When examining or servicing conveyor idlers, a common observation is the shiny surface of the rollers. This glossiness indicates a slip between the belt and roller, suggesting that the rollers are not correctly aligned.

Even slight misalignment can cause increased belt load, resulting in increased power consumption by the drive motor. This can lead to belt mistracking and accelerated wear, potentially causing material spillage.

Each conveyor idler is precisely aligned during installation. Factors like structural impacts, excessive carryback, or improper bearing replacement can disrupt this alignment, leading to costly consequences.

Understanding Conveyor Idler Basics

Conveyor idlers play a crucial role in supporting the belt. On carrying sides, they bear the load’s weight, and for troughed belts, they shape the belt to increase carrying capacity.

Unlike carrying idlers, return idlers handle an unloaded, flat belt, thus experiencing less load.
In troughed conveyor belts, idlers are typically arranged in sets of three. The central horizontal roller bears the most load, while the side rollers, usually set at an angle (commonly 35°), form the trough. The material type dictates the angle of these side rollers.

Some idler sets have guide rollers to maintain good belt tracking, preventing lateral movements.

Conveyor Idler Misalignment

Proper alignment ensures the roller’s axis is perpendicular to the belt’s centreline. Misalignment can happen in vertical, lateral, or angular axes, with possible simultaneous misalignments in extreme cases.

  • Vertical misalignment occurs when one side of the idler set is higher than the other, potentially causing the belt to shift sideways and risking material spills.
  • Lateral misalignment happens when the conveyor idler’s centre is not aligned with the belt’s centre, leading to uneven belt height and increased edge wear.
  • Angular misalignment is where the idler axis is not at a right angle to the belt movement, causing the most noticeable slip and polished roller surfaces.

Root Causes of Misalignment

The primary causes include structural impacts, removal of idler sets for maintenance, and excess carryback affecting the return idlers.

Implications of Misalignment

All forms of misalignment can lead to belt tracking issues and increased wear. Angular misalignment is particularly concerning due to the added friction and load on the drive motor.

Measuring and Correcting Misalignment

Accurate positioning of idlers is challenging during active service. The focus should be on aligning the idlers relative to the belt edges. For troughing idlers, attention should be on the central roller.

Specialized equipment exists for measuring misalignment. However, consulting with conveyor belt equipment experts like Luff Industries for practical solutions.

Luff Industries: A Leading Conveyor Idler Manufacturer

Neglected misalignment can result in increased energy consumption, accelerated belt wear, and added strain on the gearbox. Timely maintenance and correction are crucial for prolonging belt life and efficient operation. Luff offers the proper solutions for conveyor idler misalignments. Our complete line of conveyor components keeps your systems running efficiently.

Luff conveyor idlers meet or exceed CEMA standards and come complete with a 2-year warranty. Thorough testing and our longtime track record allow our clients to have confidence in the quality of our products to handle the demands of any industry.

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