Maintenance Tips for Telescopic Stackers
* Speed reducers: Oil in all gear reducers should be changed periodically. Under average industrial operating conditions, the lubricant should be changed every 2,500 hours of operation or every six months, whichever occurs first. As every operating condition is different, it is recommended that operators consult their original equipment manufacturer for the proper oil to use at a specific location.
* Sensors: Material sensors and proximity sensors are used on telescopic stackers to provide various automated functions. If these sensors are not clean, automation may not function properly. Sensors should be inspected daily.
* Touch screens: Some telescopic stackers use touch screens for easy operation. It is important to train all operators on the proper use of a touch screen, as extensive abuse can result in the loss of transmissibility. These screens do not require the same force necessary to activate a mechanical switch. Many operators use foreign objects, which may scratch the front panel and reduce the transmissibility of the touch screen. Touch screens are easy to clean with a damp non-abrasive cloth or towel using any commercially available window cleaner. The cleaning solution should always be applied to the cloth or towel rather than the surface of the touch screen. Solvents and abrasive cleaning compounds will cause permanent damage.
* V-belt drives: Improperly tightened V-belts can lead to poor drive efficiency, excess noise, and slippage of the conveyor belt. Drive belts will require regular tightening over the full lifespan of the telescopic stacker. Slippage of the drive belts and excess noise within the first 24 hours of service is common. It is recommended that you inspect and tighten the drive belts after the first 24 hours of operation at peak load. If the V-belts are slipping or squealing, they will require tensioning. Proper tension and alignment will significantly increase the life of the conveyor’s drive system. Applying a dressing is not recommended, as it can damage the V-belts and cause early failure. V-belts will deteriorate over time under regular usage and exposure to elements. Periodic replacement of V-belts is to be expected. If you do need to replace the V-belts, always replace a complete set and never replace only one belt at a time.
* Limit switches: On most telescopic stackers, limit switches are used as input devices to the PLC, which governs key telescopic motions such as extend and retract and radial limit. It is of critical importance that all limit switches be inspected and maintained daily to ensure that these motions are in good working order.
For best results, limit switches should be free of dirt and debris, they should never be stuck, jammed, and/or damaged, and the housing should never be damaged or cracked. Both the cable and plastic whisker should always be in good condition.
Additional maintenance tips
There are many practical “unwritten” steps that many successful operations take to drastically extend the life and profitability of their telescopic stackers. These are the most valuable and yet commonly neglected recommendations in the industry.
* Housekeeping: The most important factor that is commonly neglected in telescopic stacker maintenance is proper housekeeping. Any buildup of material on the machine, as well as under the machine, should be religiously removed at all times. In accordance with the usage of the machine, a housekeeping schedule should always be developed. Properly cleaning a machine allows the operator to effectively inspect it, see all moving parts, assess the conditions of various components, and prevent costly downtime.