In-line Material Weight Effects on Conveyor Belt Accuracy

May 21, 2018

If there’s one role that a conveyor system should be able to pull off, it’s the simple act of properly transferring its load. The linear belt drive maintains its flattened drive profile, transfers a line of products, and those commodities stay true, right in the middle of the conveyance ribbon. Nevertheless, even if the pulleys and drive mounts are perfectly aligned, in-line material weights can throw off this calibrated action.

Impacts and Eccentric Loads 

Undesirable loading factors come into play when an unwieldy cargo moves along an accurately calibrated conveyor belt. The load is situated on the equipment sweet spot, so it’s balanced. However, a weighted item isn’t evenly distributing its mass. It shifts. Likewise, malleable loads can impact these precisely aligned mechanisms, unless they’re designed to handle such parts-jolting incidents. Even then, it’s only a matter of time before the heavy strikes upset the equipment’s alignment.

Alignment Errors Accumulate 

The pulleys are no longer level, so items are shifting. Because of that movement, the automated machines waiting in the next section of can’t pick up the items. They’ve turned on one side or moved a few centimetres across the belt. The lateral movement throws off the entire operation, and the resulting movement error results in a product jam. And this is just for solid items. What if the machinery is carrying a powder load? The conveyor belt is loaded down with pharmaceuticals, or with grain, or with quarried gravel, and the alignment problem is sending loose material flying. Pills go bouncing off barriers, gravel drops from the belt edge, and the equipment comes to a grinding halt because the accumulating particles are jamming its inner workings.

Incorporating Alignment Checks 

The tensioning pulley isn’t performing correctly because of the load impacts. Furthermore, the heavy in-line loads are causing uneven wear to the belt and its drums. Bearing mounts are next, with their parts experiencing misalignment problems. The whole system is off-kilter. To cope with these issues, a maintenance team is tasked with restoring parallel motion. The techs adjust the mounting assemblies, align the bearings, and they finish by tensioning the belt drive. The job is never over, though, not as long as the heavy in-line loads are being carried on the belt. 

Belt tracking problems cause damage to conveyor systems. Because of the off-balance loads, the pulley bearings incur wear. They fail, then the belt begins to come apart due to the uneven wear. Yet, a simple maintenance check, plus some additional load-absorbing components, are all that’s required to stop this problem from ever taking place. Also, since those weighty loads are shifting, a revision to the initial loading procedure should help the system stay balanced.

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