How to prevent unstable belt tracking

How to prevent unstable belt tracking

Conveyor and transmission belts with unstable tracking can cause major production problems. Belts can wear and break, products can get damaged or destroyed, and in the worst case scenario, there can be a production breakdown. Here are a few tips on how you can avoid this:

Causes for conveyor and transmission belts running off track

There can be several reasons conveyor and transmission belts start running off track, for example, if rollers and belt pulleys are not aligned, or if the belt tension is too high or too low.

Make sure that the pulleys and rollers are aligned correctly
Make sure that the pulleys and rollers are aligned correctly

 

It could also be because the conveyor is not correctly designed. By cross measuring, that is, diagonally measuring from one edge of the roller to the other, and then comparing this to a diagonal metering from the opposite side, it is possible to determine if there is a problem with the conveyor parallelism. If so, the carrier will need to be adjusted.

Cross measuring
Cross measuring

How to prevent the conveyor belt from unstable tracking

To prevent conveyor and drive belts from running off track, you can use rollers that have been crowned. Crowned means that the diameter of the roller or pulley successively increases towards the middle where it is thicker than at the ends; it has a slightly curved surface. The crowning of the pulley keeps the belt in place since it will always move toward the largest diameter during rotation.

Another way to prevent belts from running off track is to use integrated tracking guides and wear strips. A conveyor or transmission belt will always move a bit from one side to the other, and is never completely straight when new. By using guides, it is possible to regulate how much the belt moves in a transversal position. The guides will help you track the belt correctly and the wear strips edges will prevent the belt from sliding off the roll.

The guides are especially useful for vertical conveyors where gravity can cause the product to slide. If the conveyed items are heavy and need support, the guides will help keep the belt on track and prevent the products from sliding or getting stuck.

One advantage with the guides is that they wear out before the belt. Since you do not have to replace the belt as often, the service life is extended and operational costs decreased.

Do you have further questions about effective belt tracking? Download our Installation and Maintenance Guide or do not hesitate to contact us!

2017 June 1  |  Posted by

Simon Cartwright

Simon Cartwright is a technical manager for Habasit in the UK. He has a wide variety of industry expertise and experience. While he is ready to answer any question regarding the full portfolio of Habasit products and applications, he specializes in fabric conveyor belts in the food industry. Mr. Cartwright is also fluent in English, making him a valuable asset to customers around the world.