The conveyor system has been at the heart of industry for as long as we can remember. Whilst the conveyor belt systems organisations of all sizes and niches have come to rely on during the modern day have come a long way, they still require just as much care and attention to stay in tip-top condition and continue delivering the productive sectors need to thrive.

Without the right maintenance and repairs, conveyor belt problems can prevent facilities from handling and transporting materials effectively and efficiently. But what are the common problems with conveyor belts?

Read on to discover the most common issues affecting modern-day conveyor belt systems and the conveyor problem solutions that will help your organisation to overcome them.

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what are the most common conveyor problems?

Due to their metal components, conveyor belt systems are just as susceptible to wear, tear and damage as any other mechanical device. Over time, parts become overworked and worn, and this has a direct impact on operations. Unplanned or emergency maintenance, repairs or replacements can result in significant downtime and this is likely to result in your organisation failing to meet its output targets.

The high volume of activity most systems are subjected to also makes conveyor belt problems more common occurrences. Mistracking, belt slippages, seized rollers and blockages are all common problems with conveyor belts and prevent systems from operating efficiently. Without the necessary intervention, conveyor belt problems like these can lead to catastrophic failures and significant downtime.

conveyor belt damage

Conveyor belt damage is one of the most common problems with conveyor belts. Whilst built for efficient bulk handling to make the movement of material simpler and reduce heavy labour, even the most reliable and robust systems can become damaged over time or without regular, pre-planned maintenance.

causes of belt damage

The handling and transportation of large, excessive or abrasive materials are among the main causes of this common conveyor belt problem. But it is the carryback of material (left on the belt after discharge) that results in the most significant conveyor belt damage. Excessive carryback causes the belt to wear at a much faster rate and can put unnecessary stress on other key components, such as your conveyor system’s rollers and idlers.

how to prevent belt damage

Being selective with your conveyor belt system is essential when reducing damage in the short and long term. Your conveyor belt system should be fit for purpose and equipped with a belt of the appropriate grade for your application, particularly if it will regularly handle and transport abrasive or bulky materials.

If your conveyor belt problems are caused by large or excessive materials, impact beds can be installed under the conveyor belt and in its impact zones to absorb and transfer the weight of transported materials effectively. By suring up these vulnerable areas, you can protect your conveyor belt, prevent damage, and extend the lifespan of key components.

conveyor blockages

The productivity of any conveyor system relies on the belt itself remaining free of any excess material. Blockages can after all bring operations to a standstill, especially if they are given the time to build up. This is one of the most common problems with conveyor belts, but also the easiest to fix.

Causes of conveyor blockages

When the material is travelling inefficiently across the system this paves the way for conveyor blockages. Materials can easily become caught on sharp edges, change direction or travel across corroded surfaces to cause build-ups and pile-ups that eventually result in blockages, clogging, jams and production loss.

How to prevent conveyor blockages

Most conveyor blockages are impossible to predict, but regular maintenance and inspection will ensure you can spot the sharp edges, corroded surfaces and corners that could snag materials and cause blockages. Even the smallest area of damage can cause conveyor belt problems like blockages. Repairing them sooner rather than later will make blockages less common occurrences so production can go ahead as planned.

conveyor mistracking

Your conveyor belt has to be correctly aligned to keep the materials you are transporting on the right path. Without management and realignment, your system is certain to fall victim to mistracking conveyor belt problems.

Causes of mistracking

Mistracking isn’t just caused by poor or irregular alignment. A problem occurring at any point along the track can result in the belt slipping more to one side than the other. This will affect the tracking of your entire system leading to uneven belt wear, malfunctioning and eventually complete shutdown.

Be on your guard for the tell-tale signs of mistracking to prevent associated conveyor belt problems. A frayed belt edge is a primary indicator of this common issue.

