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Just like any other mechanical or industrial product, conveyor belts require regular maintenance to keep them functioning properly. Most industrial settings rely on conveyors working for essential tasks and functions.
If it breaks, you could be looking at slower production times and major interruptions to your production. Having your entire system and schedule thrown off by damaged belts can be detrimental to your entire operation, causing losses of money and productivity.
Conveyor belts, unfortunately, can get off track sometimes. When there is an issue with tracking, the process of managing and aligning the belt onto the correct path affects the functioning and output of your system. Mistracking refers to something going wrong with your track, such as it slipping to one side or another, or completely shifting out of alignment.
At times, the belts might slip, and because the belts rely on precise balancing of tension to work correctly, this can also cause major problems. If there is too much or too little tension, a slip can occur, causing unnecessary stretching and strain as well as loud noises. These types of problems require time-consuming maintenance. If you notice that your conveyor belts are slipping, it is often caused by overweight loads, low temperatures, poorly installed lagging, and pulley problems.
Another issue you might encounter is seized rollers. In most cases, conveyor belts are using metallic materials such as steel, making them highly durable and long-lasting. Unfortunately, this also means that when your rollers seize up, they have a tendency to develop sharp edges.
These sharp edges can have major repercussions to your entire system including mistracking, safety hazards to workers, and potentially damaged goods and materials being transported.
Blockages also come with conveyor belts, and they can be equally frustrating. The primary purpose of your system is to transport items efficiently from one place to another, so if your travel is disrupted, your entire system is, yet again, thrown off completely, pushing back production times, and potentially resulting in further damage.
Pileups of products can lead to the system becoming clogged or jammed, but by checking for sharp edges, surfaces, and corners that might snag items as they go past, you can do a great deal to prevent blockages. It is important to keep in mind that these things can seem very small and unimportant, but without proper care, you could be left with a much larger problem on your hands.
Material carryback is yet another sign that you need repairs. If materials build up on the belts, residue and other materials could potentially accumulate underneath, causing issues with your rollers and pulleys. This can also lead to a fire hazard and unsafe working conditions due to the materials being inhaled by workers. Material carryback also comes with possible loss of profit because you’re consistently losing product along your lines.
Material spillage is another frustrating issue that you could encounter while using conveyor belts. This refers to any material that accidentally slides or spills from your system, potentially causing blockages or buildups. These issues result in domino effects more often than not, piling on a list of other future problems.
Another issue you could encounter is tears and seam rips along the belts. Sharp objects such as rocks, coal, and metals can increase the chances of this problem occurring, as well as stress and tension on the lines over time. Though this is a normal issue, it can still hurt your productivity and the overall functioning of your operation, as can all of the other listed problems.
Each and every one of those frustrating issues can be solved with conveyor belt repair. By checking your system regularly for buildup, you can prevent potential blockages and mistracking. Buildup includes any dirt, debris, and residue that might have gotten trapped somewhere along your belts.
Regular cleaning goes hand in hand with the process of checking for buildups. By cleaning your system regularly, you are reducing the possibility of buildups happening in the first place. Making a habit out of cleaning your conveyor system regularly can also help you to catch issues early on and prevent further problems arising from excess material buildup.
Double-checking that the frame is square and level at all times can also help to prevent major issues from occurring. By making sure that the system is not tilted or thrown out of alignment, you don’t have to worry nearly as much about issues with your product transporting. You can easily confirm, with a standard level, that both sides of your belts are even.
Making sure that the end pulleys are even is another important step to preventing future problems. You can perform these checks at the same time you’re checking that your frame is level. Just make sure that every pulley system is evenly lined up with the frame in order to prevent slippage and wear and tear.
Lastly, make sure that your belts are cut straight to help avoid further problems.
All of the problems listed above are clear signs that you should look into repairs. However, there are also small things that can result in damage and a need for repairs. If you notice cracks and scars, discoloration, or chemical effects, consider having the belts and lacing checked out by a professional. If you ever find that any of these maintenance protocols are overwhelming, call a professional who is equipped with the right tools and knowledge to solve the issues.
Now that you know the detrimental effects of a damaged conveyor system, double-check yours immediately. Ensure that it is cleaned and checked regularly to prevent yourself from a whirlwind of trouble and major headaches. No operation wants to be forced to shut-down, have slow production times and inefficient methods of work, but by maintaining your conveyor system regularly, you can prevent a multitude of problems before they start or get worse.
California Industrial Rubber Company is a distributor of industrial rubber and plastic products, serving California and Nevada since 1958. Our continuous growth over the last 60 years comes from not only providing outstanding service to our customers, but also from always providing and developing new and better quality products to fit every customer’s needs.