Conveyor belts are a marvelous convenience on the production floor—as long as they are working perfectly. Over time, the belt will fall out of alignment and start tracking to one side. Conveyor belt tracking is all about fixing whatever problems are leading to the mistracking before it ends up tearing your expensive conveyor belt system apart.
Though tuning your tabletop chain conveyor should be left to the experts, there are a couple of things you can do to keep the belt aligned between service checks from your technician.
Keep the Belt Clean at All Times
Common debris and dirt from daily production processes could end up mistracking your belt. Over time, the grime accumulates on your pulleys or rollers, eventually raising the parts of the belt. Cleaning a belt and inspecting for debris is simple. Just ensure that the tabletop chain conveyor is switched off to avoid any risk of injury.
You can also look for self-cleaning conveyor belt systems that take care of smaller pieces of debris if your work environment normally dirties the system.
Inspect the End Pulleys
The end pulleys play a main role in driving your conveyor belt. Squaring them is a sure way to keep your conveyor belt running straight. In some cases, technicians and users are tempted to skew end pulleys to compensate for drift on the conveyor belt. While this might work, it isn’t recommended in the long run.
Keep your end pulleys squared and inspect snub rollers (idlers) to find out what is skewing the conveyor belt. Idlers sit under or inside the belt system. They can mistrack your system if they are left misaligned, dirty, or worn out for too long.
Ensure that the Conveyor Frame is Squared and Leveled
A conveyor belt that is out of level will always pull to one side. You can avoid this by simply using a standard leveling tool to determine whether your belt is leveled at all points. Other than just checking the belt itself, you can inspect the frame and pulleys for correct levelness.
Squaring the conveyor bed is all about ensuring that the corner-to-corner dimensions are the same across the board—unless the belt’s design dictates different dimensions at different points.
Most manufacturers ship their conveyor belts with easy-to-use squaring rods installed under the conveyor. You can use these to tune back your belt without having to call in a technician. The same applies when it comes to setting your belt back to the correct level.
Learn About Your Belts Even if You Don’t Service Them
In most factories, a designated team of technicians is responsible for cleaning and maintaining equipment on the production floor. Maintaining your belts is easy if you have such a team. If you don’t, ensure that your plant operators know the basics of cleaning and inspecting the belts.
You can assign the task of checking the above parameters to the plant supervisor who then keeps a record of any needed adjustments. Then, the plant supervisor should present them to certified technicians whenever they arrive at your plant to service your conveyor belts.