While pulley assemblies are ubiquitous in the industrial world, few people think about what they do and when they need repair or replacement. Below, we will explore the purpose of pulley rollers and point out a couple of the signs that they are failing.
What do Wheel Pulley Rollers Do?
Essentially, they do everything that gears do, they just do it with drive belts instead of actual contact between motive parts.
They can redirect force. The energy created by a turning shaft can be converted to an effectively straight force by having that shaft turn a conveyor belt held in place by wheel pulley rollers. This is a tremendous space saving asset since the belt assembly takes up far less space than would the machine itself if it were engineered to carry individual loads.
They can multiply or divide force. There are situations where fast, low torque force is useful and others where slow high torque force makes more sense. There are transition situations where one type gives way to the other. In these transitional situations, using pulley rollers of differing size can allow both types of force to be present in a single system.
How To Tell When Wheel Pulley Rollers Need Repair or Replacement:
The first telltale sign to be on the lookout for is visible damage. A cracked wheel is a ticking time bomb that, instead of simply halting production, has the potential to fail catastrophically and damage equipment along the entire system. Even ignoring this potential for chain reaction damage, it makes more sense to replace such parts during the most convenient time possible than to wait for them to fail in the middle of a stretch where everything needs to be functioning at full capacity.
The second sign of damaged wheel pulley rollers is wobbling. At worst, a wobble could mean a disaster is on its way and at best, the wobble is making the system less efficient. The compromised efficiency could result in lost money from lower production or higher maintenance costs as the wobble creates extra wear and tear on parts.
The last sign is irregular noises. While roller systems are rarely completely silent, the sound they make is generally a consistent one – most commonly the skateboard-like roll of the bearings. Any sound that is irregular or not normal, like an erratic thumping or the grinding of metal against metal should prompt immediate maintenance attention.
The wheel pulley roller is a common and reliable component of virtually every industrial setting. With attention paid to the very obvious signs of failure, they will perform their task admirably.