Gravity conveyors, conveyor belts, and their distant cousin gravity flow racks are crucial installations in most warehouses these days.

Thanks to their ability to move products more quickly across a set path, conveyors are a popular option for any warehouse that needs to get inventory from point A to point B without a lot of interruption or slowdown.

Of course, like any warehouse installation, conveyors are prone to wear and tear, especially under heavy loads during the holiday rush or massive sales. Don’t think you suddenly have to replace your conveyors every time you use them, though—with a few simple maintenance tips, you can get more life out of your warehouse conveyors, even under less-than-ideal conditions.

Here’s four ways to make the most out of your conveyor belts:

 

Use corrosion resistant materials: Most gravity conveyors or conveyor belts are built with a number of different material options for the rollers and the belt frames. Even if your warehouse isn’t located in a particularly humid area, make sure you use a corrosion-resistant material like stainless steel or plastic to prevent rust or damage during use.

 

Keep conveyors away from grit-producing areas: If your warehouse produces the items it sells, or even if it produces a lot of dust and debris during item handling, keeping your conveyors separate from these areas will go a long way towards preventing the buildup of grit and dust in the rollers. Use security curtains where possible, or if the layout of your warehouse allows it, try to plan a traffic route that doesn’t require your conveyors to go through the dirtiest areas of the warehouse.

 

Reduce moisture and humidity as able: Similarly, the best way to extend the longevity of your conveyor is to try and remove it from areas with a lot of moisture and humidity. Products that increase moisture such as frozen foods and cold goods should be transported by hand, or at least have their contact with the conveyor minimized as able. If you need to transport damp goods via a conveyor, make sure to design your floor plan so the moisture can drain away from the belt and prevent rust from forming.

 

Follow proper washdown procedures: Inevitably, no matter how hard you try, your conveyors will need to be washed eventually. When the time comes, don’t just go crazy with a hose and call it good—you’ll want to follow all manufacturer-specified cleaning procedures to prevent moisture from staying in the belt after you’re done. Only use the cleaning chemicals marked ‘safe’ by the belt’s manufacturer, and schedule these cleanings at regular intervals to ensure safe operation.

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