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 as much care and attention to stay in tip-top condition and continue delivering the productivity sectors need to thrive.

Without the proper maintenance and repairs, conveyor belt problems can prevent facilities from handling and transporting materials effectively and efficiently. But what are the common issues with conveyor belts, rollers and other systems? This guide will explain some of the most common conveyor belt problems and solutions.

So, without further ado, discover frequent conveyor problems affecting modern-day systems in the UK and the solutions that will help your organisation overcome them.


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what are the most common conveyor belt 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, conveyor belt 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, likely in your organisation failing to meet its output targets.

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

conveyor belt damage

Belt damage is one of the most common conveyor belt problems. Whilst built for efficient bulk handling to simplify material movement 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

Handling and transporting large, excessive or abrasive materials are the leading causes of this common conveyor belt problem. However, the carryback of material (left on the belt after discharge) results in the most significant conveyor belt damage. Excessive carryback causes the belt to wear much faster and can put unnecessary stress on other vital 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 short- and long-term damage. 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 and rollers, 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 defects 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.

How to prevent mistracking

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 conveyor belt 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 defects 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 one of the most common roller conveyor problems, 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 roller conveyor 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

A conveyor roller problem like this can easily be prevented with regular roller conveyor maintenance 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 conveyor defects can all affect the tension and traction of the belt, leaving it stretched and strained.

Whilst generally not caused by mechanical conveyor 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.

screw conveyor common problems

A screw conveyor is a type of conveyor system that handles bulk quantities of sophisticated items, such as powders and granules. Screw conveyors are often used in industries like agriculture where downtime can be significant. There are several types of common problems you might encounter with a screw conveyor.

Causes of screw conveyor problems

One of the common defects with a screw conveyor is blockage. These systems often transport large amounts of loose materials that can cause a blockage. The next problem to be aware of is if the screw section breaks off, which can terminate the operation.

Another problem with a screw conveyor system is a leak. If transporting hazardous materials, such as dust, a leak can create health risks for your workers. Finally, you may find that the system will jam, stall or lock up unexpectedly, causing unwanted downtime for your business and reducing productivity.

How to prevent screw conveyor problems

These common screw conveyor problems are unwelcome, but there are steps you can do to prevent them occurring. Firstly, to prevent any blockages, ensure that your staff are aware of the operation rules and follow them accordingly. Screw conveyors handle difficult materials, so ensure your system is suitable for the task. To prevent the screw section breaking off, ensure that the system is aligned correctly in all appropriate directions.

You can prevent leaks by ensuring the cover is tightly sealed and using the right material and thickness level. Bolting the cover can be a better solution that using clamps. There are several reasons why your screw conveyor may jam, stall or lock up. You must prevent the system from becoming overloaded, ensure compatible materials are used, and regularly check the system's power supply and wiring. Invest in screw conveyor maintenance to keep your system in top condition.

how to prevent conveyor belt problems

While we've provided you with everything you need to know about common conveyor belt problems and solutions, when facing any 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 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 across the UK 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 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 carry out conveyor troubleshooting and fix the problem to get you back operational as quickly as possible.

Learn more About Us and how we can help to keep your, and the UK's conveyors rolling, by preventing and fixing common conveyor belt problems.

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