MATERIALS HANDLING: Conveyor Belt Life Increased
Recent Western Cape Business News
Conventional chute systems or transfer points generally drop the material from point A to point B, and more often than not the height of the drop is not taken into account. “This is one of the most critical factors when it comes to conveyor belt life,” Mark Baller, managing director of Weba Chute Systems, says.
“Dropping ROM product, with lump sizes up to 500 mm, directly onto an outgoing conveyor belt will create a massive impact which could result in belt damage over a very short period of time.”
Another factor which adversely affects the life of conveyor belts is the foreign objects which move through the system. These can include concrete, iron, pillars and steel ropes.
Commercial chutes are often designed without taking the need to remove foreign objects into account. Not only do foreign objects cause excessive impact on the belt, but are often the cause of blockages and stoppages.
“Controlling the flow of material onto conveyor belts to minimise impact has become quite a topic for discussion with numerous solutions being proposed. Pressure from end users has resulted in a situation where manufacturers of conventional chutes are being forced to mimic the design principles of the Weba Chute System in an attempt to achieve the same result,” Baller says.
Implementing the design principles of the Weba Chute Systems is not as simple as it appears to the layman. More than fifteen years of experience with transfer points and different materials has resulted in an extensive data base of information being available to Weba Chute Systems.
Baller explains that prior to beginning design work on a transfer point a vast amount of information is required to ensure that the concept proposed will meet all the requirements. This information includes product type and consistency, outgoing conveyor trajectory curve, transfer height and distance.
“Just obtaining this information is not sufficient. It is necessary to do an on-site assessment to verify the data. This also allows our engineers the opportunity to address other issues which could be causing impact damage to the conveyor belt.”
Baller says that other areas which could cause damage include uneven conveyor belt loading, flooding of the belt and blockages. Weba Chute Systems allow ample access to remove foreign objects should these become stuck.
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