Common Conveyor Belt Problems and How to Fix Them?

Common Conveyor Belt Problems and How to Fix Them?

Conveyor belts are necessary structures within different sectors; they help in the transportation of materials. Nevertheless, like any equipment utilized, they are vulnerable to some issues that may cause stoppage and, thus, decreased efficiency. Familiarizing yourself with problems which may appear with conveyor belts and knowing how to deal with them can prevent interruptions of work and increase useful life of the equipment. The following points will be dealt on this blog on how to troubleshoot some of the daily conveyor belt issues and their viable solutions. 

  1. Belt Mistracking 
  • Problem

Belt mistracking is a condition in which the conveyor belt centers itself or drifts to one side. This results in belt damage, spillage, and shortening of the life cycle of the conveyor system and its components. 

  • Causes

This is because there will be a difference in the time that the material spends on a belt conveyor moving from the loading point to the terminal point and that of the bulk material spending in a receiving point such as a storage bin or a surge hopper. 

  1. Uneven belt tension 
  2. Worn or damaged rollers 
  3. Accumulation of material on the belt or on the rollers
  •  Fixes 
  1. Alignment Check: He should also check the square and alignment of both the conveyor frame and all the rollers relative to the structure. 
  2. Adjust Tension: Make sure that the belt tension is equal all the way across from the inner edge to the outer edge of the belt. If the take up or tensioning device has not been properly adjusted follow the procedure to adjust it. 
  3. Clean Rollers: The rollers and belt should also be sometimes cleaned so that there is no build up of material that will cause the misalignment of the two. 
  4. Use Tracking Devices: Utilize tracking idlers, crowned pulleys, or apply sensors that will adjust the belt track path if it is crooked. 

2. Slippage 

  • Problem

Belt slip gives the situation whereby the belt does not adhere to the pulleys in a proper manner, thus they slip and do not perform the expected movement. 

  • Causes 
  1. Insufficient belt tension 
  2. Worn or damaged pulleys 
  3. Impurities such as oil or water over the belt 
  •  Fixes
  1. Increase Tension: If they are loose, turn the take-up system to allow for more tension on the conveyor belt. 
  2. Replace Pulleys: Check and ensure that the pulleys are not worn out and replace them if that is the case. 
  3. Clean Belt: As a next step, clean the belt and pulleys to ensure that there are no debris, dust or greasy build up on any part. Make sure that the working environment is slip free from any substances that can cause this. 

 3. Belt Wear 

  • Problem 

This situation exposes the conveyor belt to wear out very quickly and to ensure that it is always in good condition it will need replacement more often, a factor that raises the cost of maintenance. 

  • Causes
  1. The contact of rough or sharp face or crest of the material being conveyed. 
  2. Misalignment and mistracking 
  3. Poor-quality belt materials 
  4. Insufficient maintenance 
  • Fixes
  1. Material Handling: Ensure that the materials being conveyed do not have sharp edges that can cut or wear the belt.
  2. Proper Alignment: Maintain proper alignment to prevent edge wear and uneven wear patterns.
  3. Quality Belts: Invest in high-quality belts that are suited to the specific application and material being transported.
  4. Regular Maintenance: Conduct regular inspections and maintenance to identify and address wear issues early.

4. Material Spillage 

  • Problem

Material spillage is when material falls off the conveyor belt hence causing wastage, calling for cleaning, and possible health risks. 

  •  Causes 
  1. Improper loading or unloading 
  2. Belt mistracking 
  3. Overloading the conveyor system
  •  Fixes 
  1. Load Centering: Again, it is advisable to load materials on the center of the belt to avoid having spillages. 
  2. Belt Skirting: The second acceptable additional conveyor layout recommendation involves putting in the belt skirting on the sides of the conveyor to minimize spilling or dropping of the material. 
  3. Regular Cleaning: Ensure that the conveyor system is cleaned often so that accumulation which causes spillage is cleared. 
  4. Proper Loading Techniques: Communicate to the operators on how to load so that they do not overload and or dump a lot of material on one part of the train. 

 5. Belt Damage 

  • Problem 

Conveyor belts in particular, if they are torn, punctured or have ragged edges, will become ineffective and will not last as long as they are supposed to. 

  •  Causes
  1. Sharp or heavy objects 
  2. Excessive load 
  3. Mistracking 
  4. Poor-quality belt material 
  •  Fixes 
  1. Immediate Repairs: Any problem with the belts should be fixed as soon as possible in order to avoid progression to the next stage. The customer can mend small holes in the belt using the repair kits or patch the belts in case of a tear. 
  2. Preventive Measures: Provide the belt with necessary protective accessories as impact beds or rubber lagging to help in breaking the shocks caused by heavy /sharp dropping material. 
  3. Quality Belts: Employ belts that are made from strong materials that can be used for the intended function because the belts play a critical role in the productivity of the machines. 
  4. Proper Handling: Make sure they or materials they convey do not overload the belt and are loaded with extreme caution. 

 6. Pulley Problems 

  • Problem 

Belt misalignment, slipping and excessive wear is a common consequence of a misaligned or worn pulley. 

  • Causes
  1. Misaligned pulleys 
  2. Pulley lagging that has become old, brittle, or damaged 
  3. Accumulation of substances on the pulleys 
  •  Fixes 
  1. Alignment: It is suggested that every once in a while, look at and straighten all belt pulleys to be right with the frame of the conveyor.
  2. Lagging Replacement: Replace worn/outside pulley lagging to provide the extra grip and to prolong the life span.
  3. Regular Cleaning: This is done to ensure that there is no formation of material that will compromise the performance of the pulleys.

7. Motor and Drive Issues 

  • Problem 

Motor and drive concerns lead to the ineffective working of the conveyor belt or complete non-functioning conveyor belt. 

  • Causes 
  1. Overheating motors 
  2. Misaligned drives 
  3. Worn-out drive components 
  •  Fixes
  1. Cooling Systems: Make sure that motors have proper cooling systems which should be proper to avoid overheating of motors. 
  2. Drive Alignment: Drives should be checked and properly aligned to help them work as required. 
  3. Maintenance: Regularly service drive components, and replace any part necessary. 

 8. Noise and Vibration 

  • Problem

Any form of loud noise and vibration in the conveying system should give a form of alarm since it only compounds the problem at hand. 

  • Causes 
  1. Misaligned components 
  2. Loose or damaged parts 
  3. Imbalanced load 
  •  Fixes 
  1. Inspection: Often check the conveyor to ensure it is aligned properly and all of the parts are properly secured and not worn out or broken. 
  2. Balancing: Ensure that the load is correctly placed so that you do not create a problem on the loaded side. 
  3. Tightening: Secure any moving, loose parts so that there is less noise and vibration. 


It is always advised to attend to the numerous conveyor belt issues as soon as they occur to enhance the industrial processes’ efficiency in the organization. Proper preventive maintenance and often timely repairs can be a great way to increase the lifetime of these conveyors and, therefore, decrease working-stoppage time related to the conveyor belts. Categorized into mistracking, slippage, wear, spillage, damage, pulley problems, motor and drive issues, noise, and vibration, the necessary solutions for these problems help businesses improve their conveyor systems’ performances and therefore boost their productivity. 

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