Conveyor Belt Maintenance: Basic Knowledge and Checklist

Overview

  • Types of Conveyor Belt Maintenance
  • Common Conveyor Belt Maintenance Problems
  • Ocular Inspection and Frequency
  • Conveyor Belt Maintenance Checklist

Types of Conveyor Belt Maintenance

Conveyor belt maintenance falls under inspection and condition monitoring. Assessing the status of conveyor belts is not easy. Therefore, an experienced person should carry out the inspection regularly. There are four types of conveyor belt maintenance: 

Preventive Maintenance

This type of maintenance is calendar-based and scheduled. The deterioration of components determines the need for preventive maintenance. Nothing is repaired, but preventive jobs are done on the conveyor belt.  

Random Maintenance

The conveyor belt in the warehouse is only inspected when an opportunity comes. The maintenance is not triggered by the conditions of the component. 

Corrective Maintenance

This type of maintenance is emergency-based. Scheduling the repair beforehand is impossible. As a result, it causes a general shutdown of the system. This conveyor belt maintenance results from component malfunctions.

Predictive Maintenance

Predictive maintenance requires constant observation. Irregular factors lead to the maintenance of the conveyor belt. As such, this is planned and corrective maintenance.

Common Conveyor Belt Maintenance Problems

Mistracking

Conveyor belt tracking refers to the alignment and management of the belt. The conveyor belt needs to follow a specific path. Otherwise, it can affect the throughput and desired outcomes of the company. When the belt drifts from one side to the other, this is mistracking. As a result, you are susceptible to:

  • Downtime
  • Belt damage
  • Product damage
  • Maintenance troubleshooting 

Belt Spillage

Too little or too much tension causes another common problem. As such, if your pulley wears down, the belt loses its grip. This causes excessive stretching, loud squeals and conveyor slippage. Further, it leads to time-consuming maintenance to reconfigure tension requirements. 

Seized Rollers

Steel compromises most conveyor belt components. So when rollers seize up, they develop sharp edges. This leads to mistracking and safety hazards. Moreover, it could lead to damage to the parcels and materials on the conveyor belt. If a complete belt failure occurs, it could lead to a complete shutdown.

Blockages

Sharp edges or directional changes cause parcels and materials to get caught. This leads to conveyor belt blockages. When this happens, the whole operation can become compromised. If not immediately corrected, this could lead to a build-up. This easily equates to hours of lost production. 

Ocular Inspection and Inspection Frequency 

An ocular inspection refers to the examination of visible surfaces and parts. There are four specific questions to ask when doing an ocular inspection. These four questions involve:  

  • Making sure the conveyor belt is complete
  • Centring the conveyor belt 
  • Ensuring adequate transportation of products
  • Keeping the conveyor belt clean

Start with inspecting the belt itself. Take time to adjust and repair the smallest details in a machine. A conveyor belt should also be precisely placed between rolls. Pulleys, wheels and rolls need to be aligned as well. 

The frequency of inspection depends on several factors: 

  • Type of application 
  • Conveyor belt environment 
  • Load size
  • How often the belt is used

Each of these factors determines the focus of the inspection. 

Conveyor Belt Maintenance Checklist 

The following steps are useful for checking the conditions of warehouse conveyor belts

  1. Watch out for spillage on the return stand. Materials or parcels can get between pulleys and rollers. 
  2. Mark breaks and worn spots to report them early for repair. 
  3. Keep large lumps of materials off the belt. Remove them if they get on. 
  4. Note or mark frozen belt conveyor idlers for repair or replacement. 
  5. Check to see if materials are centered on the belt. Additionally, make sure the belt is not overloaded. 

There are many types of conveyor belts for warehouse automation. The components of these conveyor belts also vary. After the installation of a conveyor system, maintenance is also important. This keeps operations running smoothly. In fact, being on top of conveyor belt maintenance could help in reducing warehouse costs. To learn more about the benefits of conveyor belts, proper maintenance and warehouse automation, contact Qbasis today! 

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