6 Conveyor Belt Maintenance Tips To Increase Longevity
Conveyor belts are ubiquitous, central components in any manufacturing line. Without conveyors, multistage manufacturing wouldn’t be nearly as efficient. These always-on, ever-in-motion installations need regular upkeep to stay functional, or they could be the catalyst for a line shutdown.
Proactive maintenance is key to avoiding costly downtime. By following these six important maintenance tips, you’ll keep production running smoothly and extend the life span of your conveyor belts.
1. Clean belts regularly
One of the most important ways to care for a conveyor system is to clean it regularly. The cleaning process should include a dry clean to remove debris, an initial rinse, detergent application, another rinse, and sanitization with an appropriate cleaner. By keeping belts clean, you reduce the chance for material buildup, which could impair the system’s function. Regular cleaning is an easy way to minimize costs associated with preventable repairs and part replacements.
2. Remove buildup and obstructions
Assess your entire conveyor belt system for material buildup or obstructions. Debris is a common cause of conveyor belt mistracking. Removing obstructions as soon as possible keeps production online and prevents damage to your conveyor system and the product it carries.
3. Leveling and anchoring
For safe and efficient operation, every part of a conveyor, from end rolls to supporting rolls, must be parallel and level. Misalignment causes a conveyor belt to stretch unevenly, leading to inevitable downtime and unnecessary expense. Leveling and anchoring a conveyor belt takes more time than routine cleaning, but it pays dividends in the potentially significant maintenance costs you will avoid down the line. Leveling is also the primary deterrent for the most serious cause of damage — vibration.
4. Belt alignment and lubrication
Misalignment leads to improper belt tensioning in conveyor systems, which causes belts to slip and reduces the system’s life span. Inspect regularly for slippage, and perform belt tensioning when necessary. Be sure to regularly lubricate the bearings of the conveyor belt system as well, especially if production has increased. Proper lubrication optimizes system efficiency, reduces line stoppage, and protects system components.
5. Service mechanical components
As part of regular conveyor maintenance, service all mechanical components, and replace any parts that show wear. Contact the conveyor system manufacturer or trusted maintenance experts to learn more about which parts are most likely to wear out first, so you can keep replacements stocked and reduce downtime.
6. Establish a quarterly service schedule
The best way to optimize the efficiency of a conveyor system, and extend its life span, is to implement a regular preventive maintenance schedule. Quarterly service is recommended. During this service, a trained technician will inspect all components, replace any that are worn, and make necessary component upgrades.
Conveyor belts are essential equipment in any manufacturing facility. Malfunctions can cost your business valuable time and money. Work with a professional service partner with the equipment and expertise to keep your system online and running smoothly.