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The importance of conveyor alignment: How to align metal conveyor belts

Nov. 15, 2021

Each part of the conveyor, from the end rollers to the support rollers, must be level and parallel. If the belt is not aligned, the belt will become difficult to track and stretch unevenly. Once the belt is unevenly stretched, it is no longer working optimally, resulting in unplanned downtime and unnecessary costs. One way to extend the life of a belt is to keep it tracking and stretching evenly. The following steps outline how to properly align the conveyor belt. 

 

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Level all rollers

First, use a carpenter's level to level all rollers to an accuracy of + or - 1/32 inch. The ultimate goal of alignment is to have the main head and tail rollers parallel to each other and perpendicular to the conveyor centerline. The other auxiliary rollers must be adjusted to be parallel to these main rollers.

 

Defining the Conveyor Centerline

Select one end of the conveyor to begin with. For long and closed conveyors, use the centerline measurement of the housing opening as the starting reference mark. Using a piece of rigid steel, transfer the center reference mark of the opening to the open area next to the conveyor. Use a lead weight suspended from the steel to mark it on the floor for reference. The production line should be far enough away from the conveyor to allow for centralized transport. Position the outer centerline by repeating the transfer of the reference center mark to the outer area of the conveyor. There is now a reference line parallel to the theoretical centerline of the conveyor (called the outer centerline).

 

Setting up the transit

Set up the feedthrough system at one of the settings. Aim the threading system exactly in the second position and rotate the threading system 90 degrees to aim at the end rollers. Use this sighting to make a mark on the floor on the other side of the conveyor. Move the spacer system away from the first position. Using a chalk line, draw a line between this new point (the third position) and the first position. This line is now perpendicular to the outer centerline and parallel to the desired final roll position. Next, set the transit at the second position and the sight at the first position. Rotate the spacer system 90 degrees and use this sight to make a mark on the floor on the other side of the conveyor. Move the spacer system away from the second position. You now have a line perpendicular to the outer center line and parallel to the desired end reel position.

 

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Align the head and tail pulleys

For each end, use the line established above to measure from the line to the rolls on the left and right sides of the roll. This can be done by hanging a lead hammer over the end roll and measuring that mark back to the line. Make sure the two measurements are equal. If not, adjust the rollers in the bearings to balance them. Repeat this process at the other end. Your head and tail pulleys are now parallel to each other and perpendicular to the centerline of the unit.

 

Aligning the cushion rollers

Align the remaining rollers (cushion, tighten, return) with the end rollers. This can be done by measuring back from the main end rolls to the rolls that need to be aligned. To avoid errors, measure directly from the end rolls to the aligned rolls. An alternative method is to repeat the measurement process done on the head and tail pulleys using the 2 parallel lines created in the steps above. The ultimate goal is to ensure that all rollers are parallel to each other and perpendicular to the conveyor centerline.

Note: Do not hold these auxiliary rollers in place. In some cases, they are used to track the belt. On new conveyors and/or when installing new conveyors, all support rollers should be aligned parallel to the end rollers prior to installing the conveyor.

 

Your conveyor is now aligned and ready for continuous operation. By following these steps, you should be able to avoid future misalignments. 

 

For more information about our diverse conveyor portfolio, please feel free to call or email and we will be happy to help you.

 

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