How to Properly Track A Bakery Conveyor Belt

Keeping a bakery running efficiently can be complicated. One of the most frequent challenges plant maintenance technicians have to deal with is conveyor belt tracking. Aligning and controlling a belt so it maintains its desired path is often difficult to do. So many factors influence the belt’s ability to track correctly. Here are a few areas to consider when attempting to troubleshoot a mis-tracking conveyor belt.

1. Check for product, debris, and buildup

Most often the main source of mis-tracking is a result of product or basic materials built up on the bottom side of the conveyor belt or pulleys. Often this pending result can create a crown or raised portion on the pulley which can result in the conveyor belt mis-tracking to one side or the other. Inspecting a conveyor for mechanical and cleanliness issues needs to be a part of your standard preventive maintenance.

2. Check to ensure the conveyor frame is level and square

In the baking industry, product and line changes happen frequently. This usually means current conveyor systems are moved or modified to meet the latest production requirements. It is during this process a conveyor bed may become out of level or square. When a conveyor bed is out of level or square, the conveyor belt has a tendency to move toward one side or the other. This can be checked by utilizing a standard level. Be sure to check both the frame and the pulleys as well.

Making sure your conveyor bed is square is also easy to do. Simply measure dimensions from one corner to the opposite corner on each side of the conveyor. The measurements should equal one another. Don’t worry if you’re slightly out of square, as most manufacturers provide what are referred to as squaring rods on the bottom side of the conveyor. These can be used to pull the frame back into alignment. 

3. Check to ensure the end pulleys are square

Often the wrong pulley is used to track or adjust the belt. This is a common problem when the conveyor utilizes a center drive and tracking configuration. Start by checking to ensure every pulley is in proper alignment with the conveyor frame. Use only snub rollers and idlers to make tracking adjustments. If at all possible, avoid using the drive roller for tracking adjustment. 

4. Check to ensure the conveyor belt has been cut straight

In the belt fabrication industry, we like to think all belts shipped are perfect, unfortunately that is not always the case. When a belt is slit incorrectly, this can put an arc or curve into the belt, which will result in a mis-tracking condition. If the belt is not aligned correctly during the joining process (laced or made endless), this too can cause a mis-tracking condition. If you suspect this is the case, remove the conveyor belt from the conveyor, lay it out on a table or floor, and see if you notice an arc or curve in the belt. If it is not straight, the belt needs to be replaced.

Problem Solution
Mechanical malfunction Proper alignment of pulleys/ conveyor frame.
Crooked splice Square belt end, replace splice.
Crooked belt Replacement may be required, see crooked splice.
Material build up on pulleys Recommend routine maintenance or mechanical cleaning devices.
Off center loading Change feeder design or replace belt with more bulk. Add v-guide or tracking device. Check belt manufacturer’s technical specifications.
Excessive pulley crown Refer to CEMA (Conveyor Equipment Manufacturers Association) standard 402-1 964 or check with technical specification of belt manufacturer.
Distorted belt because of run off or accidental damage Replacement of belt indicated. 

4 Considerations When Choosing a Bakery Grade Conveyor Belt [Updated]

Getting the right belt for the right application is critical to producing high quality breads.

During the last ten years, consumers taste for baked bread has changed significantly. White bread consumption is being replaced by whole wheat, multigrain, and various specialty breads; and consumers want more variety in taste and texture, as well as health benefits. Now it takes a wider variety of bakery belts to handle this production process.

Compatibility with the environment and ingredients

Conveyor belts need to be compatible with both the environment and with the ingredients used when producing specialty breads. Factors such as heat, moisture, and dough consistency need to be considered when selecting the proper belt. Sparks stocks conveyor belts with various fabric construction to endure the environments required to produce quality breads.

Flexibility

When transferring the product between operations—whether it’s a dough dump, roll forming, or tight transfer of finished product—the belts ability to flex over a rolling nose bar or a knife edge transfer is a critical factor in the selection of the proper belt for the application. Our well-trained application specialist can recommend the belt with the right flexibility to perform on your conveyor design.

Release Characteristics and Feed Rates

The ability of a belt to grip the product and to also release the product at the proper time influences the feed rate or output volume when the proper fabric and compound are selected for each operation.

How to Select the Right Food Grade Conveyor Belt for Confections

Getting the right food grade conveyor belt for the right application is critical to producing high quality products.The confectionery industry requires the handling of various chocolates, sweets, candies and chewing gum, each requiring a conveyor belt with the right properties to handle their application.

Environmental and Ingredient Compatibility

Conveyor belts need to perform both in the environment and with the ingredients when producing confections. Factors such as heat, moisture, and ingredient consistency need to be considered when selecting the proper belt. 

Flexibility

When transferring the product between operations, the belts’ ability to flex over a rolling nose bar or a knife edge transfer is a critical factor in the selection of the proper belt for the application.  

Release Properties

The ability of a belt to release sticky products at the proper time influences the feed rate or output volume when the proper fabric and compound are selected for each operation.

