05 Sep 10 tips for maintaining your conveyor system
A conveyor system is a business critical part of most warehouses thus avoiding damage and downtime is a priority to keep a warehouse running efficiently. Regular maintenance of your conveyor system can help prevent avoidable breakdowns, recognize issues earlier and reduce health and safety risks.
Top 10 tips to help keep your conveyor system running:
1. Preventative maintenance not reactive maintenance
Regularly maintaining your conveyor system allows everything to run smoothly, not allowing your motors to run dry or a damaged bearing being used will prevent further damage to your conveyor system.
Regular checkups allow you to recognize faults and issues within your conveyor system before they stop working. This can allow you to schedule maintenance when it suits you, not when the system breaks, preventing unplanned down time and you can be sure to have the correct spares in place beforehand.
2. Have a set of spares on site
Following on from tip 1, having a full set of spares on site is critical to keep your system running. Most conveyor systems need to be fully operational as one part of the conveyor breaking will often affect the whole system. As a result it’s important to keep a full set of spares on site to keep your downtime to a minimum as spare parts can take as long as 6 weeks to be ordered, manufactured and delivered.
3. Don’t allow your system to seize
Most warehouses use their conveyor systems daily and they are designed to be run regularly. Long periods of stagnation of a conveyor system can leave motors and bearings seized, resulting in a large maintenance cost to restore parts of the conveyor system.
4. Keep your system clean
Keeping your conveyor system clean and removing foreign objects will help decrease the need for maintenance. An unkept conveyor system can increases the chances of the belt slipping which will make the motor work harder and reduce the amount of weight the motor can pull. Removing foreign objects can also prevent unnecessary wear on the belt resulting in a longer belt life.
Another advantage of a clean conveyor system is the ability to identify system faults easily, preventing further damage through preventative maintenance.
5. Check your bearings
Loose bearings and dry parts will create larger issues in the future if not regularly maintained. Sealed bearings do not require much lubrication but other types of bearings in your conveyor system potentially may. Be cautious though, as some lubricants can cause damage to your belt.
6. Check your pulley alignment
The tension on the belt should be the same on both ends. If the pulleys are unaligned, the belt will be stretched unevenly resulting in extra wear on the belt and potentially cause tracking issues.
7. Keep all your manuals and documentation
Conveyor manuals and documentation are typically handed over when you purchase a new conveyor system. These documents will be extremely important for your maintenance team to understand how to repair and maintain the conveyor system. Spare part numbers and other information on how to get replacement parts are also typically within this documentation.
8. Document all repairs and maintenance you’ve made
Have you ever bought a car with a full service history? The same applies here.
Any maintenance performed on your conveyor system should be written in a log, noting the cause for the maintenance and the effect. This can help draw a bigger picture to understand what is failing within your conveyor system, highlight if the issue is a repeating issue and leaves a note for all staff on how to fix the issues going forward.
9. Don’t misuse your conveyor for things it’s not designed for
Conveyor systems are typically designed for a particular purpose. There are many things to consider such as weight per meter, product dimensions and even type of product. Using product on the conveyor line that is not suitable can cause jamming, excess wear on the belt, motor failures and other faults within your conveyor system.
Using the incorrect product can quickly cause a large health and safety risk to your staff.
10. Understand what parts of your conveyor system are obsolete equipment
Old conveyor systems can be costly and even sometimes impossible to source parts for. When reviewing your conveyor system it may sometimes be economic to replace part of your conveyor system with a modern, more robust and reliable conveyor instead of continuously repairing old, worn out systems.
Conveyor Networks offers services such as optimising system performance, User training in VR or in your warehouse, software support, mechanical support, health checks, preventative maintenance and we also offer a full spare parts service. Contact us today.
About Conveyor Networks:
Daresbury-based Conveyor Networks is a systems integrator and solutions provider founded in 2009. Working from design and build through to servicing and maintenance, it offers retail and eCommerce businesses of all sizes, best-in-class warehouse software and automation solutions. It engineers imio software, its own modular warehouse management system and can run everything from conveyors and sortation to packing lines, fully automated processes and carrier integration.