Preventive maintenance is the regular and routine maintenance of operating equipment to “prevent” it from encountering any additional cost and downtime due to any unanticipated and catastrophic failure. And the same maintenance concept is applied to conveyor belts as well. Preventive maintenance of conveyor belts is necessary as it can save you from a lot of costs due to full failure of the system.
Preventive maintenance offers units many important benefits. This includes-
- The long life of conveyor system
- Reducing chances of downtime caused by component failure
- Reduces cost of unnecessary maintenance and inspections
- Fewer errors in day-to-day operations
- Improved reliability and accuracy of belt systems
- Reduced risk of injury to both goods and human life
A preventive maintenance run for conveyor systems will prevent any failure before it occurs. It will reduce costs, save time, and keep an operation running efficiently.
Here are 4 simple tips for effective maintenance of conveyor belt systems-
A Full-Time Maintenance Technician
It is easy to underrate a technician who does his work well. He will maintain the line even before you are needed to intervene. A seasoned repairman will tell you right away which pulley needs to be adjusted and what part of the belt will have to be trained.
It will add some cost to your salary registers but consider how much you save in terms of reduced maintenance and component replacement costs.
Check the Load Levels
It is common to see belts overloaded over their rated specifications. This overloads the components and the belt systems. The gears have to do extra work and grind their way. This is especially problematic in systems that go upwards.
To ensure the system works properly, always check your systems that they are loading the belt only to the manufacturer rated limits. You can prevent a lot of wear and tear by simply reducing the load. Even your conveyor belt supplier can assist you in determining the recommended load levels.
Maintain Cleanliness and Lubrication
There’s a good chance that if your conveyor system is subjected to items that have debris or grounded particles, some of it will make it to the internal mechanism. It can clog the bearings of the idlers and the end pulleys. Over time, this buildup of debris and particles can introduce some slack to the tracking of the belt.
Your lubrication is just as important. Most automated systems will take care of this job for you but if you are using a simpler system, make sure the components are well lubricated.
Cleaning and lubrication are both common checklist items but are usually overlooked. Make sure this does not happen or get ready to pay some hefty repair charges.
Watch and Listen to all the Visible Items
Preventive maintenance doesn’t have to be expensive. You don’t have to bring in expensive x-ray machines to check the internal moving parts. All you have to do is observe the belts, pulleys, frame, etc. Look out for any visible marks, fracture points, misalignments or any noise that should not be there. You can make a small checklist and perform this test on a daily basis before the operations or on weekly off days.