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Conveyor take-up is the process of adjusting the tension on a conveyor belt. This process prevents damage to the belt and other equipment within the conveyor system and prevents premature wear of components. The term "conveyor take-up" may also refer to a specific device used to control the tension of the conveyor belt; the design of such a component will vary according to the type of conveyor system being used, but generally, the component consists of a metal frame that attaches to the frame of the conveyor, as well as one or more adjustment screws that will move one or more cylinders.
The conveyor take-up may also be a component used to adjust the tension of a chain component in the drive system. Motorized conveyors often use chains that move around cogs to power the belt system, and as the chain stretches or wears from regular use, it will need to be adjusted. One way to adjust the conveyor take-up is to simply take a link out of the chain, but this may cause problems with uneven wear or improper chain length. The conveyor take-up component is therefore used to add or release pressure on a guide pulley around which the chain will run.
When the take-up component is used to adjust the tension of the belt, more than one unit may be used. Each unit will be mounted on either end of a special take-up pulley around which the belt will run. When the bolt in the conveyor take-up is turned in one direction, more tension can be added to one side of the pulley; when it is turned in the other direction, less tension will be added to that side of the pulley. It is possible to adjust either side of the pulley to correct tension across the belt. The pulley itself is usually mounted out of line with the rest of the cylinders or pulleys to afford the greatest amount of adjustability.
Several types of damage or inefficiency can occur if a conveyor take-up is not used. If the belt is too tight, it can snap or wear excessively and very quickly, leading to system failure. If it is too loose, it may slip on the cylinders, meaning the belt will not move along its path effectively. A loose belt can also lead to excessive wear and may get caught in other components of the conveyor system.