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7 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Installing Belt Conveyors 

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Many bulk material handling processes rely on conveyor systems. These include aggregate and cement production, coal and ore processing, and mining. Conveyor specifications and designs have fallen behind user expectations for the safe, serviceable, and dependable conveyance of bulk solids with minimal fugitive material despite modern systems being asked to move more cargo faster than ever tanzohub

Overloading, overusing, or neglecting belt conveyors is common, as is a mix of the three. Despite being subjected to a wide range of harsh environments; the systems have been designed and manufactured to withstand them all. 

Moreover, there are specific factors that add up to a plethora of costly issues, including inefficient operation, accidents, pollution, and lawsuits that can linger over the conveyor’s entire lifespan. We have developed a list of seven typical mistakes that can be avoided. 

1. Being unfamiliar with the main content 

The bulk density and angle of repose have been the sole parameters used to characterize bulk solids for many years. Untold numbers of people write to the Conveyor Equipment Manufacturers Association (CEMA) asking for generic, table-based material attributes as if a textbook could adequately describe every possible material variation. However, substantial issues may arise with this method. 

To illustrate the risks, let’s look at a fundamental requirement: tonnage. The conveyor’s principal function is to transfer x t/h from one location to another. All other needs will take a back seat if that one objective isn’t met. There are eight bulk density listings for coal in “CEMA Standard 550: Properties of Bulk Solids,” with values varying from around 600 to 980 kg/m3.  

There is a significant deviation from the normal bulk density of around 790 ± 190 kg/m3. The throughput might be over- or under-planned by around 25% when a system is intended to support the average value. 

In addition, the eight coal listings vary in angle of repose from 27 to 45 degrees, which might be ± 9 degrees off the average. The bulk material may not flow at all or may flow too freely to be appropriately controlled by the chute’s geometry if the hopper’s or chute’s slope is designed using the average value. 

2.  Belt Spillage 

When belt conveyors are under or over-tensioned, slippage happens. A belt can fall off the pulleys and lead to more severe issues, such as motor or belt failure, if the tension is not balanced correctly. It is imperative to promptly fix or, even better, prevent belt slippage, just as with mistracking. 

Here are a few typical reasons why belts slip: 

  • Lags on the head drive pulley that are either worn out or placed incorrectly 
  • Faulty pulleys on the wings or tail 
  • Belt overloaded with materials 

Inspect the lagging on the pulleys, particularly the head drive pulley, regularly and repair it if necessary to reduce the possibility of conveyor belt slippage. Lagging that has been improperly fitted or seen significant wear might eventually become smooth and lose its crucial hold on the belt. 

3. Conveyor Belt Tracking Problems 

Mistracking or difficulties with the conveyor belt tracking are among the most prevalent types of conveyor problems. Belt mistracking happens when the belt starts to pull in the opposite direction of its intended route. 

Belt breakage, an improperly placed splice, or loading from the wrong side of the conveyor might lead to mistracking. Additional issues also need attention, including: 

  • The conveyor structure is at an angle or crooked. 
  • Incorrectly tensioned or misaligned nib rollers 
  • Belt or pulley residue or dirt that can cause it to veer from its intended path. 

Mistracking, if unnoticed, can lead to further belt damage and system shutdown. 

When troubleshooting the alignment of a conveyor belt, it is essential to routinely monitor these places for symptoms of mistracking, such as worn belt edges. To prevent serious problems and an extended shutdown time, keep the belt clean, fix the damage as it happens, and center the loads correctly. 

4. Material Carry-back 

The carry-back problem is the most prevalent of the three conveyor issues. What we call “material carry-back” happens when something doesn’t drain properly from the bed; instead, it becomes stuck in the bed and returns on the return. 

The material that has to be sent back either gets knocked off the belt by the conveyor (a phenomenon known as “tailings”) or accumulates further on the belt. Belts and other essential conveyor parts are vulnerable to carry-back unless managed and removed. 

Because it causes substantial material loss and necessitates extra effort to clear up the tailings, carry-back hurts both the conveyor’s performance and your bottom line. Eliminating carry-back on your conveyor is of utmost importance since cleaning up tailings near a moving conveyor is a duty that poses a threat to your personnel. 

Major carry-back can occur due to factors such as: 

  • Subpar scrapers 
  • Scrapers that are not adequately mounted 
  • Using the wrong size and kind of scraper 

If you want to keep carry-back to a minimum, you need a belt cleaning system—also called “scrapers”—of high quality. A scraper system uses primary and secondary blades to “scrape” debris from the belt and drastically cut down on or eliminate carry-back. 

Primary scraper blades clean the belt at the head pulley, and secondary blades remove any leftover debris at the discharge pulley. Due to the rapid wear and eventual ineffectiveness of low-quality scraper blades, it is essential to use high-performance scapers to eliminate carryback. 

5. Modifying the Tension Force 

An integral aspect of adjusting the belt conveyor deviation is adjusting the belt tension force. The conveyor’s tensioning mechanism causes the belt tension to be inadequate. When there’s little or no load, the tape won’t budge, but when the load gets bigger, it will budge. The belt is constantly kept taut with the help of the tensioning mechanism, which is an effective instrument. Inadequate tension reduces the belt’s stability, making it more susceptible to interference from outside forces and making slippage more likely. 

To enhance the tensioning force, the tensioning stroke can be modified on conveying equipment that uses screw tensioning or hydraulic tensioning. But if the tensioning stroke isn’t enough and the belt is permanently bent, you can cut off a piece and re-glue it. 

6. Drum Diameter Adjustment 

The belt will flow to the side with the bigger diameter if the diameters are different, which can happen due to manufacturing mistakes, ore sticking, or uneven wear on the drum surface. “Bigger side, not smaller side” describes this. Removing the mineral grime from the drum’s surface is the solution. Replacing the drum and rewrapping it with rubber will fix the issues of uneven wear and manufacturing error. 

In summary 

Lost output, damaged products, employee injuries, and shutdown operations are just some of the numerous problems that can arise from common conveyor belt difficulties. You usually have to spend a lot of time on maintenance and repair to fix them. 

The best way to minimize frequent conveyor issues is to regularly implement a preventative maintenance program. By catching conveyor problems early on, when they are easier to fix, preventive maintenance saves money in the long run.  

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