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Top 5 Common Conveyor Belt Problems

If your conveyor belts aren’t operating properly, you can face a host of problems. There are a number of issues that can render a belt useless. By identifying the problem and taking the proper course of action, you can save money and keep production flowing smoothly. Many times, you can eliminate the problem yourself by replacing a small part or two, while other times the problem may be more serious. Problems on conveyor belts are not something that you can just put up with or fix by yourself. Most of the time, you have to call conveyor experts for help. Click here to read all you need to know about Replacement Conveyor Belts.

There are some companies that ignore their conveyor belt problems until it’s too late. Luckily, these problems do not have to go that far. By identifying the problem and taking the proper course of action, you can save money and keep production flowing smoothly. Many times, you can eliminate the problem yourself by replacing a small part or having it repaired. In this guide, we will look at ways to spot 5 common conveyor belt problems before it’s too late.

Common Conveyor Belt Problems

A conveyor belt is a powerful tool for any industrial operation. They can transfer any item from one place to another, and they can do it efficiently and at a great pace. However, conveyor belts are extremely complex and we cannot emphasize this enough: they require maintenance. There is no industrial machine that has as many moving parts as a belt, and therefore an abundance of problems can arise. Below is a list of some of the most common issues with conveyor belts.

Conveyor Belt Mistracking

Mistracking is a common problem in conveyor systems. If it’s not detected early on, it can lead to material damage and even system breakdown. Mistracking occurs when the belt that transports material around the production facility comes off its normal course.

There are many reasons for tracking issues, but one of the most common is misalignment. When belt tracking is off, it can lead to a host of other consequences. Your system will not produce at the desired speed. The products will have to travel further or be slowed down which will lower quality or cause damage to the products themselves. The result is that your products are arriving out of sync.

Belt Tears and Seam Rips

Moving sharp rocks or coal can cause your belt to tear. The excessive friction from moving heavy packages can also result in thin spots that eventually lead to tears. Rips at the seams can also happen over time with stress and tension on the belt. Although belt tears and seam rips may also happen with regular use, it’s best to be proactive about preventing them from happening in the first place.

Belt Slipping

Slipping belts are a common problem in almost any industry, whether it is in manufacturing, shipping, or warehousing. Often caused by the breakdown of the pulley system that keeps the belt’s tension balanced. This allows the smooth running belt to become derailed and move out of sync with its intended path, causing all sorts of damage. The longer this condition persists, the higher the cost associated with cleaning up or repairing after this type of failure.

To prevent this, the aging conveyor belt needs to be checked for pulley wear annually. Belt slipping can throw off the balance among different sections of your conveyor belt system, damage product, and ultimately become quite costly to repair.

Seized Rollers

When you operate a conveyor belt, a lot of wear and tear takes place. The rollers on the belt load and unload materials from a variety of stations. Over time, this process can lead to damage to the rollers. And when this happens, they often become so worn that they seize up and get stuck, rendering the conveyor belt unusable until repairs are made. In most cases, conveyor belts are constructed from metallic materials such as steel. This construction is good because it means the parts are usually highly durable and long-lasting. However, it also means that when the rollers on the conveyor belt seize up, they have an unfortunate tendency to develop sharp edges.

Conveyor belt rollers are cylindrical in shape and are sometimes called pulleys. The belt is responsible for transporting goods across large distances. When the roller starts to seize up, it does not move smoothly. The roller begins to wear down, causing deep grooves to develop. Eventually, the groove exposes the insides of the conveyor belt roller which means sharp edges will start to form. These edges can easily slice through other materials, including human flesh so care needs to be taken when dealing with them.


The powerful flow of a properly working conveyor system can quickly stop when blockages occur. In order to prevent your system from being adversely affected, it is important to have an effective way of catching problems as early as possible. These everyday problems cause expensive delays in all kinds of industries.

In the world of shipping, it means packages get delayed and returned to sender. In manufacturing plants, it can cause bottlenecks and slow production. In storage areas, it can mean an entire shipment gets held up. There are a number of reasons a conveyor belt can become blocked including debris buildup, manufacturing defects, and incorrect setup. But the result is always the same: a system breakdown and potentially backed-up shelves or trucks awaiting delivery on the other end.

Blocked conveyor belts are a headache for any organization that relies on them on a regular basis. Keeping a close eye on your conveyor belt system and its parts can help you avoid the headaches that come with a poor quality system.

Material Carryback

Material carryback is a very common occurrence in the paper, chemical, and mining industries. If your facility keeps using the same belt and the same pulleys and belts, it could lead to problems later on. The worst is it can lead to your machine shutting down. The buildup on the belt will make it hard for the product to move through the system. Some call this material buildup contamination because of how sticky, viscous and hard it becomes. These contaminants might be sticking to the product itself, but could also adhere to a specific spot on a conveyor belt, which then causes a build up that cannot easily be cleaned.

While material carryback can reduce your machine’s production, it isn’t always avoidable. To remove the buildup of excess material on your system, you can wipe away any residue or foreign matter with a clean towel. While wipes are always an option for quick cleanups, they aren’t recommended for machine upkeep. That’s because machine overspray can get caught in the wipe and become embedded in your machine nozzles. For more thorough cleaning, towels or pre-moistened wipes are best.

Get in Touch with Professionals for Help With Your Conveyor Belt

There are several things to consider when you hire a professional from Fluent Conveyors to help you with your belt conveyor maintenance. Conveyor belts are integral to the operational success of many businesses today. They also hold a special place in the heart of their owners and operators. Proper belt conveyor maintenance is key to ensuring that your business continues running smoothly and productively.

Jeremy Axel is the founder of Fluent Conveyors, they design and manufacture conveyors for Waste and recycling industries, Manufacturing, and Distribution centers across the United States. He is also known for building trusted relationships with conveyor dealers and reseller networks and developing advanced technological processes and tools that help them do their jobs more efficiently.

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