“Training” a conveyor belt means adjusting the pulleys, idlers and loading conditions of a particular belt in a way so that the belt will not become un-centered. Needless to say, with so many different parts and pieces to consider, it can be a complex and daunting process. Should you find yourself faced with the task of training a conveyor belt, a few general tips will make your work a little easier.
Before Running at Full Capacity
It is very important to make sure that a new conveyor installation is completely straight before running it at full production capacity. Test it before using it.
When adjusting a belt, start at the head pulley and work your way back. When you find a spot where the belt is coming off the track, start making adjustments about six idlers before that point.
Pulley Shaft Positions
Make sure that the head and tail pulley shafts are parallel to one another. You will find a snub pulley at each end of the belt. Adjusting this properly will ensure that the belt runs straight over the head and tail pulleys.
If you see the conveyor belt run completely off the track in one section of the belt, this is a good sign that there is a problem with an idler, pulley or other conveyor structure in that particular structure.
The belt idlers should always be bolted down perpendicular to the frame. If they are not perpendicular, then you will have problems.
A conveyor belt will always move in the direction of whatever piece that it touches first. This means that an out-of-alignment idler could potentially de-train the entire belt.
Foreign material inside or around the conveyor will definitely disrupt the conveyor's operation. Material build-up around the conveyor's rollers is the biggest potential problem. One way to avoid these problems is to install a belt scraper so that it is constantly clearing off the belt's rollers.
Signs of Good Training
On a well-trained conveyor, the belt will make contact with all the horizontal roll the troughing idlers, and all the pulleys and idlers will be at right angle to the center line of the conveyor belt.
Once you have finished a new conveyor installation, fully load the conveyor and let it run for several hours. At the end of this first day, leave the belt fully-loaded overnight. This will help to break in the belt faster.
Justin Mitchell has been a writer since 2009. In 2002, he received a B.A. in theater and writing from the University of Northern Colorado. Mitchell worked as an ESL teacher in Europe and Asia before earning a master's degree in journalism from the City University of New York. He has written for the "New York Daily News" and WNYC.org, among other outlets.