Virtually every materials handling system, such as a conveyor system, is subject to advanced wear caused primarily by friction. Conveyor components – no matter how durable and well-made – eventually wear out, often causing unnecessary downtime and added expense..
However, there are a number of steps you can take to minimize any inconvenience caused by worn conveyor components. Here are a few tips:
Conveyor system audit and documentation
Whether it’s an informal periodic inspection or a fully-documented process that’s part of your enterprise resource planning (ERP) methodology, it’s important to audit and document your entire conveyor system to stay ahead of potential problems. Catching small problems before they become big ones will help you properly manage and maintain your conveyor components.
Choose high performance conveyor components when necessary
Some conveyor components are exposed to more wear and abuse than others, such as wear strips, belt guides, corner tracks, and guide rails. For longer life and lower overall maintenance costs, choose ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMW) plastic for these components where necessary to help minimize maintenance. UHMW plastic is 10X heavier than conventional high density polyethylene for longer life and reduced wear.
Stock spare parts
Because conveyor components in are subject to wear, it makes sense to stock spares of the most susceptible components. Not only will you minimize downtime associated with parts ordering and delivery, but a well-stocked spare parts inventory can encourage regular maintenance and parts replacement before key conveyor components fail.
Know when to replace, not repair
Material handling systems such as conveyors have a finite life span and at some point it costs more to prop up a failing system than to replace it. If your team is spending too much time finding, diagnosing, and fixing problems, a thorough conveyor system analysis is due to determine if it’s better to stop throwing money at repairs and simply replace the system for a lower total cost of ownership.
To learn more about conveyor components or to get a quote on quality components for your material handling system in, contact us.