December 5, 2021

Holiday Rush? Manage your conveyor belts during this season

If your business is like many, you’ll experience an influx of additional sales throughout the remainder of the year. This may result in the need to increase production. Perhaps this means you run an additional shift over a day, or you’ll simply boost the output of your conveyor belt system during the day. However, if you tweak your system to meet the holiday rush, you need to know how to track a conveyor belt system and stay on top of its productivity. The last thing you want is the conveyor to run into problems, resulting in a production shutdown. To avoid such an issue, here is what you need to know about proper conveyor belt management during the holiday season.

How To Track A Conveyor Belt

Here are some tips on how to track a conveyor belt for better productivity during the holiday season:

Pre-Rush Upkeep

It is necessary to perform regular maintenance and upkeep on your conveyor belt system throughout the year. This includes everything from general cleaning the conveyor belts to testing screws, inspecting rollers, and lubricating areas that rely on grease to avoid friction. All of this needs to be done prior to the holiday rush. It’s like taking your car in for a tuneup before a long road trip. You’ll identify potential issues that could spring up during the rush, and you’ll avoid any unnecessary shutdowns that could put you behind schedule. And during the holiday rush, it’s far more difficult to catch up to meet deadlines when you’re already producing more than normal. Smaller issues are more likely to turn into serious problems when you’re increasing production, so it’s better to perform all general maintenance and cleaning before the rush.

Have Extra Equipment On Hand

Sometimes, even though you performed all the necessary upkeep, replaced all the rollers showing wear, and thoroughly cleaned your entire system, issues can arise. Whether something becomes stuck within the conveyor belt or too much weight is put onto the system, causing it to buckle and shut down, issues can arise in production crunch time. You don’t want to be stuck without any replacement parts. Ordering replacement parts for your conveyor system may take a few days (if not longer), and during this downtime, there isn’t much you can do but wait. As Murphy’s Law suggests, if something can go wrong, it will. It’s better to prepare for any possible problem. One way to do this is by having extra equipment on hand. From extra rollers (which you should always have on hand anyway) to replacement screws and grease for lubrication, having backup parts you can swap in will reduce downtime and help keep you on schedule.

Tracking Your Conveyor Belt

While performing general maintenance is a must, and having replacement equipment on hand for mishaps is necessary, you need to monitor the conveyor system in real-time. Understanding how to track a conveyor belt will allow you to spot problems before they happen and make adjustments accordingly. It’s possible your current conveyor system is not able to handle the kind of speed or weight you’re putting on it for long periods, which results in some tracking issues. So knowing what to look for with your conveyor’s tracking is a must. Let’s discuss how to track a conveyor belt efficiently.

For starters, a belt will always slide or track to the area with the least amount of tension. So, if you’re seeing movement within the conveyor, the belt is shifting to an area that has less tension applied. This makes it possible to identify not only where you may need to increase tension but where there might be too much tension. You need to know what kind of tension your conveyor system needs and ensure everything is torqued to the proper tension. Over tightening and leaving too much slack will lead to tracking problems and potential conveyor system shutdowns.

When there is a series of pulleys or rollers within your conveyor system, the initial point of contact with the belt is always under the most tension and will demonstrate the greatest tracking effect. More tension is applied to this point of contact, which means if there is ever a problem, you’ll want to start with looking at the initial point of contact between the rollers and the belt. This also means the point of contact rollers are more likely to wear down faster. It is good practice to rotate your rollers to ensure even wear, similar to rotating tires. If you don’t, you’ll find yourself replacing one particular roller regularly.

Conveyor Tracking Adjustments

Often the problem with the conveyor belt is straightforward to pinpoint. For starters, you’ll want to look to see if the conveyor frame is level and squared off. The vast majority of tacking issues have something to do with the frame being level or squared off. A quick inspection of this should tell you what you need to correct.

If the problem is not with the frame itself, you’ll want to inspect the end pulleys and rollers. It is possible these areas are not squared off or were not installed properly. If either is off, the entire conveyor belt will track incorrectly. You should also check for debris along the conveyor belt as well. Sometimes loose debris can become stuck within the belt, or a screw may have come loose or broken free.

Help With All Your Conveyor Belt Needs

Are you considering a production upgrade for your current conveyor system? Maybe instead, you are looking at some replacement parts and some general upkeep equipment. You might even want to look beyond the holiday season at ways to improve productivity next year. Whatever your needs might be and whatever industry you’re involved in, when it comes to conveyor belts, all of your needs can be addressed with the help of the staff here at Gough Econ. So give our staff here a call or send us an email, and we’ll do everything in our power to help.

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