In today’s challenging economy, many companies are stuck with keeping their ageing conveyor systems, and keeping those systems running well past the point they should have been sent to the scrap yard. Unlike fine wines, mechanical equipment does not get better with age. There is hope for those who are not able to upgrade, though. Here are some suggestions that will help you look after your systems.
If one thing is sure, it is that mechanical parts will eventually fail, and usually not at a convenient time. Depending on the part that fails, a breakdown can bring your production to a halt. If your system goes for extended periods without failing parts being replaced, severe damage may be inflicted on other parts. It is a good idea to keep a supply of critical and even long lead time parts.
Conduct Preventative Maintenance
If your plan is to fix parts when they break, it is going to feel like you are always fixing something. Conveyors have to be maintained. Different parts of the system require different types of preventative care. Simply follow the recommended service schedule, and you will ensure your system continues running for a long time.
System Audit and Documentation
One of the best conveyor solutions for any business is running a system audit on a regular schedule. You should continually inspect the system to ensure it is running the way the manufacturer intended. You may hear and smell a small problem way before it becomes a big one, and be able to deal with it right away. People who work around the system every day can struggle to tell when something seems to be failing over time. Inspecting the entire system from infeed right to discharge can ensure you are not heading towards a catastrophic failure.
Obsolete Parts and Equipment
Sometimes the budget won’t stretch to replacing an entire conveyor system, but it is important to stay up to date on parts in the system that are obsolete and no longer produced, as this can help you make wise decisions. For instance, if you know that a particular conveyor part is no longer produced, you can determine that it may be more financially viable to stock additional components for that piece rather than replace it altogether.
Looking after a large conveyor system can be somewhat overwhelming, and that is why it is crucial that you think of any needed repairs in terms of time. For example, if one of the bearings goes out in the middle drive, the most cost effective thing to do would be to only replace the bearing. On the other hand, the intelligent thing to do would be to replace both the bearings and even the pulley. Dismantling the drive section can take time, and usually takes a lot longer than just changing out components. With large machinery, wise repairs are a must.
Maintaining a conveyor system is a daunting job, but with a little organisation and thought, you can successfully extend the system’s lifespan.