Additional Features

  • Superior resistance to chemical and oils (which can deteriorate belts)
  • Outstanding abrasion and cut resistance
  • Reliable temperature transition
  • Easy to clean

Sparks stocks a wide variety of conveyor belting solutions, and our application specialist can recommend the right belt for your specific application—Including polyester fabrics along with special non-fray materials, compounds such as PVC, PU, Silicone and plastic, and a wide vary of profiles and custom fabricated features.

Solutions for applications:

  • Forming of chocolate bars(strand splicing and cutting)
  • Enrobing
  • Cooling tunnels
  • Inclination/elevating of product
  • Packaging/feeding of wrapping machines
  • Coating lines
  • Metal detection
  • Transfer belts
  • Check weighing

Whether it’s one of Sparks’ fabric belts with a special compound or profile, or a modular plastic belt that is easy to clean and has positive drive, or even one of our specialty solutions with cleats and sidewalls, Sparks can supply the proper belt for each application providing less downtime, reduced scrap and high value for any application


How to Select the Best Conveyor Belt For Cookie & Cracker Industries


Whether handling dough, cooling baked products, cutting, molding or packaging, Sparks has a complete range of products for the bakery, biscuit and snack processing industry.

Selecting the right food conveyor belt can help processors improve operations in several areas including:

  • Food Safety
  • Reduced maintenance time & cost
  • Sanitary operations
  • Increased service life and belt performance
  • Wear resistance
  • Chemical Resistance
  • Product release
  • High & low temperature resistance
  • Increased yield & reduced waste

Look for belts that include the following features: 

  • Fabrics and compounds that provide clean and safe food contact processing
  • Constructions that allow for increased service life and belt performance
  • Easily cleaned for trouble free and safe food production
  • PVC & PU compounds that provide extended life, with high oil & fat resistance
  • Special coatings with excellent release properties increasing yield and reducing waste
  • Temperature resistance for both cooling and oven applications

Common Applications:

  • Dough Feeder/hopper
  • Dough sheeter
  • Gauge roller conveyor
  • Rotary cutter
  • Scrap return
  • Feeding belt
  • Frictional belt
  • Cooling Belt
  • Transfer Belt
  • Rotary molder

Whether handling dough, cooling baked products, cutting, molding or packaging, Sparks has a complete range of products for the bakery, biscuit and snack processing industry.

Our technical experts have the experience to assist you in selecting the proper belt for your application and ensure the belting we deliver has the performance you need; and accommodates ingredient and heat compatibility, flex, load-carrying capacity and release characteristics.

The Ultimate Bakery Conveyor Belt Selection Guide

The Right Food Conveyor Belt is Critical to Producing High Quality Bread

Because consumers taste for baked bread has changed significantly, getting the right belt for the right application is critical to producing high-quality breads. It now takes a variety of bakery belts to handle the production process for a larger variety of breads. White bread consumption is being replaced by whole wheat, multigrain, and various specialty breads; and consumers want more variety in taste and texture, as well as health benefits.

Factor 1: Flexibility

There are key factors in the selection of the proper belt for the application. When transferring the product between operations — whether it’s a tight transfer of a finished product, roll forming, or a dough dump — the belts ability to flex over a knife edge transfer or over a rolling nose bar are important factors to consider when selecting the right bakery belt. 

Factor 2: Gripping, Releasing, and Feed Rates

Gripping and releasing the product at the proper time impacts the output volume/feed rate and selecting the proper fabric and compound for each operation allows the product to be released correctly. At Sparks, our application specialists are well trained and can recommend the right belt with the right flexibility that will work best on your conveyor design. 

Factor 3: Belt Compatibility With the Ingredients and the Environment

When producing specialty breads, the conveyor belt needs to be compatible with both the environment and the ingredients. Dough consistency, moisture, heat — these are factors that all need to be considered when selecting the proper belt. At Sparks, we stock conveyor belts with various fabric construction designed to endure the environment and produce quality breads. With a wide variety of bakery belts to choose from — whether a specialty bake shop or a large, high-volume bakery — we specialize in the ability to handle every application. 

Need help selecting the right conveyor belt? 

Our goal is to provide your operation with maximum output, reducing excess scrap, and downtime. We have the experience to assist you in selecting the proper belt for your application. We want to ensure the belting we deliver has the performance you need; and accommodates flexibility, ingredient and heat compatibility, load-carrying capacity, and release characteristics.

Are All White Food Grade Conveyor Belts the Same?

The short answer is a resounding, “No”. Lightweight food grade conveyor belts are made with almost endless variations of key features which allow them to be custom fit to your unique application. The food in which they convey always plays a critical role in the proper selection of these belts. Some of the variables include:

Cover

Conveyor belt manufacturers can manipulate the thickness, texture, and adhesion of a belt cover for a seemingly endless list of features and benefits to end users.  Matte finishes tend to aid in product release while glossier finishes create more of a suction effect. 

Pro Tip #1: Lightly brushing the pad of your thumb across the surface of multiple belts for comparison is a great way to estimate how your product will react to the surface. 

