Take the right steps to ensure proper drive belt alignment

05/24/2006


Misalignment is one of the most common causes of premature belt failure. Depending on its severity, misalignment can gradually reduce belt performance by increasing wear and fatigue, or it can destroy a belt in a matter of hours or days. While the forms of misalignment may be fairly well understood, accurate measurements and acceptable limits must be determined if maintenance personnel are to take corrective action.

Types of alignment

Any degree of misalignment, angular or parallel, can decrease the normal service life of a belt drive.

Angular misalignment results in accelerated belt/sheave wear and potential belt stability problems with individual V-belts. A related problem, uneven belt and cord loading, results in unequal load sharing within multiple belt drives, and can lead to premature failure. Joined V-belts can suffer tie band separation when operating under misaligned conditions. Belt application engineers caution that angular misalignment has a severe effect on the performance of synchronous belt drives.

Symptoms such as high belt tracking forces, uneven tooth/land wear, edge wear, high noise levels, and tensile failure due to uneven cord loading are typical indicators of misalignment. Also, wide synchronous belts are more sensitive to angular misalignment than narrow belts.

Parallel misalignment results in accelerated belt/sheave wear and potential belt stability problems with individual V-belts. Uneven belt and cord loading is not as significant as with angular misalignment. Parallel misalignment affects V-belts more than synchronous belts. V-belts run in fixed grooves and cannot free float between flanges as synchronous belts can, to a limited degree.

Parallel misalignment is generally not a critical concern with synchronous belt drives as long as the belt is not trapped or pinched between opposite flanges, and as long as the belt tracks completely on both sprockets.

Synchronous sprockets are designed with face widths greater than belt widths to prevent problems associated with tolerance accumulation, and to allow for a small amount (fractions of an inch) of mounting offset.

As long as the width between opposite sprocket flanges exceeds belt width, the belt will automatically align itself properly as it seeks a comfortable operating position on both sprockets.It is normal for a synchronous belt to lightly contact at least one of the sprocket flanges in the system while operating.Synchronous belts rarely run in the middle of the sprockets.

See the June issue of PLANT ENGINEERING for the complete story.





Top Plant
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America.
Product of the Year
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
System Integrator of the Year
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
October 2018
Tools vs. sensors, functional safety, compressor rental, an operational network of maintenance and safety
September 2018
2018 Engineering Leaders under 40, Women in Engineering, Six ways to reduce waste in manufacturing, and Four robot implementation challenges.
July/Aug
GAMS preview, 2018 Mid-Year Report, EAM and Safety
October 2018
2018 Product of the Year; Subsurface data methodologies; Digital twins; Well lifecycle data
August 2018
SCADA standardization, capital expenditures, data-driven drilling and execution
June 2018
Machine learning, produced water benefits, programming cavity pumps
Spring 2018
Burners for heat-treating furnaces, CHP, dryers, gas humidification, and more
October 2018
Complex upgrades for system integrators; Process control safety and compliance
September 2018
Effective process analytics; Four reasons why LTE networks are not IIoT ready

Annual Salary Survey

After two years of economic concerns, manufacturing leaders once again have homed in on the single biggest issue facing their operations:

It's the workers—or more specifically, the lack of workers.

The 2017 Plant Engineering Salary Survey looks at not just what plant managers make, but what they think. As they look across their plants today, plant managers say they don’t have the operational depth to take on the new technologies and new challenges of global manufacturing.

Read more: 2017 Salary Survey

The Maintenance and Reliability Coach's blog
Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
One Voice for Manufacturing
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Maintenance and Reliability Professionals Blog
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Machine Safety
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
Research Analyst Blog
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Marshall on Maintenance
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
Lachance on CMMS
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
Material Handling
This digital report explains how everything from conveyors and robots to automatic picking systems and digital orders have evolved to keep pace with the speed of change in the supply chain.
Electrical Safety Update
This digital report explains how plant engineers need to take greater care when it comes to electrical safety incidents on the plant floor.
IIoT: Machines, Equipment, & Asset Management
Articles in this digital report highlight technologies that enable Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies.
Randy Steele
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Matthew J. Woo, PE, RCDD, LEED AP BD+C
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Randy Oliver
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
Data Centers: Impacts of Climate and Cooling Technology
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
Safety First: Arc Flash 101
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
Design of Safe and Reliable Hydraulic Systems for Subsea Applications
This eGuide explains how the operation of hydraulic systems for subsea applications requires the user to consider additional aspects because of the unique conditions that apply to the setting
click me