Maintenance Technology October 2016 - 38


POWER TRANSMISSION

Keep MDRs
Rolling

Regularly performed proper inspections and best-practice maintenance procedures help keep motorized-drive roller conveyors healthy and running smoothly.

MOTORIZED-DRIVE ROLLER (MDR) conveyors have come
a long way since being introduced to material-handling industries. The days of loud, clunky systems that were complicated
to set up and run are gone. Modern MDRs are quiet, energy
efficient, and simple to operate. According to Ray Kozlowski,
director of service and support for Milwaukee-based Hilmot
(hilmot.com), these systems are also easy to maintain.
Today's MDRs are designed to keep pace with manufacturing
and distribution centers that operate around the clock-sites
that can't afford critical conveyors to go down, for any length of
time. Such situations are less of a worry where proper inspections and preventive maintenance (PM) procedures are regularly
performed.
As with other systems, the key to keeping MDRs up and
running is preventing problems from occurring or catching
them before they become major issues. The right way to do this,
Kozlowski stated, is to establish an inspection and maintenance
schedule that coincides with PM checks of other machinery in
your facility. He offers the following tips.

Inspect these items weekly (at a minimum).
The rubber O-bands that loop between MDR rollers are
common wear items. (They're what move the rollers and
propel packages and other items along the conveyor.) Much
like tires on a car, O-bands deteriorate and occasionally
need to be replaced. Visually inspect them for signs of wear,
cracks, frays, or loss of elasticity.
Inspect other mechanical components to make sure
everything is tight, in place, and serviceable. These inspections should include:
■ checking MDR roller speeds, and readjusting as needed
■ checking strip and full-width belts on belted-zone
conveyors for proper tension and tracking, and adjusting
as needed
■ checking divert pins, timing belts, and hardware, and
replacing as needed
■ checking support legs and guard rail for stability
■ checking end plates, divert mechanisms, and carrier
rollers.
Inspect the MDR electrical system to make sure components are clean and free of dust. These inspections should
include:
■ checking drive cards for proper function
■ checking photo eyes, and adjusting beam path as needed
■ checking that system LED lights are green, not red
■ removing covers on power-supply enclosures and
blowing clean air through them to remove dust and
debris.
Manage parts and tools to minimize downtime.
It's a good idea to keep a bench stock of common replacement parts. In addition to O-bands, consider stocking
electrical components, since it can be difficult to predict
when they might fail. Typical items include:
■ drive cards
■ power supplies
■ motorized rollers
■ photo eyes.
A basic set of tools will suffice when performing preventive maintenance on MDRs. Your tool set should include:
■ 3/8-in. drive ratchet and sockets
■ matching wrench set
■ standard flat-tip and Phillips screwdrivers
■ terminal screwdrivers
■ wire stripper
■ channel-lock pliers.
Stay abreast of best practices.
To aid in the inspection and maintenance process, some
MDR manufacturers offer instructional how-to videos
on YouTube and elsewhere. They can be an important
resource for your plant. After all, adhering to best-practice
inspection standards and catching (and dealing with)
issues before they become bigger problems is an effective
approach to keeping your MDR conveyor-and facility-
rolling along. MT
-Jane Alexander, Managing Editor

For more information on motorized and conventional conveyor systems, including questions about their maintenance,
visit hilmot.com or email rayk@hilmot.com

38 |

MAINTENANCE TECHNOLOGY

OCTOBER 2016


http://www.hilmot.com http://www.hilmot.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Maintenance Technology October 2016

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Maintenance Technology October 2016 - Cover1
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