A conveyor belt system isn’t a collection of unrelated parts, but an interconnected system that is dependent on every piece doing its job. If you want to take care of your conveyor, you should consider the maintenance that each piece will need. The main components include the motor, the industrial gearbox, the pulley bearings, and the couplings.
Replacing components is expensive, and you also have to do deal with down-time and wasted work hours when your conveyor system is taken offline. You also need to deal with finding the proper component and ensuring it is compatible. You may even need a specialized technician to install the component. All of this can cause you to lose days of work.
Conversely, maintaining your conveyor belt is far cheaper and more efficient. Your company can include maintenance procedures as part of its normal operations. It is easier to visually inspect parts, listen for issues, and catch problems before a shutdown event occurs. Many of these problems can be addressed through consistent maintenance procedures like ensuring adequate lubrication and temperatures.
Most motor failures can be attributed to bearings and windings. Bearings, by far, account for the majority of failures in motors. The leading cause of bearing failures are lubrication problems. Your lubrication schedule will depend on the motor, but you should stick to the proposed routine.
Additionally, lubrication is dependent on operating within certain temperature guidelines. It is critical that your motor does not exceed the recommended temperatures, or else the lubrication could congeal and lose its properties. This issue can cause damage to your entire conveyor drive system.
You can perform several tests to detect issues in your conveyor system motor. For instance, if you measure the voltage, you can detect if there are imbalances in electrical output. You can also use infrared pyrometers to identify hot spots, airflow issues, and other temperature problems. It is recommended that you test insulation to measure contamination risk, cracking, and solvent degradation as well.
The gearbox is a crucial component in your conveyor belt system. Similar to the motor, gearboxes often fail due to lubrication issues. The lubrication fulfills two critical roles: keeping the components cool and reducing wear. The best way to test your industrial gearbox oil is to conduct analyses periodically. These tests will determine if there is water in the oil, which breaks it down, and if there is any wear in the equipment.
You should also monitor the temperature of your industrial gearbox often. Establish an initial temperature and periodically test the temperature to determine if there is a deviation from that baseline. If you notice localized hot spots or scoring, that could be an indication of issues with the bearings or gears.
Finally, your industrial gearbox should create consistent noise. Your employees will know the way your equipment should sound, or how it normally sounds. If the gearbox sounds too loud or quiet, that typically means there is a problem that needs to be addressed. Vibration or noise issues could indicate misalignment or loose parts.
Your conveyor pulley bearings should be filled to the brim with lubricant when they leave the factory. The reason they are filled is to keep out water and other contaminants. Bearings can last years if you keep them well-maintained. If you fail to refill the grease, then the bearings will only last as long as the grease.
Most manuals recommend re-lubrication in specific intervals based on the hours and speed of operation, the environment in which the equipment operates, and the impact on the bearings. You should also make sure to use the correct type of lubricant. The manual will specify the types of lubricants that work for your bearings.
Couplings require grease lubrication and should be regularly monitored. You can expect to change lubrication every 6 to 12 months. When testing the grease, if you notice there are particles in the material, that could indicate misalignment.
The better you maintain your conveyor system, the longer it will last and the more money you will save. If you need assistance maintaining the industrial gearbox in your conveyor belt, call Amarillo Gear Service in Amarillo, Texas today. You can call us at (806) 622-1273 or Contact Us by email to learn more about our Amarillo Gear™ and Marley™ gearbox repair services. We will be glad to tell you more about the Regions We Service and our Stock/Exchange Program, which allows you to purchase high-quality, rebuilt gearboxes.