Power Conveyor Concerns - Worn Belt

Power Conveyor Concerns - Worn Belt

Power conveyors work as the circulation system for a packaging line.  For this reason, they can wreak havoc on the line when not functioning correctly.  One of the more common recurring issues surrounding power conveyor systems concerns premature wear of the conveyor belt itself.  While conveyors are simple to operate, some attention must be paid to the maintenance of the machines, to avoid such wear and tear.  The following are the most common reasons for premature wear on a conveyor belt.
 
Believe it or not, one of the main reasons a packager experiences abnormal wear and tear on a conveyor belt is due to a simple lack of cleaning.  During a busy day of preparing products for packing and shipping, it can be easy to overlook wiping down machinery at the end of production, but this simple task can significantly extend the life of the belting.  As product and simple dust and debris settle on the conveyor, it will, just like the bottles and containers, travel with the belt.  Debris can then build up in collection points on the power conveyor system and when this build up reaches a certain point, it will begin to rub and wear on the belting itself.  For this reason, operators of packaging lines should make it a point to consistently wipe down belting and check for build up as part of the routine maintenance of the line.
 
If abnormal wear occurs despite keeping the conveyor belting and packaging machinery clean, the likely culprit will be the belt or conveyor alignment.  Operators of packaging lines should check sprockets for damage or improper alignment.  Damaged sprockets, or sprockets out of alignment, can cause the belt to track improperly.  If the belt is tracking incorrectly it may rub on the sprocket or other components of the machinery causing the excess wear and tear.  Similarly, if the sprockets are undamaged but misaligned, the belt may still be tracking incorrectly if it is not properly aligned with the belt guide.  With certain models, the operator may notice a clicking sound if the belt is catching on the guide or not making a smooth transition to the return portion of the path.  The friction caused by misalignment can also cause unnecessary wear and tear.  The simple solution is to realign the sprockets or the belt as necessary.  Operators should routinely check alignment as the conveyors may still function even though the excess wear and tear is taking place.  
 
While the cleaning and alignment are the two most common tactics to fight abnormal wear and tear, other, unique issues do arise.  For instance, an LPS customer recently had abnormal wear and tear despite routine cleaning and correct alignment.  After some investigation, it was found that the packaging line heat tunnel remained on even when the conveyor had been stopped.  The excess heat for an extended period of time warped the belt, though a cursory glance did not make the same obvious.  In these unique and mysterious situations, LPS technicians are always available to assist in finding not only the issue, but the solution as well.