Most Common Conveyor Problems
- Entire system will not turn on: Most likely an e-stop or emergency pull cord is engaged.
- System starts but rollers don’t spin: Most accumulation systems are pneumatic. Check that the compressor is on and the pressure gage is not low. Sometimes there are so many airbag leaks that the pressure falls. Listen for air leaks throughout your system; this would be pretty loud if your compressor cannot keep up.
- One or more of your conveyors is not running when system is on: Ensure that all photoeyes are aligned before and after the dead spot. It’s quite common for a photoeye to be bumped out of alignment or a reflector to be broken off.
- Tripped breaker or blown fuse: If fuses blow or breakers trip immediately upon startup, there is an electrical short. If it takes some time to burn out or trip, something may be binding up. Check pulley bearings, the drive chain, and ensure the belt is tracking and not rubbing on the side of the conveyor.
- The Motor turns but the reducer doesn’t: The plastic or rubber love joy coupling between the motor and reducer may have stripped out. If the lovejoy is intact and the input shaft on the reducer spins, the gears of the reducer are stripped. This could be from old age or lack of oil. In either case, the reducer has to be replaced.
Belt Conveyor Troubleshooting
- Drive is running but the belt is not moving: The conveyor belt may be loose and slipping at the drive pulley. Or the belt lacing may be broken. Find the lacing (or multiple splices) to check if it is ripped.
- Belt tracking: If the edge of the belt is rubbing on the side frame, call our technicians to track the belt. As belts stretch, they often rub on the side of the conveyor at the end pulleys and in the drive section. Only professionals should track a belt to prevent stretching and costly repair. End pulleys and tensioner pulleys should not be used to track the belt (call 404.429.5896 to learn about special exceptions to this rule).
Roller Lineshaft Conveyor Troubleshooting
- Small dead spots: Product gets stuck in dead spots when the o-rings are broken or the driving force is weak. The driving force is weak when o-rings are loose, spools are broken, or the spools slip on the lineshaft. You may see the rollers spinning without product but then they stop once product is on them. Usually, a complete rebuild of o-rings, spools, bearings, and sometimes lineshaft is needed for a proper repair. However, there are split spools and twisted o-rings with a hook that can work for a quick fix. Call 404.429.5896 for either long-term or quick fix parts.
- Large dead zones: At each ten-foot conveyor seem, a chain coupling kit connects the conveyor shafts together. This chain is metal or plastic and will break with normal wear or when the conveyor binds up.
- Roller bearings: Another problem that causes dead spots are bad roller bearings. If the o-rings and plastic spools are in good condition check the rollers. Pop some rollers out and turn them by hand to check for bad bearings. You may see metal dust or rust around the bearing and shaft and hear squealing when the conveyor is on.
Roller V-belt and Round Belt Troubleshooting
- Small dead spots: Rollers that move sluggishly or stop moving are not getting enough driving force from the belt. Ensure side frame spring tensioners and sheaves are pushing up on the drive belt to make contact with the rollers.
- Large dead zones: A large dead zone is caused when a drive belt is slipping, broken, or has jumped off. Some sections don’t have a tensioner and a stretched belt has to be replaced. A belt that continually jumps off the sheaves may not be tensioned correctly, sheaves may not be aligned straight, or the belt may be run incorrectly around the tensioner pulley. In extreme cases, seized up rollers or sheaves may cause the belt to jump off.
- Roller bearings: similar to lineshaft conveyor, belt driven conveyor will develop deadspots as old roller bearings go bad. This may be accompanied by squeaking, grinding, and rust coming out of the bearings.
Accumulating Conveyor Problems
Before we talk about the most common accumulation problems, let’s discuss how accumulation works. There are three types of accumulation, each uses a different system to control the zones. The three systems are mechanical linkage, pneumatic by sensor rollers, or pneumatic by photoelectric sensors. Mechanical accumulation problems can be found by following the linkage of mechanical movements that result from a zone roller being pushed down. Sensor roller accumulation, as suggested by the name, has sensor rollers that push a pneumatic button; this blows up airbags to drive the rollers. Photoeye accumulation signals a solenoid to blow up airbags.
The most common accumulation problems are:
- Unaligned photeyes
- Broken sensor rollers
- Missing springs from sensor rollers
- Burned out selenoids
- Broken pneumatic buttons
- Leaking airbags
- Low air pressure
- Conveyor is on but rollers aren’t moving: If the drive belt is moving but rollers are not moving, the systems air compressor may not be turned on. Many blown out airbags can cause low pressure. Low air pressure such as this can affect specific zones or the entire accumulation system.