Tracking a conveyor belt ensures that the device will operate as expected, running straight and safely whether it is loaded or empty. While tracking a conveyor belt to centre is a fairly simple procedure, it requires some familiarity with conveyor systems and their components. Failing to track to centre properly can sometimes result in additional expenses, so it is important to take your time throughout the procedure.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Open-end wrenches
Determine the direction in which you need to track the conveyor belt. If the belt is tracking to the left, then move it to the right enough to centre the belt and vice versa.
Find the tracking roller. The roller is typically at one end of the belt or the other. Occasionally two tracking rollers are present, but one simply provides tension on the belt while the other actually tracks it. If two rollers are on your device, use the roller farthest from the drive roller as the tracking roller. The farther the belt is from the drive, the less difficulty it will have moving in the direction you desire.
Use the appropriate sized open-end wrench to loosen the locknuts on the jack bolts or rods. This will allow you to manoeuvre the pulley to the right or the left.
If the conveyor belt is tracking to the right, adjust the tracking roller to tighten the right side. Use your open-end wrench to adjust the jack bolts. Screwing the bolt toward the device will loosen the roller, while screwing the bolt "out" will force the roller out, tightening that end of the roller. If the roller is out of place on the right side, you must loosen the left end of the roller tension, and vice versa.
Start the conveyor belt at its lowest speed.
Use your palm to nudge the belt in the proper direction. You will not need to apply much force. If you push too far, adjust the belt and roller back the other way. It might take time to get the belt to run perfectly straight, so repeat this step a few times before you adjust it to perfection.
Monitor the conveyor belt before moving on to another task. Sometimes the belt will drift back to where it was before, in which case adjust the angle of the roller and nudge the belt again. Wait at least 60 to 90 seconds to ensure the belt is properly in place.
Tips and warnings
- Do not attempt to track a conveyor belt to centre if no one else is nearby, just in case of an emergency.
- Sometimes spills or build-up under in the bed pan under the conveyor belt can cause tracking problems. Ensure that this area is clean.
- Remove jewellery or anything that might catch on the belt seam. Loose clothing is also extremely dangerous.
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