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magnetic coupling that attaches to the end of an existing roller. T e outside diameter of the generator matches the diameter of the roll, but places the generator outside the normal belt line to avoid the heavy loads and fugitive material that tends to damage existing design attempts. T e generator is held in a fi xed position by the roll support system, but is not normally required to bear any of the material load. T e reliable power supply helps bring a new level of sophistication to conveyors, allowing designers to equip their systems with devices such as weigh scales, proximity switches, moisture sensors, pressure switches, solenoids and relays, as well as timers, lights and even additional safety mechanisms. Wireless communication can be used to transmit directly to a central controller, giving operators a cost-eff ective way to access data that has not been readily available in the


past – and taking another step toward ‘smarter’ conveyor systems.

Continuous improvement With properly trained staff and thoughtfully designed components, conveyor maintenance is becoming easier and safer than ever before. T anks to new component designs and advanced engineering capabilities, the work environment has been drastically improved in recent years, and operators are reducing downtime due to clean-up and broken equipment. T ese gains should inspire operators to make time for a cost/ benefi t analysis of new technologies and assess the long-term gains of both increased effi ciency and workplace safety. Managers concerned with the

overall safety and cost of operation need to go through the numbers to see how the impact of rising labour

The outer diameter of the generator matches that of the roll, but places the generator outside the material path

costs for clean-up and maintenance, combined with the expense of potential fi nes or forced downtime, can aff ect the bottom line. Using new and emerging technologies such as the ones described here, even poorly performing conveyors often don’t need to be replaced or rebuilt, but merely modifi ed and reconfi gured by knowledgeable and experienced technicians installing modern equipment. T ese improvements will help operations improve effi ciency, reduce risk and contribute to regulatory compliance. ●

Paul Harrison is director of Conveyor Products Business Group at Martin Engineering.

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