Conveyor Belt Tension - Keep Conveyors Running Smoothly

Correct tension on a power conveyor belt or chain is critical to proper conveyor performance. Incorrect tension can cause belts to slip, lead to wear and tear on other components such as bearings and shafts and significantly impact the overall performance of the conveyor and packaging systems as a whole.

Tension in certain belts and chains can change over time due to nothing more than continuous usage of the system. As weight and revolutions increase, the belt will wear. However, other issues may exist that can cause undue wear as well. Product and other debris can build up on a conveyor system, particularly in pinch points or corners where they may be trapped while moving on the belt. This debris makes the conveyor and the belt work harder to move containers along the system. This effect though, is easily countered by cleaning conveyors at the end of the production day.

When conveyors are installed by Liquid Packaging Solutions, technicians will always ensure that each conveyor is level as well. Simple leveling legs can help to make these adjustments. However, if conveyors are moved to a new location, or even if a power conveyor is unintentionally bumped, they may need to be leveled again. If not level, slippage can occur and again the conveyor itself will work harder, which can lead to a loss of tension.

In most cases, the loss of tension will be easily identifiable, as the return portion of the chain will sag more as the tension declines. When belt tension must be increased, most Liquid Packaging Solutions conveyors will allow a small section to be removed to increase tension. Conveyor sections will have rods, metal or plastic depending on the belt, that hold sections of the belt together. Removing a rod allows for the removal of a section of conveyor, quickly adding tension to the belt. Once the section is removed and the conveyor is reconnected, the packager should confirm that the system is sitting level and also visually inspect the equipment for proper tracking, cleanliness and damage to components such as sprockets. Simple directions for repair or replacement of belting can be found in the user's manual that comes with all LPS conveyors.

Of course, not all conveyors are built the same. Some applications will require custom designed and manufactured power conveyors. Other applications may benefit from non-standard belting material. LPS technicians are available to assist with conveyor troubleshooting and tensioning should the conveyor or the issue be unique.