Seven Preventative Maintenance Checklist Tips for Spiral Belts
Let’s face it, maintenance issues worsen over time and the longer an issue waits to be fixed, the more damage can occur. Consider the following preventative maintenance checklist from Ashworth to help keep you proactive vs. reactive when battling unplanned downtime:
- Check belt tension / Overdrive. Overdrive can change overtime as the belt stretches, ensuring the overdrive is checked routinely—the least costly means to ensure you operate at the lowest possible tensions resulting in the maximum belt life.
- Rag the rails, rag the rails, rag the rails! Ragging the rails is an inexpensive and easy way to keep your rails clean and the tensions low.
- Monitor take-up height (indication of tension). When the belt tension increases, excess belt will be deposited into the take-up loop—monitoring the take-up position is a quick and easy way to get a feel for how tight the belt is operating.
- Physically check all bearings. All too often, accessing bearings can be a challenge. Many processors have turned to remotely using grease lines. However, remote grease lines can freeze as condensation develops preventing grease from getting to the bearings. Make time to physically inspect bearings is an easy method to tell if bearings are functioning correctly that can save you money in the long run.
- Inspect and correct all belt support wear-strip connections. Just as the belt, the support wear strips can elongate over time, the connections then become stressed or cause catch points for the belt. Frequent inspections can ensure no development of an unexpected snag point for the belt, which could tear-off wear strips leading to metal-on-metal contact.
- Inspect cage bar caps throughout, but more intensely at the top and bottom tier. Cage bar caps will wear over time, most commonly in the highest tension areas of the system. Inspecting the cage bar caps to ensure they are not worn through helps avoid metal-to-metal contact with the belt.
- Use all your senses. Visual inspections are critical to identifying system issues, but do not ignore what the system is telling you. Listen for unfamiliar or new sounds. Be aware of new smells which could signal electrical or lubricant issues. Vibration transfers through structure so using your hands may help discover a drive or belting issue. Learn the rhythm of your system and look for changes.