The Benefits of Installing a Conveyor Tracking Roller
Tracking rollers are fitted to belt conveyors to ensure proper tracking. Usually found on the return run of the conveyor belt, tracking rollers assist in keeping the belt aligned and centred on the conveyor system.
Tracking rollers can also be fitted on the carry side of the conveyor belt.
What Does It Do?
The purpose of the tracking roller is to simply keep the belt on track. One of the most common reasons for conveyor stoppages is conveyor belt mistracking.
Belt mistracking occurs when the conveyor belt is not properly centred on the conveyor frames. Tracking rollers are designed to minimise belt mistracking and assist in keeping the conveyor belt aligned and centred.
When the belt is not properly aligned, the belt can rub against the surrounding structures. This can result in severe damage to the conveyor belt, as well as the idler frames and conveyor structure itself.
Traditional Tracking Rollers
One of the most common methods of belt tracking is the use of a pivot belt tracking frame.
This method utilises the standard conveyor rollers, with the addition of a horizontal centre pivot and side guide rollers.
When the belt wanders to one side, the belt will come into contact with one of the side guide rollers. This causes the frame to pivot. The pivoting motion steers the belt back towards the middle of the conveyor.
The issue with the pivot design relates to the gap between the belt and side guide rollers. The gap creates a delay in the response to the movement of the belt. This may result in an over-correction in the conveyor belt which will continue to wander from one guide roller to the other.
In extreme cases, the pivot design can be a potential liability. When a serve tracking event occurs, the pivoting frame can move to a point where the pivot reaches its limit. The conveyor belt can then be forced up and over the side guide roller. This can lead to damage to the conveyor belt and surrounding equipment.
Another common issue that occurs is when the edges of the conveyor belt are worn prematurely or damaged due to contact with the traditional tracking rollers. If the centre pivot becomes worn or seized, which is a common event, the conveyor belt will not track properly and consistently rub and wear against the side guide rollers.
Benefits of DYNA-TRAC® Tracking Rollers
DYNA-TRAC® tracking rollers are a relatively low cost and low maintenance solution to belt tracking. Easily installed on most conveyor systems, DYNA-TRAC® tracking rollers are self-aligning and self-adjusting.
The self-adjusting mechanism uses belt forces provided by gravity, friction and balance to keep the belt aligned and centred while the belt is running.
Our design effectively steers the belt towards the centre of the conveyor without the need for side rollers or pivot frames.
By using conveyor belt forces to adjust the tracking, the tracking roller is constantly adjusting any small changes in the belt alignment. This eliminates any delayed response which is typical of the traditional tracking rollers.
The intuitive steering mechanism streamlines the correct steering response based on the force applied which helps to prevent over-correction.
Real Life Example of the Steering Mechanism
A great real life example of the DYNA-TRAC® tracking roller’s steering mechanism is when driving a car.
When a car is in motion, the driver constantly makes small changes to the steering wheel to keep the car in the centre of the lane. The driver ensures that the car does not leave its lane or come into contact with the curb.
When comparing the above scenario to what would occur with the traditional tracking rollers, the driver would wait until they hit the roadside curb before steering back towards the centre of the lane.
The driver would then continue to steer in that direction until they hit the opposite road side curb. When they come in contact with the opposite curb, they readjust back toward the centre again.
This back and forth curb contact continues indefinitely until either the car or the curb breaks. In this scenario, the curb acts as the side guide rollers.
On top of the improved tracking mechanism, another important feature of the DYNA-TRAC® tracking roller is the belt edges no longer need to come in contact with side guide rollers.
The traditional tracking roller design incorporated the side guide rollers as an essential part of the design. The side rollers are now redundant and have been removed.
This has eliminated any potential damage and wear to the conveyor belt which would normally be caused by the side guide rollers.
Dust Prevention and Sealing
The DYNA-TRAC® tracking rollers have enhanced dust sealing.
The seals have greater service life of the steering mechanism when compared to traditional tracking rollers.
Traditional tracking rollers frequently suffer from pivot bearing failure due to dust and other dirt entering the bearing. This mode of failure is heavily reduced in the DYNA-TRAC® tracking rollers thanks to the enhanced dust seals.
Cost Saving Benefits
The cost saving benefits of using the DYNA-TRAC® tracking rollers include:
• Minimised stoppages due to belt tracking
• Elimination of the side guide roller
• Improved dust sealing of the bearing
• Reduced maintenance
• Longer service life of the mechanism
• Longer service life for the conveyor belt
If you would like to find out more information on the DYNA-TRAC® tracking rollers, check out our tracking roller page.
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