Conveyor belts have a fundamental role in the performance and productivity of a large number of industries (pharmaceutical, construction, food, mining, petrochemical …), as well as to be a basic pillar in the efficiency of warehouses and distribution centers
The purpose of preventive maintenance is to ensure the efficient operation of the conveyor belt as well as to minimize or avoid future breakdowns. The periodic reviews of conveyor belts have also a predictive maintenance character, which uses the necessary technical means to allow us to anticipate possible future failures. The fact of being able to detect possible failures has a great economic value for the company, because it could suppose an important reduction of the possible costs.
In order to carry out a correct preventive maintenance of conveyor belts, it is important to follow these four basic principles:
- The maintenance task of a conveyor belt requires specific technical knowledge and must always be carried out by certified and experienced personnel and following all safety measures detailed in the specific maintenance protocols of the system.
- The maintenance must be programmed and adjusted to the workload in each productive moment, trying to minimize downtime and avoid possible loss of productivity.
- All the elements or mechanisms replaced in the maintenance must be adjusted to the technical data of the equipment on which it will work. This guarantees both the correct operation of the conveyor belt and the safety of operation.
- Preventive maintenance of conveyor belts requires:
- Cleaning and greasing of rolling elements
- Adjustment of the conveyor belt
- Replacement of damaged elements
- Checking hydraulic or oil leaks, condition of electrical connections, clearances…
- Checking security and protection systems
- Detailed documentation of the maintenance work carried out
Although the specific technical aspects of maintenance must be performed by specialized technicians, some aspects of preventive maintenance must be performed almost daily by the personnel responsible of the equipment. These are, cleaning and greasing tasks as well as the verification of security systems and alarms. All the aspects that require the replacement of pieces or dismantling structures of the conveyor belt must be carried out by specialized personnel.
Given the importance of the efficiency of the conveyor belts in many industrial processes, warehouses and distribution centers, the implementation and monitoring of the preventive maintenance plan is essential to preserve their productivity.