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How to Maximize Your Overhead Conveyor Lifespan

Jul 1, 2014 | Blog

How to Maximize Your Overhead Conveyor Lifespan

Get the most from your material handling system

A conveyor system that is well designed should last a good long time.

Here are a few important things to consider that will help you increase your conveyor lifespan.

1. Avoid weak conveyor system design.

Many problems can be avoided by conservatively applying some basic rules of design. Do not exceed the manufacturer’s published loading limits. So many overhead conveyor systems that I encounter have been overloaded, resulting in accelerated wear. A heavy load placed on the chain will obviously result in the wear of the chain bearings and the track it runs on. Try to distribute a heavy load over multiple chain hanging points.

Tip: Just as you rotate the tires on your car to maximize their life, move your loads from one chain hanging point to one that is adjacent, and further extend the life of your conveyor.

2. Don’t exceed the chain pull of the conveyor drive unit.

If you’re even close to the limit, consider adding an additional drive unit to effectively cut the chain pull in half. Though a single drive may be able to pull the chain adequately, the weak point in the long term will be those curves that are close to the drive. They will wear out quickly and cause you downtime.

Tip: install the largest radius curves possible immediately upstream of the drive.

3. Choose the right conveyor from the start.

For example, if you use a conveyor in a powder coating application and have a great deal of overspray because of your booth, product or spray gun design, don’t choose an open conveyor such as an I-beam monorail conveyor. The exposed mechanical components such as open bearings, trolley and chain will become excessively contaminated, causing the bearings to stop turning or contaminating the product below. The chain will need to be removed frequently for cleaning. Consider an enclosed track conveyor for such an application. The moving parts are protected by the track around them.

If you follow these three simple steps, you should be able to increase your conveyor lifespan by quite a few years!


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