Pro Tip #2: Your finger nails are another useful tool to feel the difference of how hard or soft different belts feel.  Scratching multiple belt surfaces is the best way to estimate how abrasive applications or belt scrapers may react to a particular belt. 

Compound

Have you ever wondered why some belts crack in oily applications?  Or perhaps, why do some belts have less carry-over of product on the return side of conveyors? Today’s urethanes and PVC materials can be manipulated for non-stick, anti-microbial, or oil resistant applications.

Carcass

The carcass (or plies) of the belt are responsible for the strength, stretch, flexibility, and even how much flour or oil gets absorbed into a belt. In addition to offering one, two, or three ply solutions, various weaves can be supplied for every conveying application.

Food Conveyor Belt: Advantages of Using Pillow Cleat Conveyor Belts

Packaging fragile fruits and vegetables is a delicate process. As we all know, tomatoes, apples, and oranges bruise very easily. At the store, cosmetic characteristics of all these products is critical because customers will not buy “ugly food”. Since many of these delicious products are round or odd-shaped, conveying them from bulk shipment bins to the finished package throughout your facility produces a unique challenge

Pillow cleat conveyor belts were invented specifically for processing fruits, vegetables, and eggs. Traditional cleats have sharp corners, are rigid, and destroy soft food as they convey it up necessary incline applications. Pillow cleats on the other hand are soft and conform to your product.  They can be placed on any spacing and are perfect for bulk incline applications or maintaining critical spacing requirements.

Soft Pillow Cleats

Truly Endless Woven Conveyor Belts for Oven Take Conveyors

Oven take-off conveyor belts are one of the most demanding applications in the cookie and cracker industry. When these belts fail, it shuts down the entire production line and costs a tremendous amount of money. Luckily there is a solution which can lead to substantial cost savings!

In multiple instances, Sparks has switched from a silicone impregnated mono filament belt or Solid Woven construction with stitching at the splice to a truly endless woven belt. Oven Take-Off conveyors are riddled with challenges when deciding which belt to select. These conveyors feature 3/8” nose rollers or fixed nose bars, very high temperatures in excess of 230° F, back bends over return rollers, temperamental belt tracking devices, and lots of baking oils. This engineered solution quickly results in tremendous savings continuing to bear fruit year after year.

Truly Endless Woven Conveyor Belts are produced with a variety of weaves, thicknesses, and materials which ultimately affect the absorption capacity and release of the product. For Oven Take-Off conveyors, less absorption is generally recommended to transfer of the small diameter knife edges. Since there is no fabricated splice joint, there is continuous absorption and smooth transfer of the product over the entire length of the belt.

You will need to take the following factors into account when adding up your cost savings for your take off conveyor project:

  • Existing Annual Belt usage (# belts used x cost for each belt)
  • Labor cost (What is your cost for each employee every time your line is down?)
  • Maintenance Cost (How long does it take to change each belt?)
  • Lost Sales (How much product could you have produced if your line were to keep running?)

Truly Endless Woven Belts have been proven to last up to 13 times longer than traditionally spliced conveyor belts.  Savings will vary depending on your facility’s size, capacity, and product. 

PU Food conveyor belt

PU Conveyor Belt is produced under advanced technology with improved production material properties. These are designed for changing industrial environmental requirements. It is more efficient & effective compared to PVC Conveyor Belts.

PU Conveyor Belt Origin

We offer imported long-lasting machine friendly PU Belt. PU Conveyor is available in different thicknesses (1, 1.5, 1.75, 2 mm & more) in 1, 2 & 3 ply options. Our PU Conveyor is imported from Switzerland | Germany | Spain | India & China as well.

PU Conveyor Belt Installation

We are conveyor belt stockiest & supplier in Lahore Pakistan from decades. We have installed PU belt in various industries especially in food industries. Industries should install PU Belt if belt carrying products passes closely from heat, cold or cooling heating tunnel. At this place PVC Conveyor is failed or gives small life span. So, it is better to pay little more in one time then to repeated paying less. Replacing also stops production for some time. Most of industries are shifting from PVC to PU. It gives longest life & minor repairs. It is light weight which makes it easy to install.

PU Conveyor Belt Quality

Two types of surfaces are available i.e., Plain MAT and Finished with polyester bottom including inside layer of PU. We can install Carriers Sidewall Conveyor as per specified customer’s requirements like height, width, gap between carriers and offer Belting Joint too.

  • FDA & EU Approved and available in Halal Content too
  • Friendly to products
  • Sealed Edges | Bonded Plies
  • Oil Resistant
  • Durable & Reliable Belt
  • Minor Conveying Costs
  • Easily Clean & Efficient at work
  • Good Abrasion Resistance
  • Suited for both small and large pulley diameter
  • Classically designed for Heat and Cold environment
  • More Shafts grips to reduce slippage
  • Presently available in White, Blue & Green color
WhatsApp chat
We are Offline
We are Offline ×

Are you sure you want to quit ?

Yes No

Please wait..
Thank you for contacting us, We will be in touch shortly.
This message will appear when chat is set in offline mode

Thank you for chatting with us !

Chat Again