Once you’ve installed the perfectly-designed, top-quality conveyor line, you may think it’s time to relax. But “smooth operators” know that regular monitoring reduces downtime, lost production and maintenance expense.
Consider the use of a preventive maintenance log or checklist for items that should be inspected on a regular/continuing basis—perhaps weekly, monthly, or semi-annually. Your parts manager could make suggestions to coincide with the following steps:
- Photo-eyes—weekly: Check the lens to be sure sensitivity is adjusted properly (not seeing a roller, lighting, etc.).
- Pneumatic solenoids—weekly: Listen for air leaks and correct (replace cracked poly-flo, loose air fittings, etc.).
- Conveyor belt for roller conveyor—monthly: Be sure belting is tracked properly and that tensioning is properly adjusted. Note: When tightening the belt, remember to tighten it only enough to drive the product. Check the drive pulley for wear. If the lagging is worn through, it must be replaced. Keep belt and lacing on hand to repair worn or torn areas.
- Clear debris from under/inside conveyors—monthly: Clear debris from under conveyor and around drive/take-up pulleys.
- Mesh conveyors—semi-annually: Open belt and clear debris that has collected around the shaft and drive sprockets. If belt stretch has occurred (less drive), remove a few links to tighten the belt. Check belt modules and pins for wear, and replace both if excessively worn.
- Lubricate—semi-annually: Grease drive chains, bearings, drive and take-up pulleys (pillow block bearings).
- Rollers—as required: Replace any noisy, squeaking bearings. Check hex-rods and slots for wear. Worn slotted bars can be replaced. Hex rods generally are captive in the roller; those rollers should be replaced.
- Other—as required: Air filter/regulator, adjust brakes, pressure trays.
Following these steps to properly maintain your conveyor system will lead to product longevity and a passing grade on your inspections.