One of the most common conveyor system problems is the belt running off the track, which can halt operations altogether and impact productivity. The slightest external factors can cause belt tracking problems, such as debris between the belt and the pulley, off-center loading of goods, belt distortion, and goods exceeding the weight specifications of the conveyor system, among other reasons.

If belt tracking problems occur frequently, it can be a sign that one or both of the pulleys are not positioned properly. Most belt tracking issues can be solved by adjusting pulleys and rollers or improving the design of the system with the right conveyor belt parts and accessories. In this article, we take a look at some of the most common tracking belt problems and recommended solutions.

1. The belt runs off to the same side

Conveyor belts typically run off to the side with the least tension when there is a tracking problem. Conveyor systems with a fabric belt are equipped with at least one cylindrical pulley that stabilizes the belt and allows it to run straight. However, for applications that require several belt path redirections or a side feed, additional belt tracking measures are needed, such as a Guide Roller.

2. Material build-up

This is one of the most common reasons for conveyor belt tracking problems. Carryback (the material left on the belt after discharge) can lead to excess debris and dirt, which can wear the belt down faster, cause damage to other components, and lead to belt tracking problems. To prevent this, belt cleaners are installed on either the head or tail pulley or both. Belt cleaners ride against the belt to dislodge material and reduce the amount of buildup on the belt itself.

3. Visible signs of damage

Belt tracking problems can be caused by excessive wear and tear on the belt itself. Visible signs of damage include fraying edges, rips, tears, and folds that affect operations. In this case, the belt will need to be replaced. Keep in mind that any damage to the conveyor belt affects the system’s components, including the idlers.

Correcting conveyor belt tracking

Luff Industries is a leading name in the conveyor belt system accessory manufacturing and can help enhance the performance of your conveyor system. We can help extend the life of your conveyor system with high-quality products, reducing operational and maintenance costs, minimizing downtime, and keeping your operations running efficiently.

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