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The Importance of Conveyor Belt Tracking

Conveyor Belt
Conveyor belts are a common feature of the modern manufacturing landscape, used for a variety of applications, from agricultural to pharmaceutical. Conveyors play such a critical role that many businesses would be unable to operate without them. Unfortunately, conveyor belt breakdowns remain an all too common phenomenon.
Improper belt tracking constitutes one of the most commonly experienced causes of conveyor belt trouble. Yet many of those who work with conveyor belts on a regular basis still fail to understand this issue. If you would like to learn more about conveyor belt maintenance and installation, read on. This article will discuss the problem of poor tracking and how to avoid it.

Belt Tracking

Belt tracking - often also referred to as belt training - refers to the tendency of a belt to run in a central orientation along its track. A belt with correct tracking will display a minimum of lateral movement as it progresses through the system of rollers, idlers, and pulleys. A poorly tracking belt, on the other hand, will display a marked tendency to run toward one side of the system or the other.
Poor tracking frequently subjects the belt to unnecessary wear and tear. This happens as the belt runs off of its designated track, often becoming caught in the idlers and rollers. As a result, poorly tracking belts tend to display an excessive amount of damage and wear along their edges.
Poor tracking will also impede the smooth functioning of your belt system as a whole. A snagged belt can result in a complete stoppage, requiring operators to manually readjust it before work can resume. Unfortunately, the problem tends to recur unless somebody addresses the underlying issues.

Conveyor Frame

A large number of mistracking cases relate to issues with conveyor frame. The two most common problems involve a frame that is either out of level, out of square, or both. Any of these problems will act to propel the belt toward one side of the conveyor or the other. Start by using a level to ensure that the frame sits at an appropriate angle relative to the floor.
Next check to determine whether the frame remains square. This can be done using a T-square or other angle measuring tool. Measure one corner and then compare it to a measurement of the opposite corner. The two values should be equal. If not, use the squaring rods on the bottom of the conveyor to pull the frame into a tighter alignment.

Pulley Orientation

If your frame does not display any problems, the next most probable cause are the pulleys used to move the belt through the conveyor system. The issue here involves end pulleys that are not square with respect to the frame of the conveyor system. Even a slight angle in one of the end pulleys will act to pull the belt progressively to one side or the other.
Perform visual inspects to determine whether all of your pulley's display correct alignment. If not, realign the pulleys by making appropriate adjustments to the snub rollers below the conveyor track. A wellaligned pulley should display a 90-degree angle relative to the side of the conveyor track.

Belt Quality

If your belt mistracking still remains an issue, consider the fact that the problem may have to do with the quality of your belt. Poorly manufactured belts often display unwanted variations in their width. If great enough, such size deviations may give the belt a noticeable arc, which in turn will cause it to run toward one side or the other.
Nothing can be done about a poorly cut conveyor belt except to replace it with a higher quality one. Fortunately, you can rest assured that your conveyor belt will meet the highest degree of excellence by purchasing it from our trusted experts at California Industrial Rubber Company.