Preventative Maintenance: key to conveyor longevity

March 25, 2015

A Minute with Travis: Service and Support Specialist

As a seasoned member of the service team, Travis has some key insights on how to ensure you get the maximum lifespan out of our conveying equipment, in particular, our TipTrak bucket conveyor. With units that have been in service for over 45 years, there are some common practices that have been implemented to ensure that they work as well today as they did when they were first installed. He attributed 3 factors to their longevity: preventative maintenance, keeping parts inventory on hand and the proper training of employees on our equipment. Today, we will focus on the first of the 3 pronged approach to ensuring your conveyor stands the test of time.

1. Preventative Maintenance

We recommend a maintenance schedule that involves a machine examination every 500 hours of operation. For customers that operate their TipTrak™ 24 hours a day, 7 days a week this will equate to approximately once per month. If the bucket conveyor runs less frequently, the schedule can vary between once every 6 weeks to 12 weeks. This timing of these inspections is also dependent on the material you are conveying and the plant conditions. For example, if the product is very abrasive, you may want to decrease the time between inspections. More frequent inspections will also help your operators become more familiar with the TipTrak™ and enable them to notice problems or oddities as they occur. The five key areas that should be checked are:

  • Area around and in the TipTrak™ bucket conveyor. Check for spillage of material or build-up in the lower horizontal section. It can interfere with the travel of the bucket assembly. Proper feeding and having an unobstructed discharge of the material are very important to guarantee “trouble free” operation.
  • Motor & Gearmotor – check to ensure that it is operating properly. We include the manufacturers recommendations for the motor in the TipTrak™ Installation & Maintenance Manual.
  • Inspect Each Individual Bucket. Look at the shape of the bucket, is it stressed showing white marks or is there any damage or cracks. Check the joint strips connecting the buckets to make sure they are secure.
  • Rubber ‘beltchain’. Check for premature wear or cracking. Tighten the socket head cap screws in the mechanical joints (where the belting is joined). Proper tensioning can optimize the TipTrak™’s overall performance
  • Bearings & Pulleys. Ensure that all set screws are tightened as well.

All of the above preventative maintenance recommendations are found in the TipTrak™ manual provided with your order. In our subsequent post, we will look at maintenance preparedness or the importance of parts inventory.

If you would like to know more about preventative maintenance please contact 905-885-8168, fill out our support form or service@unitrak.com

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