Prab Inc., a manufacturer of equipment and systems for processing metal scrap that is based in Kalamazoo, Michigan, has released the Auto-Take Up System as a conveyor enhancement that automatically tightens belts and eliminates the need for manual adjustments.
As chains on conveyance systems age, they stretch, which is one of the most common causes of premature belt wear and unplanned conveyor maintenance. According to a news release from Prab Inc., a stretched chain can cause the belt to slip off of the sprocket and fold up under itself, leading to belt damage, stopped production and downtime.
To prevent a belt failure, operators have traditionally performed manual belt adjustments, which require the machine to be shut off while an operator crawls into a pit underneath the press to check the belt’s tension and tighten it with a wrench. Prab says this type of maintenance typically needs to be repeated twice a year.
To prevent these maintenance concerns, Prab reports that its Auto-Take Up enhancement monitors tension using load cells on chain conveyors, including steel belt conveyors, drag conveyors and the Prab ScrapVeyor. The system is wired to a PLC control panel, which monitors tension and automatically tightens the belt to eliminate the need for manual adjustments and downtime.
Prab says the enhancement can be added to new conveyors or retrofitted onto existing models. If retrofitted onto an existing conveyor, the system can be operated using that conveyor’s original control panel. Automatic adjustments can be scheduled to be completed during low production times or shift changes.
“Manual belt tightening increases downtime for preventive maintenance and, if not addressed properly, risks a belt failure that can damage the conveyor,” says Mike Hook, sales and marketing director at Prab. “The Auto-Take Up eliminates the need for manual belt adjustments for improved conveyor uptime.”