Find the Weak Link in Your Automotive Manufacturing Process

November 02, 2021

The automotive industry is particularly impacted this year by pandemic supply chain shortages alongside the increased demand for new and used automobiles. It’s a perfect storm of short supply and high demand. As a critical link in the automotive supply chain, it is imperative that you do whatever it takes to keep your part moving, for your own business and for the industry as a whole.

How do you prevent breakdowns that lead to expensive and frustrating downtime? You aren’t a fortune teller; you have no Magic 8-ball to reveal when to expect the unexpected. There are ways, however, that Webster can help you improve your processes to do what is within your power to keep your business moving. 

Common Automotive Production Line Problems

The first step is knowing what can go wrong. Even though you can’t predict when a problem is going to happen, there are common problems that we know can cause downtime. For automotive manufacturing, these issues can affect the final assembly line, spray booth conveyors, ovens, wash lines, transfer conveyors, and more.

The most common issues that cause manufacturers like you downtime include corrosion, tracking issues, and improper sprocket interaction with the chain.


Rust is an unfortunate fact of the life cycle of metal and it can cause all kinds of issues for your conveyor systems. Anywhere water and metal meet, there’s an opportunity for corrosion. 

Tracking Issues

Conveyor tracking issues resulting from misalignment, improper assembly, and wrong tension which can create hazards and cause downtime.

Sprocket Interaction with the Chain

Equipment downtime can result from irregular sprocket interaction with the chain, which can occur anywhere in your paint spray booth conveyors, transfer conveyors, ovens, wash lines, and all the way to the final assembly line. If any one of these systems breaks down because of these improper interactions, the whole floor screeches to a halt. 

How to Address the Weak Links in Your Automotive Supply Chain

It’s tempting to take shortcuts to save a dime and save time—after all, you want to get back up and running, fast. However, there are three huge mistakes we see automotive manufacturers make when it comes to addressing these issues: infrequent maintenance checks, buying subpar products, and doing a quick fix instead of the right fix. These mistakes feel great in the short term, but they can significantly cost your business in the long run.

Buy Quality Products

You can extend the life of your equipment by investing in and choosing from galvanizing, stainless steel, and UHMW options that work against corrosion to keep your assembly line from downtime. Proper material selection, lubrication, and corrosion preventative coatings can help aviod premature wear or failures.

Start a Preventative Maintenance Routine

Once you have the right equipment in place, the next most important step is to establish a preventative maintenance routine for all of your equipment. Webster Industries provides best practices and preventative maintenance training so that you can catch issues with your equipment before they affect your business’ bottom line.

Find a Troubleshooting Expert

Finally, if and when your business experiences the inevitable breakdown, the Webster engineering team is available to help you troubleshoot immediate conveyor issues you’re facing. When something breaks down, make Webster your first call, at (800) 243-9327. We can make sure that your production line keeps moving longer and more efficiently with the best conveyor and chain equipment in place. We are readily available 24/7 - 365 days a year.

Give Webster Industries a call today or contact us now to keep your machinery rolling.

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