What’s Wrong With My Conveyor?

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You weren’t hired because you were an expert in conveyor maintenance. Fortunately, when things go wrong, you have a resource you can turn to: BE&E.

Below is a chart of common problems and remedies for drag conveyors. When you encounter issues, it’s important to identify the root cause and not treat the system. There’s no need to increase the size of your shaft, for instance, when the shaft diameter isn’t the problem; rather, it’s the torque on the shaft that’s the issue.

Of course (and we harp on this all the time), no amount of maintenance will make a cruddy conveyor perform like something made for top performance: an Edsel will never run like a Porsche. For better performance, you’ll need to upgrade your equipment to SMART Conveyors™.

As a note, these aren’t problems our clients typically face. They’re problems operation personnel experience with conveyors generally. Also, make sure you consult the manufacturer before altering the conveyor. By making alterations without advice, you may inadvertently cause another issue.

Problem Solving: Drag Chain Conveyor Maintenance

Problem Possible Causes Possible Solutions
Premature Trough Failure 1) Gauge too light
2) Excessive wear from chain and paddles
3) Lack of abrasion resistance
1) Increase gauge thickness
2) Upgrade equipment to design in which paddles/chain do not wear on trough
3) Install AR plating
Accelerated Flight Wear 1) Excessive heat
2) Speed too high
3) Excessive wear from trough and sidewalls
1) Change flight material
2) Slow down drag conveyor
3) Upgrade equipment to design in which paddles do not wear on the trough or sidewalls
Broken Chain 1) Worn chain
2) Take-up loose
3) Load exceeds rating
1) Replace worn chains per the manufacturer’s instructions
2) Adjust take-up
3) Recalculate chain load; install chain with higher rating
4) Upgrade to chain with a larger pin diameter
Broken Drive Shaft 1) Excessive torque
2) Insufficient torque capacity
3) Obstruction in conveyor
1) Recalculate horsepower requirements
2) Check material characteristics and recalculate requirements
3) Clear obstruction; check capacity; assure regulated feed; assure regulated feed; screen for foreign materials
Bearing Failure 1) Material getting into bearing
2) Insufficient lubrication
1) Add or upgrade seal to keep material out of bearing
2) Lubricate properly
3) Change to outboard bearing (discharge end)

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