. Pulling is usually a lot easier than pushing as your conveyor loses about 50-70% of its load capacity when pushing instead of pulling a load. Only set your conveyor to push a load when it is absolutely necessary.
- Implement a Regular Maintenance Program
Make it a practice of regularly inspecting your machinery for any wear and tear as well as a buildup of material to prevent any loss of productivity in the future. You will be stranded if you don’t do this.
Maintaining your conveyor belt can seem like a tough job, however with a little bit of organization and thought, you can extend the life of a conveyor well beyond what your manufacturers and suppliers claim it to be.