How do I make my conveyor belt last longer?

Purchasing a new conveyor is typically a very expensive capital purchase. It is very important to maintain your conveyor to ensure the life cycle and longevity of the machine and it’s components. Each manufacturer and conveyor have specific routines and guidelines (typically found in the owner’s manual) that outline the exact maintenance procedures required; however sometimes these manuals are never created or misplaced.Here is a general outline that gives basic procedures to follow that will allow you to extend the life cycle of your conveyor, conveyor belt, motors, sprockets, pulleys, chain, bearings etc. Below you will find a general outline for maintaining common conveyors as well as more specific details for Fluent Conveyor offerings.Daily inspection on a conveyor system is very important. Here are a few key things to do to ensure general operation of the conveyor goes as planned.
  • Do a visual inspection to ensure the conveyor is free of all debris and material that may be hazardous to its operation. Remove all foreign debris prior to start up.
  • Make sure all safety guarding and rubber skirting is in its designated place and secure. Also make sure all e-stops, pull cords and any other safety features are in working order for all conveyors.
  • Upon start-up of the conveyor or system, listen carefully for noises that may seem very abrupt or not native to the conveyor operation (loud noises, clunking, rubbing, squeaking, slipping etc.).
  • Review the lubrication scheduled outlined in the owner's manual for all bearings and bushings. If you do not have access to that manual, visit the manufacturer's website or call them directly to ensure you are meeting their warranty maintenance guidelines.
  • Bearings are typically greased annually 2,000 hours of runtime (whatever comes first)
  • Review the lubrication schedule for your conveyor drive unit (gear box). The gear box oil is typically changed annually or every 2,000 hours. Please review the manufacturer's specifications to ensure your schedule aligns with the warranty specifications. Double check to make sure you use the correct oil type listed for that specific gear box manufacturer.
Slider Bed Conveyor General Outline
  • Start with the daily inspection as outlined above
  • Visually inspect your belt.  Make sure there are no tears, cuts, or any other significant damage to the belt or cleats. Ensure that the lacing is in good shape and no part of the belt is sticking out or frayed in a way that it will catch.
  • Upon start up watch to make sure that the belt is running smoothly, tracking straight and is not slipping or too slack (has proper tension).
Roller Chain Conveyor General Outline
  • Start with the daily inspection as outlined above
  • Check daily to ensure the conveyor chain-way and chain are clean and clear of debris.
Fluent-Conveyor-Chain-Way
  • Check periodically to make sure the automatic oilers are full of the required oil
  • Make sure both the head and tail sprockets are not worn and are in proper working order. Please look into a new chain and sprocket if the teeth are wearing and becoming cupped.  This is indicative of chain stretch or elongation and may lead to a broken conveyor chain or conveyor sprocket after time.
Fluent-Conveyors-Tail-SprocketsFluent-Conveyors-Head-SprocketsSort Station General Outline
  • Start with the daily inspection as outlined above
  • Follow the general guidelines for the specific types of conveyors that make up your system i.e. slider bed, roller chain, trough idler etc.
  • Clean off all walking surfaces and ensure that all guard rail, kick plates, gates, pads and other safety equipment is properly located and anchored.
  • Check that all pull stops, e- stops, start/stops, and any other controls are in place and functioning properly.
Trough Idler General Outline
  • Start with the daily inspection as outlined above
  • Visually inspect your belt.  Make sure there are no tears, cuts, or any other significant damage to the belt or cleats. Ensure that the lacing is in good shape and no part of the belt is sticking out or frayed in a way that it will catch.
  • Upon start up watch to make sure that the belt is running smoothly, tracking straight and is not slipping or too slack (has proper tension).
  • Check that all carrying and return idlers are properly located, oriented and anchored.  Ensure that all of the idlers are debris free and running smoothly and quietly.

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