Avantec rack/belt issues - obvious wear & belt flop

First I would like to thank all those who make this forum possible, and - for having me. Thank You :slight_smile:

I am the maintenance manager for a 3 unit pizza chain in central Illinois. My overall mechanical experience is pretty good - however my oven experience is minimal (all learned over the last two years hands on) so, please forgive me for perhaps not using the proper verbiage when discussing oven parts and problems. I’ll try my best.

We recently opened our 3rd unit on Oct 1, 2014 - a small “Express” location that serves only Carry-Out & Delivery (no dine in). We purchased two ovens from Dave at Avantec. The first oven, a double with two split belts, went into commercial operation on that date. I say ‘commercial operation’ because we are under the impression the oven, which was mildly used, came from the Kansas Baking Institute where it was allegedly used by the Dough Doctor himself.

The second oven, a single with no split belt (that was also acquired via Dave at Avantec) went into operation about two weeks later, it also arrived looking as close to brand new as possible.

Our main location has been using two Avantec ovens for 4 to 5 years, and the amount of wear on the equipment is about zero, especially compared to the three pictures I have included with this post. These are just a few of the gears on the newly acquired oven, and as you can see there is already extensive wear. It’s as if the belt is too long perhaps, but a link cannot be taken out - or the belt will become too rigid. Also, after the belt comes over the top and starts its journey back around via the underside, it not only catches on the gears and gets carried upward briefly before kind of ‘snapping’ away from the gears, it hits the crumb catcher with a noisy slap.

There are many things I could probably point out at this moment, but I do not want to post unnecessary drivel. I’m hoping that someone as had similar problems, and can suggest a solution. What really baffles me, is that these ovens/belts did not seem to make this noise or have this problem with catching on the gears and slapping the crumb catcher when we first installed them, and furthermore, the second oven has now joined in with the first… the belt is jittery after it comes over the top before proceeding onward. 101_9906 (2)-1.jpg 101_9907 (2)-1.jpg 101_9908 (2)-1.jpg

The major difference between our ovens that have been in operation for years and show zero wear, and the new ovens that have been in operation for two months and show excessive wear, is that the belts are running in opposite direction of one another. At our main location, they push away from the end with the drive gears and ON/OFF switches - and at our Express location, the pull towards the ON/OFF switches and are fed from the opposite end.

Please feel free to ask an questions that may help narrow down the case of this issue.

We have tried getting in contact with Dave at Avantec, but it appears all the voicemail boxes are full, and nobody is returning our calls.

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Just a thought after thinking about your post for a day, you stated that the belts run in opposite direction from your older units that show little wear.

It is possible the belt on the “new” ovens was not flipped when the motor was reveresed. I have never actually seen this, but i have heard george and a few others talk about it. I can tell you from experience that the belt will only want to move in one direction, but you can force it to go backwards (when cleaning the oven i have manually moved it backwards once it was disconnected from the motor).

Hi d9phoenix - thanks for your reply! :slight_smile:

I love the way you think, and after speaking with a tech over at PizzaParts.com, determined which way the belts are ‘supposed’ to be running… and yes, they are facing the appropriate way for the direction they are now traveling (which actually led me to wonder about how they were running initially).

It appears that the belt pitch may not be appropriate for the gear ratio - so as of now I’m doing some oven comparisons (old and new) and measurements. Perhaps that is the root of our problem, and I’ll be happy to post the results when they’re in. Fingers crossed.

Hey maintenance dude I have basically a brand new Avantec CO-2030 oven for sale. Since you are invested in Avantec and they appear to be out of business you might be interested in them as a backup or a source of parts. Ovens have less than 6 months use. Basically brand new inside and out.

Heya BobbyG - I totally appreciate the offer, and unless you were almost giving them away I doubt we’d have interest. I am of the humble opinion that Avantec’s manufacturing quality slipped over the years… a lot. In comparison, our first set of Avantec’s that we use at our main store are like Cadillac’s - and the second set, like a Ford Fiesta… I’m not impressed with their latest stuff.