Foundations™ Learning Center

Material Spillage

There is no reason conveyor belts should spill material and if so, it shouldn’t be accepted.

Proper load zone belt support and sealing are critical to preventing spillage.

Material spillage is defined as material that escapes the conveyor. Spillage is different from dust and carryback and therefore, should be prevented differently. Way too many facilities continue to just deal with spillage and are accustomed to the “it is just the way it is” attitude. Material spillage is totally preventable through inexpensive mechanical solutions.


Spillage presents many threats to profitability such as; potential for lost material, labor cost for cleanup, risk of injury, housekeeping issues, and increased threat of unexpected downtime.


Root Causes:
  • Overloading the belt 
  • Exceeding the belt’s capacity
  • Transfer point design flaws 
  • Wet, sticky material building up on the inside of the transfer point, eventually forcing material to overflow from the top

Best Practices:
  • Keep the material flow in line with the receiving conveyor
  • Make sure skirtboards are installed high enough to contain the material yet low enough to maintain contact with the surface of the belt
  • Make sure the receiving belt is tracking properly before loading
  • Tailboxes should be installed to prevent material rollback
  • Install plugged chute detectors


Material spillage can increase maintenance expenses but it can also be incredibly inexpensive to prevent altogether if handled promptly and correctly.

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