Conveyor belts are a boon in industrial settings. These machines facilitate easy transportation of goods, raw materials, or any other stuff from point A to B with utmost ease. Conveyor systems are crucial for the fine operation of industries, manufacturing plants and Godowns. They are used across a variety of sectors. From logistics and manufacturing plants to offices and airports.
Conveyor systems are indispensable. However, just like any other piece of machinery, conveyor systems aren’t immune to damage as well. Damage to the conveyor system can bring operations to a standstill and can incur a huge loss of money and time for the business owners. To avoid such circumstances, it is essential to conduct inspections periodically.
Timely inspections can detect the smallest issues before they lead to big problems or breakdowns. There are many reasons associated with problems faced by conveyor systems and we list seven major issues.
The most common problems faced by conveyor systems.
1. Conveyor belt damage:
This is arguably the most common issue that disrupts the operation of a conveyor system. Conveyor belt damage can occur due to multiple reasons such as heavy loads, sharp objects or improper maintenance. However, that’s not it. Constant friction between the belt conveyor and the roller can also be the culprit. So is the misalignment of the belt. It is important that you lubricate the system from time to time.
One must also ensure no foreign objects like stone, plastic, or any similar materials get stuck in the system. Other issues like inadequate tensioning or incorrect tracking can put undue stress on a conveyor belt. Too much tension may strain the material and weaken its integrity over time while poor tracking increases friction which accelerates wear. You must also keep an eye on such issues.
2. Frequent gear failure leads to problems in the conveyor:
Conveyor systems rely heavily on gears to keep things running smoothly. However, that could also lead to frequent gear failures that disrupt the entire operation. The constant movement and pressure can cause them to deteriorate, resulting in unexpected breakdowns. This not only hampers productivity but also adds unnecessary costs for repairs and replacements.
When gears are not functioning properly, they may fail to transmit power effectively or become misaligned, leading to energy loss and reduced performance. This issue can also lead to safety hazards. Conveyor systems are usually dependent on spur gears. If gear failure is a constant issue then you must consider replacing the spur gear.
Do not forget to ensure the accuracy of the gear cutting to fit perfectly into the conveyor shaft.
3. Conveyor blockages:
Conveyor blockages can be a major headache for any production facility. Apart from disrupting the workflow they also lead to downtime and expensive repairs. One of the main causes of blockages is foreign objects getting stuck in the conveyor system. These can range from loose packaging materials to debris that falls off the products being transported.
Regular cleaning and maintenance are crucial in preventing such blockages. Inadequate belt tension can also contribute to conveyor blockages. A loose or improperly tensioned belt may cause it to slip or even come off the track, leading to jams and stoppages. It’s important to regularly check and adjust the belt tension according to manufacturer guidelines.
4. Conveyor mistracking:
Conveyor mistracking can be a frustrating and costly problem. When a conveyor belt veers off its intended path, it can cause damage to the belt itself, as well as other components of the system. This not only leads to downtime for repairs but also the risk of accidents and injuries. To avoid such a phenomenon, one must ensure improper installation or maintenance.
You must also avoid excessive loading on one side of the conveyor. Uneven distribution of materials can cause imbalance and lead to deviation from the intended path. Properly distributing loads across the width of the belt can help prevent this issue.
5. Material carry-back:
Material carry-back occurs when transported materials do not fully discharge from the belt, causing them to accumulate and build up on the return side of the conveyor. This can lead to several issues and inefficiencies in the system.
Material carry-back can result in increased maintenance requirements. The buildup of material on the return side of the belt can cause excessive wear and tear on components such as idlers and pulleys. This leads to more frequent replacements and repairs, adding unnecessary costs to operations.
6. Seized rollers:
When a roller seizes up, it prevents the smooth movement of materials along the conveyor belt, resulting in inefficiency and potential damage to both the equipment and the products being transported. This causes delays in the production process. Inadequate lubrication is one of the main culprits.
Over time, friction and wear can cause rollers to become stiff and ultimately seize. Regular maintenance checks should include inspections for proper lubrication levels and ensuring that any grease fittings are not clogged or blocked.
7. Conveyor spillages & slippages:
One of the most frustrating and potentially hazardous problems with conveyor systems is spillage or material slipping off the belt during operation. This can occur due to various reasons such as improper loading techniques, excessive material accumulation on the belt, worn-out components, or inadequate maintenance.
Spillages lead to material waste but also pose safety risks for workers operating in close proximity to the conveyors. Furthermore, when materials accumulate under the belt or around transfer points due to spillage or slippage issues, it can cause blockages and impede overall system efficiency.
Conveyor systems offer a plethora of help to manufacturing units. We can never emphasize the importance of its smooth functioning enough. However, the best practice always is to ensure inspection at regular intervals. Detecting problems early can help you avoid major disruptions and eventual breakdowns. It will also ensure the smooth operation of your facility.
There are certain protocols to be followed when it comes to such inspections. While many aspects can be checked by yourself, some require expert supervision. Make sure the inspections are conducted in the presence of an expert.