Mistracking can also be the first sign that something isn’t quite right with a specific component. Your misguided belt could be the result of a crooked or slanted conveyor frame for example. Mistracking conveyor belt problems caused by a lack of tension could point to incorrectly aligned snub rollers too. By making troubleshooting a part of your routine, you can spot mistracking early and even remedy the underlying cause before it becomes more difficult to fix the issue.

material carry-back

We may have touched on material carry-back when discussing conveyor belt damage but as one of the most common problems with conveyor belts, this issue deserves its very own section! Material carry-back is a type of blockage on the conveyor belt itself.

Causes of material carry-back

Materials that leave behind even the smallest amount of residue can cause carry-back conveyor belt problems. This residue will after all increase and build up over time, putting excess pressure on the belt, and the rollers and pulleys that move it along. Like many common problems with conveyor belts, material carry-back can increase fire risk. With this, material carry-back should be prevented to safeguard your staff and equipment.

How to prevent material carry-back

A rigorous cleaning regime is a simple way to tackle material carry back. Specialist, automated cleaning systems make great additions to conveyor systems as well as excellent conveyor problem solutions, reducing dangerous and damaging carry back by scraping the belt clean as it goes.

seized rollers

The rollers found on your conveyor belt are constructed using the toughest materials, including steel. This doesn’t stop them from being the cause of the most common problems with conveyor belts, however.

Causes of seized rollers

Thanks to their construction, rollers are durable components that are built to last. But when wear and tear does begin to take its toll, rollers can seize up and develop sharp edges that directly damage the belt. This conveyor belt problem can also cause mistracking, pose a potential safety risk to your staff, and even damage the materials you transport.

How to prevent seized rollers

This conveyor belt problem can easily be prevented with the regular inspection so you can avoid the malfunction and shut downs that stop productivity in its tracks.

conveyor slippages & spillages

Tension is needed to keep your conveyor belt balanced and on track. Too little or too much tension causes a number of common problems with conveyor belts, including belt slippages. The spillage of materials is another conveyor belt problem facilities have to contend with.

Causes of conveyor slippages & spillages

Belt slippages are commonly caused by excessive loads, low temperatures, poor lagging and worn pulleys. These issues can all affect the tension and traction of the conveyor belt leaving it stretched and strained.

Whilst generally not caused by mechanical conveyor belt problems, material spillages are prevalent along the transfer and load points, and there are conveyor problem solutions for this too.

How to prevent conveyor slippages & spillages

Being aware of the signs of belt slippages is a must when preventing associated conveyor belt problems.  As well as noticing slipping, you may hear loud, grating or squealing noises coming from the belt. Regularly check for wear across all conveyor components, repairing and replacing parts where necessary.

To prevent material spillages, install impact belts, skirt clamps or belt ploughs along the affected areas. This should reduce spillages, lower waste, and decrease the need for clean-ups.

how to prevent problems with your conveyor belts

When facing any conveyor belt issue, prevention is certainly better than cure. By investing more in pre-planned maintenance, you can prevent conveyor belt problems and find the appropriate conveyor problem solutions before issues become bigger and more difficult to fix.

why choose joloda conveyor services for conveyor system maintenance

Minimise your organisation’s conveyor belt problems by calling on us for conveyor system maintenance. In addition to having more than 100 qualified, fully accredited mechanical and electrical engineers on standby to assist you with repairs whenever you need them, we provide comprehensive conveyor care to aid the ongoing performance of your equipment.

With our conveyor system maintenance help, you can tackle conveyor belt problems head-on and minimise any potential disruption to your operations.

For further information on our conveyor system maintenance service, or start a conversation on our Let's Chat page to solve all your common conveyor problems, today.

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about Joloda Conveyor Services

We are a unique service provider, focused 100% on repairs, maintenance and refurbishment of conveyor systems. Our team of conveyor carers are experts because they are not distracted by lots of additional bolt-on services; when your equipment needs attention, we’ll fix it and get you back operational as quickly as possible.


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