By Jerad Heitzler on Apr 8, 2020 2:58:53 PM
In a recent survey, we asked over 1000 conveyor users "what is your biggest problem with belt conveyors?’" (read in your best Steve Harvey/Family Feud host voice)
Over 65% answered: belt mistracking. (65 points on the board. Pass or Play?)
to write a blog post about this issue. Tracking a conveyor belt can be frustrating, ineffective, and repetitive. Operators or maintenance staff can make an adjustment one day only to have the belt tracking incorrectly the next day and needing adjustment again. There isn’t a lot of deep-rooted knowledge at plants on how to properly track a belt. It seems like one guy does this, another guy does that, and a third does something else. I remember, while at a cement plant, two workers were hammering on one side of a return roll bracket in a long overland belt that ran from their quarry to the plant.
I asked, “why is that the roller you chose to adjust?”
They answered, “because it's the one that was easiest to get to.”
Most belt-tracking problems can be pinned down to:
- caused by equipment conditions
- caused by operating conditions
Equipment conditions are usually in reference to the structure or rolling components. If the structure or the rolling components are not square, the belt will typically mistrack. Another equipment condition that can cause mistracking is the belt itself. If a belt isn’t stored properly, (hanging, off the ground, rotated, etc.,) it can develop camber which will cause a belt to mistrack.
Operating conditions can be things such as; side loading of the belt, carryback building up on return rolls, or seized rollers. All of these conditions will contribute to belt mistracking. Even splicing the belt unsquared can produce a mistracking problem.
Fast Money Round
Ok, so you won't win any money in this Fast Money Round....but by preventing belt mistracking, you can save time and money! It seems that the most typical reaction to mistracking belt is to make some sort of physical adjustment to a roller or the tail pulley. This is often not the best and most efficient solution.
If a belt has camber, carryback, or an unsquared splice, adjusting a roller will not resolve the root cause of belt wander. Before making any physical adjustments to rollers, workers should first observe the belt for several revolutions. They should be trained to recognize the root causes of belt mistracking. Workers should strive to resolve root causes rather than making temporary physical adjustments. This will help reduce your maintenance expenses and increase safety by reducing the need for workers to be in close proximity to the belt, rollers, etc.,
It is much better to understand the root cause than to adjust the easiest roller to get to.