How to Avoid Abnormal Wear and Tear on a Power Conveyor Belt
No matter how many automatic machines a packager has lined up on his production floor, they simply will not perform as desired without a properly functioning power conveyor system. Power conveyors move containers from one automatic machine to another, such as bottle fillers, capping machines, labeling equipment and more. The conveyor system eliminates the need for operators or manual labor to transfer the containers from machine to machine, giving the automatic packaging process greater efficiency over semi-automatic and manual packaging. For this reason, keeping the conveyor belt in proper working condition is essential to keeping the process itself efficient and reliable.
More times than not, LPS technicians find that prematurely worn belting on conveyor systems stems from a simple lack of cleanliness. In almost any atmosphere (short of a production floor filled with clean rooms) dust and debris will be present. The dust might come from the product being used, different processes in the plant or simply from the environment in which the packaging is taking place. When this dust and debris settles on the conveyor belt, it is carried by the belt along with the bottles and other containers being used in the packaging project. The problem occurs when these contaminants gather in collection points, such as the belt return or corners of the conveyor system. This build up can create atypical wear on a belt and lessen the useful life of the belt itself while also causing problems along the line with timing, indexing and other features. The solution to this issue is simple. LPS encourages all packagers to take a moment at the end of each production day to simply wipe down the conveyor belt to remove excess debris and keep build up of the same to a minimum.
While unclean conveyor belts may lead to a majority of the problem, a second common issue arises from improper alignment. Conveyors use a sprocket system to allow the belt to track consistently along the best path in the frame. Damaged or misaligned sprockets can lead to improper tracking and unnecessary rubbing of the conveyor belt, causing the belt to wear prematurely. Similarly, even if sprockets seem to be aligned, the belt may sometimes slip to a point where it is not aligned with the belt guide. In some cases, depending on the model or type of conveyor being used, operators may hear a clicking noise when the belt is not tracking properly. However, operators can simply visually check the alignment when performing the end of shift cleaning of the belt.
These two simple steps can allow packagers to catch potential problems regarding belt wear at an early stage, which can save hours of downtime or maintenance in the future. While these two issues are the most common causes of premature belt wear, others do exist. If the belt is clean and properly aligned but still does not seem to function at an ideal level, packagers can contact the LPS Service Department for further assistance with troubleshooting at the Main Number by asking for Extension 304.