Conveyor Maintenance & Support: Key issues

Why is maintenance of your conveyor and related systems important? The costs of the repair are usually the least of your worries. Damage to your good name is a cost you cant afford and failure to keep your system running efficiently, and repair quickly when needed, means failed deliverables and a loss of reputation no one wants. So good maintenance and highly skilled engineers used to diagnose and repair your systems promptly when they do let you down are critical to your organisation.

Below, we identify some of the most common reasons for breakdowns.
1. DAMAGED EMERGENCY STOPS
Emergency stop buttons are vulnerable by their very nature. Designed to fail to safe, they can be damaged and later stop your system at any time.

2. MISALIGNED / DIRTY PECs
The number of stoppages due to this is amazing. A simple wipe with a duster and check for loose fixings on a regular basis can work wonders.

3. DRIVE SPROCKET DAMAGE
Worn & broken sprocket teeth caused by not following recommended maintenance procedures can lead to noise and vibration, broken seals, damaged shafts and worse.

4. DRIVE CHAINS
Over or under tensioning of drive chains can lead to similar issues.

5. COUPLINGS
A regular point of failure due to the changing load requirements of many systems – this can also cause vibration throughout the system leading to other problems.

6. GEARED MOTOR FAILURE
Modern Geared motors are extremely reliable but proper, regular maintenance is still required to avoid expensive failures.

THE SOLUTION
Regular inspection throughout your system, especially at known points of vulnerability, is the best solution to keep it running to its optimum and to prevent unexpected failures.

At Diamond Phoenix we recognise that ongoing service & support are critical to the successful operation of our client’s enterprises. We offer our services for the support, maintenance, repair and upgrade of automated material handling systems provided by all manufacturers.

Diamond Phoenix Automation Ltd maintains a comprehensive network of service and maintenance engineers nationwide in the UK. They will repair & service your equipment on a determined schedule. As part of any annual service proposal, we also offer emergency breakdown support with an engineer guaranteed on site in less than 4hours to all but the most remote sites. We use teams based around the UK & Ireland – all coordinated through our own directly employed staff from our HQ in Central Milton Keynes – which can be accessed 24/7 through our 0800 priority telephone service.

Our customer base includes many blue chip companies. Clients utilising our service department in the UK include: Ikea, Lear Corporation, Wagg Petfoods, Nikon, Marks & Spencer, Dental Directory, Rolls-Royce, DHL, etc.

Please contact us to arrange for a consultation with our Service & Installation Manager
Call 01908 255930 or send an email to info@diamondphoenix.co.uk

Tote conveyor / carton conveyor

6 Tips for Better Conveyor System Maintenance

In the midst of a challenging economy and shrinking capital budgets, many companies are faced with the daunting challenge of keeping aging conveyor systems up and running well past when they’d ordinarily be heading to the scrap yard. Unlike a fine wine, mechanical equipment doesn’t usually get better with age. But there is hope for those who don’t have the luxury of upgrading to a brand new, state-of-the-art system any time soon, and Diamond Phoenix can help.

Here are a few conveyor system maintenance tips to keep those belts a-turning.

1. Maintenance Technician
The most commonly under appreciated heroes of every facility are the men and women wearing tool belts. One of the biggest mistakes we see companies make is to either not hire a maintenance technician or underpay one. Think about it, would you go to the cheapest doctor in town if you were sick? A good technician will correct small problems before they become big ones. In life, it all comes down to how you want to spend your money. Would you rather spend money on lost sales and unhappy customers when your system goes down and you can’t get the product out the door, or on a great maintenance technician? Hiring a good maintenance technician is not easy, and Diamond Phoenix can help by providing the right person for the job.

2. Spare Parts
Sell me a mechanical part that never needs to be replaced, and I’ll find you a sea front property in the Cotswold’s. There are certain things in this world you can pretty much bank on. The sun will come up tomorrow. Arsenal won’t win the Champions League. And mechanical parts are eventually going to fail (most likely at the worst possible time). Depending upon which part fails, a breakdown can halt production for a long time. Go long periods without replacing a failed part and serious damage could be inflicted on other parts of the system. We highly recommend keeping a safety stock of all critical and long lead time conveyor parts on hand. If this is not in the budget, we can work with you to ensure your critical parts are kept in stock at our warehouse.

3. Preventive Maintenance
If you only plan to fix stuff when it breaks, you’re going to be very busy fixing stuff. Mechanical equipment–including conveyors–must be maintained. Different parts of your system require different levels of preventive care. It’s no different than your car. Follow the recommended service schedule, and it will run a very long time. Don’t perform service on the car, and you’ll constantly be sitting on the side of the road. Diamond Phoenix can work with you to develop a comprehensive preventive maintenance plan. By following this, you will ensure yourself maximum system up-time.

4. System Audit & Documentation
It’s important to continually inspect your conveyor system to ensure it’s running smoothly. A lot of times you can hear and smell a small problem long before it becomes a big one. Unfortunately, those who are around the system every day have a hard time telling when something fails slowly over time. Diamond Phoenix can help by coming in and performing a complete system audit. By inspecting your entire system you will help ensure it is not headed toward catastrophic failure.

5. Obsolete Equipment & Parts
Sometimes money prohibits replacing entire systems. However, it’s important to stay current on what conveyor and parts within your system are obsolete and no longer being manufactured. Knowing this can help you and your company make wise business decisions. For example, if we know a particular type of conveyor is no longer being manufactured, we may determine it would be more financially prudent to stock additional spare parts for this piece of equipment than replace it in its entirety. Diamond Phoenix is constantly being made aware of equipment that is becoming obsolete, and we can help you prepare for this situation.

6. Repair Wisely
Maintaining a large material handling system can be overwhelming. It’s important that we think of needed repairs in terms of time. For example, if a bearing goes out in a center drive, the cost effective thing to do would be to replace the bearing only. However, the intelligent thing to do would be to replace both bearings and possibly the pulley. Taking the drive section apart takes time, usually a lot more time than actually changing out the components. It’s important to fix things intelligently. Maintaining conveyors can be a daunting job. However, with a little bit of organization and thought, you can extend the life of a conveyor system well beyond what the manufacturer claims.