3 Conveyor Troubleshooting Tips

3 October 2014
 Categories: Industrial & Manufacturing, Blog


Has your conveyor lost its mind? Is it running when it's not supposed to? Does it stop at random times or just not work at all? That can certainly be frustrating. And it can be a drain on efficiency and productivity. Far too often, warehouses and plants simply accept that their belt isn't working and start pushing boxes and equipment down the belt as an alternative. The truth is that most belt problems are simple fixes. If you stop your workflow and just take a few minutes to troubleshoot, you'll likely figure out the cause of the problem in no time. Here are a few things you can look for:

Look for the simple answer. If your conveyor was working fine yesterday, and it's not today, there probably hasn't been some major malfunction. Similarly, it's probably not the computer program that runs the machine. Rather, the issue likely has a very simple explanation.

Take a minute to inspect the conveyor from both above and below. Has anything fallen into the belt or gears? Even something as simple as a label from a package could be enough to stop up a gear. Look for shreds of paper, crunched up plastic, or anything else that looks out of place. Also, look at the engine that powers that belt. Is it out of fuel? If it's electric, has its fuse tripped? Check the simple solutions before you schedule a costly repair.

Check the belt's gears. The gears are the heart of the conveyor belt. If they're not working, or if they're old and worn down, your belt isn't going to run smoothly. Here's an easy way to tell whether you have a problem with your gears. Take a flat screwdriver and place the metal end along one of the roller shafts in the belt. Then place your ear against the screwdriver's plastic handle. The screwdriver acts as a stethoscope, and you'll be able to hear the gears working. Do they sound smooth or are they grinding? If they're grinding, you need to get them serviced.

Check the photo eye. You probably have photo eyes that determine whether there's an item on the conveyor. Depending on your system, the eye may tell the belt whether to stop or whether to run. Photo eyes need to be in alignment with a reflector to work properly. One of the common causes of conveyor dysfunction is an eye that's out of alignment.

Put your finger over the photo eye to see where the laser hits. Is it on track for the center of the reflector or is it slightly off track? Remember, it doesn't just have to hit the reflector. It has to hit the exact center. Even hitting the side of the reflector is the same as being out of alignment.

If you can't resolve the issue, contact a conveyor services company, such as A-1 Conveyor Service. They can come out, do an inspection, and get you up and running again in no time.