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Don’t Forget to Routinely Inspect Belts

It is very easy to install new belts on equipment and forget about them until problems arise. It is important that PM’s be set up at proper intervals to inspect belts for wear, damage and proper tension.

A few things that should always be inspected or noticed during these PM’s are:

  • Wear in the grooves for V-belts, using a sheave gauge and following supplier recommendations. Rusted or pitted sheaves should be replaced. Otherwise, belt damage/wear and premature failure can easily result.
  • Shiny grooves. These can indicate heavy wear.
  • Corrosion on the sheave and especially in the grooves. Corrosion will build up and rapidly wear the belt and result in premature failure. Sheave should be replaced if corrosion is found.
  • Bent sides. This can introduce wear and damage the belts.
  • Replace all belts and never a single belt. Mixing old and new belts results in the load not being shared evenly and could easily lead to damage, premature belt failure and sheave wear. Preferably use a factory matched set. Don’t mix belts from different manufacturers.
  • Noisy belts can be identified using a squirt bottle with soapy water. Spray the belt during operation with the soapy water. If the noise level changes, then the belt is part of the problem. It should be inspected for damage, proper tension, etc. If the noise remains, then most likely the belt is not part of the problem.
  • Ensure that the sheaves are properly aligned. Misalignment will result in premature wear and damage.

Learn about LUDECA's laser pulley alignment tools

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