Dec 09, 2019
Conveyor Chain Stretch Will Drag Profits Next Season
For the toolbox tips this December, plant repairs during the down season take center stage. The tip this week isn’t all that “quick,” but should help you assess the drag slat conveyor and chain so you have optimal production next spring.
The phenomenon of stretching is what happens when pins and bushings wear enough to give extra space and elongation in the chain. When you lose the efficiency of the chain, you lose profits. Start your maintenance of the conveyor and chain by locking out and tagging out. Take the stored energy of the conveyor into consideration, as well. Make sure you block out the conveyor so it cannot move on you.
Now you’re ready to remove a pin and check it for wear. One side will show more wear than the other. If it’s showing 50 percent wear depth, you need to decide (before season startup) if you’ll replace the chain. (Hint: you probably should do that now as opposed to during the height of production.)
Next, look at sprockets. You can check with the OEM’s specs to see what the original thickness of sprockets was and what the OEM says is reasonable wear and acceptable thickness. A change-out now saves a breakdown next summer.
Look at the slats for thickness as well. Also check them for bending. You want to replace bent slats.
Then the final piece of the conveyor to assess is the floor place. You’ll want to replace or rebuild any worn areas.
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