There are many different types of conveyor belt systems, and even more applications where they can be used, so the best maintenance tips can vary from one situation to another. It is generally recommended to fully shut down a conveyor belt before any maintenance operations are performed, and to clearly mark the system so that no one will accidentally reactivate it. In order to thoroughly carry out any conveyor belt maintenance, some type of checklist should typically be used. The exact contents of an inspection list can vary from one application to another, but they often include items such as the condition of the belts and splices, status of the pulleys and idlers, and whether or not the belt tracks properly. All of the items noted on a checklist should be addressed before the conveyor belt maintenance procedure is brought to a close.
Some of the best tips for conveyor belt maintenance involve safety. In most cases it is very dangerous to perform maintenance on a conveyor belt while it is in operation, so they should typically be shut down first, and disconnected from the power source. It can also be dangerous if the system is reactivated during a maintenance check or repair operation, so it is important to clearly tag and mark the controls, including circuit breakers. Baggy clothing should be avoided when working around conveyor belts, and a safety line or harness should be used when working on a conveyor that is suspended off the ground.
When carrying out a conveyor belt maintenance inspection, the system should first be shut down and checked over. This can allow the belt to be inspected, along with any splices, cleats, and other components. The belt should only be cleaned while the system is off, and so should the scrapers, pulleys, and other items that accumulate contaminants. After this portion of an inspection has taken place, it is usually recommended to run the system while it is still empty. When an unloaded conveyor belt is activated, it is typically possible to identify and address any issues with improper tracking.
If any issues are identified during either part of the inspection process, it is important to document them along with the necessary corrective actions. Those issues can then be addressed as part of an ongoing conveyor belt maintenance program, or immediately if the situation warrants it. Before the system is put back into operation, the final step of a good conveyor belt maintenance procedure is to lubricate all of the necessary components.