Best way to track a conveyor
The best way to track a conveyor belt is to automate the process. Uneven tension, product build-up, temperature changes, reversing applications, and bad splices can all make tracking a conveyor belt difficult and dynamic. By automating the process you can save operator's time and line downtime. Here a few ways your tracking system can be setup.
Single side cylinder single edge sensor operation:
The air cylinder has two adjustable positions, extended or retracted, that correspond to the engaged or disengaged position of the sensor valve. The cylinder skews the rollers to either bring the belt toward the sensor or push it away from the sensor. When the belt is not pushing the paddle, the valve is not activated. This causes rollers to be skewed to bring the belt towards the sensor paddle. When the belt hits the sensor paddle, the valve is activated causing the air cylinder to move to the opposite position. This skews the rollers in the other direction and the belt responds by moving away from the sensor. The tracker will continue this cycle as the belt intermittently contacts the sensor paddle. This setup generally tracks within +/- 1/8”.
Dual cylinder single sensor operation:
This setup works like the single side setup but there is an air cylinder on each side of the tracker. The air cylinders act in opposite directions to increase the amount of roller skew. The advantage to the dual cylinder setup is more tracking power. This setup generally tracks within +/- 1/8”.
Dual cylinder dual side sensing operation:
The dual system has a cylinder and a sensor on each side of the belt. Each air cylinder has two positions, extended or retracted. If the belt moves to one side, contacting one of the sensor paddles, the air cylinder should activate creating a skew angle with the rollers. This will cause the belt to move away from the paddle. When the belt comes off the paddle the tracker will skew the rollers back to a neutral position. This tracker setup maintains the belt between two set sensor paddle positions. This setup generally tracks within +/- ¼” plus the distance that the user sets the paddles off the belt.
The single cylinder single sensor setup offers tighter tracking.
The dual cylinder single sensor setup offers tight tracking with more available stroke (tracking power).
Dual cylinder dual sensor setup offers less active cylinder movement with a neutral position. However this setup does not track as tight as the single sensor setups. It also eliminates the stationary side. Many times in the field, especially in oven rooms where personnel is limited, the user will move the stationary plate on the tracker to temporarily correct a problem and never move the plate back and the tracker is off centered.