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Belt conveyor maintenance

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Belt conveyor maintenance

June 23, 2023 nflg 0 Comments

The maintenance of a belt conveyor is basically the same as any equipment with moving parts and no matter how well the conveyor is designed and constructed it will require scheduled maintenance and periodic service maintenance.

The section deals with general maintenance practices and is not intended to be a guide for the actual maintenance of specific parts on the conveyor. This particular information is available from the manufacture’s manuals; please consult it for maintenance schedule and lubrication requirements.

Maintaining equipment is good medicine – for example we have a 36″ x 500′ conveyor with one sized idler this may not appear important but under the right circumstances – as the shell of the idler roller wears through and forms a sharp edge we have the potential for severely damaging a very expensive belt. The damaged belt causes the conveyor to go down and now you are faced with an unscheduled outage. The unscheduled delay and all its expensive associated cost can be traced back to that one idler that “froze up” and maintenance did not catch it

A strict maintenance schedule and well-trained maintenance crew can save companies a large amount of money over the course of equipments life. The maintenance function in any operation is in charge of keeping the equipment operating at maximum productivity or capacity. Scheduled maintenance reduces downtime and ensures the efficient and safe operation of the system. A quality maintenance program begins with management and their insistence on strict routine maintenance schedule and periodic outages specifically for the overall review of the equipment.

Equally as important to the maintenance schedule of belt conveyors, is that service being performed by well-trained, competent personnel provided with proper test equipment and tools. The maintenance crew should be skilled employees empowered to shut down the conveyor to make repairs necessary repairs.

Recommended components of a belt conveyor requiring routine maintenance and service:

Electrical: Motors – lubricate internal bearings as recommended by the manufacture. Safety switches check electrical connection and any signs broken parts.
Reducers: Lubricate internal bearings and fill oil level as recommended by the manufacture.
V-Belts: Check for proper tension and worn or cracked areas.
Chain drives: Check for proper tension and worn roller and sidebars.
Screw Take-ups: Check for proper belt tension and remove any built up material.
Idlers: Check for free rotation and excessive worn areas, if greaseable type lubricate as recommended by the manufacture. Remove any built up material.
Training Idlers: Check for proper alignment to belt and free rotation or excessive worn areas, if greaseable type lubricate as recommended by the manufacture. Remove any built up material.
Pulleys: Check pulley alignment and surface of lagging if lagged. Pulley assemblies should rotate freely. Remove any built up material.
Bearings: Check for proper alignment to frame and lubricate as recommended by the manufacture. Remove any built up material.
Belting: Check for proper tension excessive wear areas, torn, or ripped areas. If a mechanical splice check fasteners.
Belt Cleaners: Check for proper tension and wear on the cleaner blade and replace if needed to keep cleaner from rolling under.

In addition to scheduled maintenance service there is a number of devices that can be installed on belt conveyors to ensure its safe and efficient operation. These devices continuously monitor critical parts and operation of the conveyor. In some cases providing immediate electronic warnings of failed parts or dangerous situations.

We have provided a list of the most common devices and their functions, these components may not be part of the system you have purchased.

1. Belt Misalignment Switch: Monitors belt side movement along the path of motion; these switches are normally installed at the maximum limit of safe travel on each side of the belt. As the edge of the belt moves to contact the switch and applies enough force the switch is activated and the relay shutdown the conveyor. Normally belt misalignment switches are installed on both sides of the conveyor near the head and tail locations.

2. Damaged Belt Switch: Monitors belt damage such as impending failures, rips, punctures, splice failure, or sharp objects protruding through the belt surface. Two switches are connected by a vinyl coated steel cable, when this cable is activated by one of these problems the switch relay is tripped and the conveyor is shutdown. Normally mounted in pairs at the mid span of the belt.

3. Belt Speed Monitor: A belt running too slow or too fast can be a signal that something is not right with the conveyor and could cause permanent damage to the belt or the conveyor components. Speed monitors can sound alarms or shut down the system when a belt deviates too far from a preset range. They can be used to monitor belt slippage, overloading of the belt and runaway belt as in a down grade application. They may also be used to monitor multiple conveyor application and power outages.

4. Backstops: Internal (mounted inside the reducer transmitting the power) or external (mounted directly on the head shaft of the conveyor) provides a mechanical means of stopping a loaded inclined conveyor from rolling backwards. In a case of loss power, the backstop activates when the head shaft attempts to rotate opposite to its normal. The belt is held in place thus eliminating the load of material on the belt from discharging itself at the tail end of the conveyor and causing a dangerous situation not to mention a huge cleanout problem.

5. Tramp Metal Detection: Stray metal objects ranging from metal strapping, bucket loading teeth, pieces of chute lining can cause severe damage to the belt and to equipment down stream of the belt conveyor. Tramp metal detection can be done by a variety of methods such as magnetic head pulleys, hanging permanent magnets, self-cleaning magnetic systems.

6. Electrical Interlock: All conveyor systems should have the electrical safety devices interlocked to the equipment feeding material to it and taking it away to prevent overloading and damage to that equipment.

All operators should familiarize themselves with the details of the equipment involved and take necessary precautions. If the operator of the equipment is aware of a potential hazard it should be brought to the owners attention for immediate correction.

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