Nothing about a conveyor belt is simple, no matter how they look on the outside. The conveyors themselves require a thousand little pieces to be working perfectly in sync in order to properly do its job. Using one for your distribution business is standard, and you should know how to keep up with conveyor belt maintenance.

Check Them (At Least) Twice a Day

You or one of your employees should be inspecting your conveyor belt before it’s turned on for the day. A quick check can reveal potential problem areas such as exposed wiring or a missing belt. You should also be regularly doing deeper inspections where you take a look at some of the smaller, finer parts of the machine to know when it’s time to replace those pieces.

Clean the Belt

Even if your conveyor belt is in perfect working order, something getting stuck and cycling through the system can cause massive damage. Depending on the conveyor belt model you have, even small particles like dirt and dust and build up and cause delays or even breakdowns. Be sure that you’re regularly cleaning the belt and greasing the moving parts that need it. This will help reduce the wear and tear that plagues machines like these.

Track the Lifespan

Depending on the kind of business you run, there are different lengths of time you can use a belt before it needs a replacement. For example, if you run a meatpacking facility, you should be changing the belt every shift to keep contaminants to a minimum and prevent a massive outbreak of disease in case you’re sent bad meat. A typical distribution center, however, can get away with replacing the belt once every five to ten years. Make sure you know how long your specific belt should last for the work you’re doing—if you find that you replace your belts every month when they should last for five years, you probably have an issue with your machine. This is a key component for how to keep up with conveyor belt maintenance.

Running a business is hard, but it’s harder if you don’t know how to properly maintain your conveyor belt. Luckily, there are a number of easy ways you can be sure that your machine stays in working order. Daily tasks like inspection and cleaning can go a long way in making sure the lifespan of the belt and the machine are as long as they can be.

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.