Belt conveyors have been commonly used and widely employed to transfer and handle solids, bulk materials, and generally many forms of raw, semi-products, and final products in various types of plants and facilities.

The reliability and proper operation of a belt conveyor is related to the integrated reliability and operation of all components together. There have been different key parts and components in any belt conveyor such as structure (frame), idlers, pulleys, belt, driver system, and take-up system. Each affects the reliability, performance, and operation of the belt conveyor.

This article discusses key topics related to reliability, maintenance, and operation of belt conveyors including misalignment, mis-tracking, spillage, and slippage. These problems have been reported for many belt conveyors, and dealing with them and resolving them are important tasks in different operating plants.

Misalignment and deviations in structure

One of major problems in belt conveyors is misalignment and deviations in the structure, frames, and foundation. The conveyor frame or structure might be crooked or deformed. There have been many different forms and types for such problems, and there can be many different patterns and combinations of such deviations and deformations. The structure should be corrected and straightened in the affected areas.

In many cases, the structure is not level. Sometimes, the structural problem or deformation is because wrong type of fasteners are used or fasteners are too tight or too loose. In other cases, the structure or frame might not be strong enough to resist deformations and deflections under loads. In those cases, the structure or frame should be reinforced.

Read more: Belt conveyor maintenance 101