How to Track or Center Conveyor Belts

By Martin Cole

A conveyor belt is a loop of material wrapped around two pulleys. One of these is powered and moves the belt around in a cycle. Items placed on one end of the belt will be automatically transported to the other end. If the belt runs slightly to the left of right of center, there is a problem with the alignment or leveling. This can easily be put right.

Step 1

Decide if your belt is too tight or too slack. It should ideally not have any slippage between the belt and the pulley. Also, the belt should also conform to the crown on the pulleys. Any more tension than this should be avoided as it could tear the belt seam.

Step 2

Pull the right bearing outward to make the head roller move in a direction that will tighten the belt.

Step 3

Push the left bearing in to move the head roller in the direction that will slacken the belt.

Step 4

Make a sight adjustment, then check the belt. Make another adjustment and check again. Small alterations are recommended so that you do not overly loosen or tighten the belt and cause problems.

Step 5

Repeat this process until the belt looks centered to you.

Step 6

Clean the belt. Anything on the belt that shouldn’t be there can alter the tracking.

Step 7

Check that the snub rollers, carry idlers, return idlers and pulleys are all parallel to each other.

Step 8

Make sure they are also perpendicular to the belt center line and square with the frame. If the belt passes these tests, it seems to be centered, but four final tests will confirm this.

Step 9

Start the conveyer belt in a return run, toward the tail pulley. The belt should be empty. Watch this for three belt revolutions.

Step 10

Run the machine in the standard direction for another three belt revolutions.

Step 11

Add a full-load to the belt and run it in reverse order for three belt revolutions. Conveyor belts track differently when weight is added.

Step 12

Watch the machine move in the standard direction with a full load. Turn it off after three belt revolutions.

Step 13

Move back an idler if the belt has over adjusted. You can do this as the belt is running.

About the Author

Based in the U.K., Martin Cole has been writing since 2009. His articles have been published in "The Evening Chronicle," "The Journal" and "The Sunday Sun." He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Northumbria University.