Tips for Optimizing Conveyor Performance

Belt conveyors require regular inspection of the condition of all components. The frequency of these inspections will change over the life of the system. Initially, while everything is new, less frequent inspections, merely to confirm correct operation, will be required. As the components age, more frequent inspection will be required. Using a standardised check list helps ensure that every component is properly monitored.

The check list should include checks of free rotation of all the idler rollers, unhindered movement of the belt under all conditions of loading and free flowing loading and discharge of the material without spillage. Furthermore the correct adjustment and state of wear of scrapers, ploughs and skirt seals must be checked regularly. At the beginning of each operating shift an experienced operative must carry out the inspection of the conveyor system and while doing so verify that all is in order by completing a check list.

Dave Pitcher, Global Product Manager.

The check list used at every inspection should be retained so that a history of component performance can be established. Trends stemming from the inspection history will dictate future inspection frequency.
A strict maintenance regime linked to the conveyor inspection is required. The conveyor belt condition is a very good indicator of the health of the conveyor system. In particular sudden changes to the belt condition require immediate investigation into the cause.

Poor or incorrect design, poor quality of the belt, poor quality splices, lack of maintenance on the conveyors and lack of accurate sizing of material and typically failing to pay attention to the conveyor are typically the most likely causes of conveyor belt failures.

Be reasonable!
Look after the equipment, or outsource to an organisation able to provide expert maintenance and management services. Note that no conveyor belt will just break, as there are safety factors built into the designs. Typically these machines will provide adequate warning before failing.
Spilled material, particularly large lumps of material that are carried back into pulleys are a major cause for concern. Spilled material accumulates on and/or below the conveyor structure and if this is not rectified the belt will eventually slide continuously over the material causing cuts, gouges and rips in the belt. Lumps of material passing around a pulley, trapped between the belt and pulley face puncture the rubber cover or fracture the carcass. Material spillage is often a cause of misalignment of the belt that can result in damage to the belt edges.
Rema Tip Top have developed systems to continuously and automatically monitor belt condition. These include rip detection systems, belt thickness monitoring, splice condition monitoring and belt tracking monitors.
We have teams of experienced conveyor inspectors who are used to identify root cause of conveyor system malfunction, identify risks to continuous operation and check condition of all components. These teams provide fast feedback on system condition with a prioritised listing of corrective action to maintain uninterrupted operation of each conveyor. The common goal that a partnership with the operation aims to achieve is 100% conveyor availability since this represents the least amount of downtime and maximises production potential.
Our offering is to make a team available to the mines to review their conveyors and identify issues, and then maintain on behalf of the mines, increasing the life of their belts and minimising operational risk. Our goal is to maximise predictive maintenance, which will lead to preventative maintenance, thereby minimising the requirement for reactive maintenance.
We are able to provide a seamless, reliable, professional service, from ordering the belt to commissioning and operation of a conveyor system, including reliable splicing, after sales service, maintenance and management of conveyor systems.
Energy saving product
Belt conveyor systems are very efficient machines. But this does not mean that efficiencies cannot be improved. Energy usage can be reduced by making use of the latest technology in conveyor belt design, namely aramid reinforced straight warp construction conveyor belting. This product which Dunlop have introduced into the range under the name FlexTech Powamax, allows the user to select a conveyor belt of the same strength that is considerably lighter than say a steel cord reinforced counterpart. Due to its reduced mass it is easier to transport, easier to install and the conveyor power demand will reduce. Should one be able to reduce belt mass by say 5kg/m, over a conveyor 1 000m long, the total reduction in mass that has to be turned by the conveyor is 10 tons. Not only will this save power, but will reduce the required belt class, resulting in significant Opex savings

Belt conveyors are the most energy efficient means of moving materials. Proper free-running of the system ensures that energy consumption is as low as possible. Product enhancements that reduce already low resistances receive high priority at Dunlop.
Such enhancements include reduction of belt mass through use of high strength low mass reinforcement, and low rolling resistance rubber formulations that also have high wear life.