2 Key Aspects of Conveyor Belt Maintenance

Investing in a conveyor belt system represents an exciting development in the life of a business. Conveyors boost performance, promote greater overall cost effectiveness, and reduce the physical demands being placed on your employees. For these reasons, adding a conveyor belt makes a lot of sense as a strategy for growing your business.

Yet you have to appreciate that conveyor belt systems will require periodic maintenance to keep them in good working order. Otherwise, your operations may grind to a halt. Worse still, repairing the problem may end up costing you a small fortune. This article will help you prevent this from happening by discussing two key aspects of conveyor belt maintenance

1. Bearing Lubrication

Pulleys represent one of the most important components of a conveyor belt system. They provide the belt with its tension while also transmitting the power necessary for moving the belt. A conveyor belt contains a number of different types of pulleys, including head drum pulleys, tail drum pulleys, bend pulleys, and snub pulleys. 

In order to keep the conveyor working efficiently, each pulley must be capable of moving with a minimum of friction. Bear systems ensure fluid movement — so long as the bearings remain properly lubricated, that is. Pulleys with under-lubricated bearings will experience a greater amount of friction. This will impede the smooth functioning of the belt, while also increasing the rate of wear being placed on other components.

Many people overlook the fact that over-lubricated bearings can be just as damaging as under-lubricated ones. An excessive amount of lithium grease — the most common form of lubrication — will attract and retain dust and other contaminants. Even when an adequate amount of grease remains, such substances increase friction and lead to gunked-up bearings.

A trained conveyor belt technician knows just how much grease a bearing system should receive. They will be able to quickly and accurately identify both under- and over-lubricated bearings and make whatever changes are needed to ensure ideal operation

2. Pneumatic Pressure

Two main types of conveyor systems exist: mechanical and pneumatic. The pulley-and-belt-based system described above constitutes the most common form of mechanical conveyor belt. Pneumatic conveyors, on the other hand, utilize a network of pipes or ducts. Pressurized air acts to push materials from one end of the system to another.

Pneumatic conveyors, in other words, represent closed systems. They provide clean, efficient results for operations involving the transport of small, granular materials, including but not limited to the following:

  • Cement powder
  • Wheat flour
  • Plastic pellets and resins
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    Food products
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    Sand or crushed aggregate
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    Metal powder

Pneumatic power sources generate the air used to move such materials along. Too low of a pressure means that the materials will back up — an obvious and inconvenient problem. Yet too much pneumatic pressure can be just as bad, since it places an excessive amount of stress on the components that make up the system

Pressure issues often stem from water that has gotten into the pneumatic lines. Most pneumatic systems contain air dryers used to collect humidity before it can cause problems. Problems with system pressure often indicate that the air dryer has either reached its capacity or has experienced some form of failure.

Having a trained technician perform periodic inspections of your conveyor system means you can catch problems like this before they impact your business. They will be able to take readings of the pressure inside of a pneumatic system and use this information to determine what changes need to be made.

If you have recently invested in a conveyor belt system for your business, be sure to arrange to have it inspected and maintained on a regular basis. For more information, please don't hesitate to contact the conveyor system experts at A Plus Industrial Installation

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