PFlow Industries, Inc.
Since 1977, PFlow has been solely devoted to the design and manufacturer of vertical reciprocating conveyors (VRC’s) material handling equipment, systems, and specials. As the VRC pioneer, PFlow has led the industry from the start.
6720 N. Teutonia Avenue Milwaukee, WI, 53209 USA


6720 N. Teutonia Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53209
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Do you use a vertical conveyor belt during your typical day? If so, then you can understand the importance of maintaining its upkeep.

If you notice even the slightest problem with your conveyor, it’s important to take care of the problem immediately. If left unattended, problems can speed up the deterioration of your belt and make your job that much more difficult.

But, how exactly do you fix a vertical conveyor if you’ve never had to before? Don’t fret. We’ve put together four easy tips and tricks on how to troubleshoot a malfunctioning conveyor.

1. Use Protective Gear

If you’ve noticed a malfunction or oddity in your conveyor, don’t just jump to start trying to fix things. Make it a priority to wear protective gear and take precaution when approaching the machine.

This goes the same for any coworkers trying to fix the conveyor. Make sure they wear protective goggles and be mindful of where they place their hands. Conveyors use an incredible amount of electricity at one time. And, if you put your hands on the belt, it could result in broken fingers or something worse.

Number one rule of thumb when trying to troubleshoot a machine? Be overcautious.

2. Look and Listen Before Fixing

vertical conveyor being used to manufacture ice creamHere’s a handy trick: Take a screwdriver and put the metal tip to a roller shaft. Now place your ear on the handle. You should be able to hear if the machine is running smoothly or not.

If you hear that the machine is making weird noises, it might be a loose drive chain or screw. Turn off the vertical conveyor and tighten the loose parts. If these parts can’t be saved, replace them immediately.

3. Help, My Vertical Conveyor Won’t Start!

Don’t panic. If you went to start your conveyor and nothing happened, it’s probably one of two things: Either you overloaded the conveyor or the conveyor is drawing too much electricity. Check your conveyor manual and identify its maximum allowed weight capacity. Make sure you’re not overloading your conveyor.

Also, be sure to check the circuit breaker and that it is still functioning. A conveyor can blow a circuit breaker if it’s forced to operate at a speed and limit for which it was not designed. This is because it forces the conveyor to draw more energy than it was designed to handle.

4. How Are Your Photo Eyes?

One of the most common reasons conveyors have issues is misaligned photo eyes. This could be misinterpreted as a need for a larger part or service to fix the machine when in actuality neither are needed.

Misaligned photo eyes can easily be missed in a daily conveyor inspection because even if a photo eye is a little out of line, it will still reflect the beam back. It is also worth mentioning that the smallest thing could block a photo eye, thus stopping the machine from moving.

Your solution could be as simple as cleaning the photo eyes of the conveyor. If that doesn’t work, the eyes could be misaligned. Check the alignment to make sure the photo eyes are centered on the reflector.

Still Need Help With Your VRC?

We recognize that these tips and tricks for correcting your conveyor problems may not fix every problem with every vertical conveyor in use. VRCs are complicated machines that see a lot of wear and tear. If your problem is on a larger scale, don’t risk damaging your equipment. Use wisdom and recognize when it’s time to get help from a specialist or the manufacturer.