Conveyor belts are, in general, designed to last a long time. There are some actions you can take, however, to ensure you’re maximizing their life. Following these tips will help to reduce downtime from belt failures and the expense of replacement belts.
- Ensure Proper Tracking
Belts should be tracked upon initial installation and checked at regular intervals (per the manufacturer’s instructions) to ensure they remain tracked. A belt that is mistracked may rub against bearing plates, frames, sides and/or flanges and destroy the cut outer edges of the belt. Left in a mistracked state long enough, it can cause the entire belt to fail.
- Don’t Over-tension
Users should be careful to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for tensioning the belt (QC Conveyors include neutral tension marks to indicate where tension should be set). An over-tensioned belt may stretch — sometimes beyond the conveyor’s ability to compensate for stretch — or fail at the splice.
- Avoid Guard/Guide Rubbing
Guides and guards should not come in contact with the belt. After thousands of revolutions of the belt, the simple act of rubbing against the belt can cause the guide or guard to cut into the top surface of the belt which could lead to failure.
- Prevent Product from Getting Stuck Below Guards/Guides
Similarly, product that gets stuck underneath a guard or guide can cut into the belt as well. Side seals and brushes can help to prevent product from getting wedged beneath a guard or guide.
- Clean Under the Belt
In cases where abrasive materials can get underneath the belt, it’s important to clean these areas regularly. Materials like metal shavings, glass dust, and even cardboard debris can accumulate under the belt and create friction that degrades the fabric carcass of the belt.
- Avoid Sharp Edges
Dropping product with sharp edges or corners directly onto a conveyor belt can cut into the top surface of the belt, which eventually leads to failure. Consider ways to place sharp product on the conveyor in a different orientation; often a simple steel slide can get product onto the conveyor in a gentler manner.