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MATERIALS HANDLING


sensors to confirm that the belt is loaded and running, the devices automatically back the blade away during stoppages or when the conveyor is running empty, minimising unnecessary wear to both the belt and cleaner. Te result is consistently correct blade tension, with reduced power demand on start-up, all managed without operator intervention. For locations lacking convenient power access, one self-contained design uses the moving conveyor to generate its own electricity, which powers a small air compressor to maintain optimum blade pressure at all times.


Constant cleaning angle and pressure As urethane cleaner blades wear,


the surface area of the blade touching the belt increases. Tis causes a reduction in blade-to-belt pressure and a corresponding decline in cleaner efficiency. Terefore, most mechanically tensioned systems require periodic adjustment (re-tensioning) to deliver the consistent pressure needed for effective carryback removal. To overcome the problem of the blade angle changing as the blade wears, a radial-adjusted belt cleaner can be designed with a specially engineered curved blade, known as “CARP” for Constant Angle Radial Pressure. With this innovative design, the changes in contact angle and surface area are minimised as the blade wears, helping to maintain its effectiveness throughout the cleaner’s service life.


New air tensioners reduce labour


AIR TENSIONING New air-powered tensioning systems are automated for precise monitoring and tensioning throughout all stages of blade life, reducing the labour typically required to maintain optimum blade pressure and extending the service life of both the belt and the cleaner. Equipped with


The latest technologies enable consistently correct belt tension


MAINTENANCE Even the best-designed and most efficient of mechanical belt cleaning systems require periodic maintenance and/or adjustment, or performance will deteriorate over time. Proper tensioning of belt-cleaning systems minimises wear on the belt and cleaner blades, helping to prevent damage and ensure efficient cleaning action. Belt cleaners must be engineered for durability and simple maintenance, and conveyors should be designed to enable easy service, including required clearances for access. Service chores that are straightforward and “worker-friendly” are more likely to be performed on a consistent basis. Te use of factory-trained and certified speciality contractors can also help ensure that belt cleaner maintenance is done properly, and on an appropriate schedule. Further, experienced service technicians often notice other developing system or component problems that can be avoided if they are addressed before a catastrophic failure occurs, helping conveyor operators avoid potential equipment damaging and expensive unplanned downtime. By setting the cleaning goal necessary for each individual operation and purchasing a system adequate for those conditions as laid out in CEMA standards, it’s possible to achieve carryback control and yet obtain long life from belt cleaners. Te bottom line is that properly installed and adjusted belt cleaners help minimise carryback and spillage, reducing risk and overall operating costs.


Todd Swinderman is with Martin Engineering. www.martin-eng.com


34 www.engineerlive.com


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