Of all the things that can break down in your distribution center, your conveyor system just might be the worst. There's nothing more sure to bring your production to a standstill than a busted conveyor line, which adds insult to injury by not only sitting there motionless, but by doing sitting there in the most efficient path between two points. Yes, a broken conveyor is an ugly sight. Which is why you don't want it to happen to you. Lucky for you, there are plenty of ways to keep the unthinkable from happening, and most of them amount to common sense and a small amount of elbow grease.
Your operators are your eyes and ears on the ground. Literally. Train the folks who work on your conveyor lines to detect abnormalities by sight and sound, and tell them to report anything immediately to a supervisor. This goes hand in hand with regular daily inspections. Walk the line at the end of every shift to ensure that things are in order. Pay attention for the coughs and sniffles that could signify a full-blown cold to come.
Prevention is the Best Medicine
Don't even think about scrunching up your face at the idea of performing regular, preventative maintenance on your conveyor. You'll look a lot better to the boss if you have a perfect track record of keeping your conveyor lines functional than a half dozen instances of having fixed it when it broke. Desperation can inspire anyone to fix something. Responsibility means you don't allow things to break.
Have a Spare?
Some things are going to wear out faster than others, and you really have no choice but to keep an inventory of spare parts on hand just in case an O-ring or a bearing busts on you. There's no shame in that. Small repairs are a regular part of running a conveyor. You can't help it if some parts don't quite make it as far as they're advertised. Having a good maintenance tech on staff can ensure that you're up in running before you know it, by the way.
Keep It Clean
Conveyor will probably look good for about 8 hours after it's installed. In no time at all the dust, scrapes, clutter, and grime will begin to accumulate and eat away, first at the efficiency of your conveyor, then at the actual parts. Keep a regular cleaning rotation going for each part of the conveyor line. Not only will it perform better, but it'll force you to look more closely in the nooks and crannies where things are more likely to go wrong.
Dealing with new and used conveyor, we at Speedrack Midwest have seen it all when it comes to installing, maintaining, fixing, and salvaging it. If you're sick to death of an irascible conveyor system that can't keep up with your operation, it might be time to call our Sparta, Michigan office at 616-887-8886 or contact us online and tell us what you're looking for in a conveyor. We're here to help you find the right conveyor for the job, and make sure it's working the way you need it to.