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How to handle carryback spillage if the installed scrapers are not effective?

Managing carryback spillage is important for maintaining a clean, safe, and cost-effective operation. We are aware of the perils of the carryback spillage & what effect it can have in the areas related to operational efficiency, cost savings, and safety. Separate technical write up can be referred to understand the Financial Impact of  Carryback Spillage in Belt Conveyors.

Belt scrapers play a major role to remove residual material from return side of the conveyor belts and putting it back in the chute. Modern self-adjusting efficient scrapers are valuable addition to conveyor systems; they offer a hassle-free solution to significantly reduce carryback spillage and contribute to the overall reliability and effectiveness of the material handling process. However, the effectiveness of the scraper is largely depend on the following factors:

  • Condition of Conveyor Belt: It has a significant impact on carryback spillage in several ways:

    • Worn or Damaged Surfaces: A belt with worn or damaged surfaces significantly hinder the effectiveness of scrapers, leading to increased carryback. Rough or uneven surfaces provide more opportunities for material to get trapped and carried back eventually dropping on the floor.

    • Belt Misalignment: A misaligned belt cannot be cleaned properly and an uncleaned belt cannot be tracked. Therefore, if a conveyor belt is not properly aligned, it can impair the scraper’s ability to remove carryback material effectively. This misalignment can lead to increased spillage and buildup on idlers, which further exacerbates the problem.

    • Material Adhesion: The texture and material of the conveyor belt can affect how much material adheres to the surface. Some materials are more prone to sticking, especially if the belt is dirty or has residual substances that can trap particles.

    • Environmental Conditions: The belt’s exposure to environmental conditions such as moisture, temperature, and chemicals can change its properties, making it more susceptible to carryback. For example, material can dry and harden on the belt, making it difficult for scrapers to remove.

    • Age and Wear: Over time, belts can become stretched, reducing tension and leading to slippage. This can affect the contact between the belt and the scraper, decreasing the cleaning efficiency and increasing carryback.

  • Conveyor Structure: Many a times the conveyor structure is not designed keeping modern spillage management into consideration. The deficiencies in conveyor structure can hinder the effectiveness  of a belt scraper in several ways:

    •  Mounting Space: If the conveyor design does not include adequate space for mounting modern belt scrapers, additional modifications may be necessary to accommodate the belt scraper.

    •  Structural Interference: Existing components of the conveyor system, like chutes or framework, might interfere with the optimal placement of the scraper.

    •  Belt Access: Limited access to the belt, due to the conveyor structure, can make it difficult to install, adjust, and maintain the scraper properly.

    •  Alignment: The structure must allow for the scraper to be aligned correctly with the belt to ensure effective cleaning. Misalignment due to structural constraints can lead to poor scraper performance.

    •  Tensioning Mechanism: The structure should support the tensioning mechanism of the scraper. If not, it may be challenging to apply the correct tension to the scraper blade.

Under these circumstances, manual cleaning of spillage in belt conveyors becomes a straightforward method. It is labour intensive and can present several problems, including:

  • Safety Risks: Manual cleaning often requires personnel to work in close proximity to the conveyor, which can lead to accidents if proper lockout procedures are not followed.

  • Labour Intensity: It is a labour-intensive process that can be physically demanding and time-consuming for workers.

  • Inefficiency: Manual cleaning is not as efficient as automated systems, potentially leading to increased downtime and reduced productivity.

  • Health Hazards: Workers may be exposed to dust and other airborne particles, which can pose respiratory hazards.

To address these issues, it’s important to consider implementing automated cleaning systems. Tega has introduced MaxxKleen which can handle carryback spillage even when the installed scrapers are ineffective. It is a programmable motor driven system which helps to reduce the accumulation of carryback spillage under the belt. It catches & collects the carryback material and transfer it back to the chute along with the mainstream of materials. Thus,

  • Prevent manual cleaning of the conveyor floor

  • Reduces worker risks & improves safety of operation

  • Reduces conveyor shutdown requirement for cleaning.

  • Reduces clean-up costs by automatically cleaning the carryback spillage without manual intervention.

Belt conveyor is the most effective way to transfer bulk solids for more than 100 years. The problem that is always associated with the belt conveyor is the problem of spillage. Many a times the operation team overlooked the issue of spillage in situations where strict adherence to the standards may not be possible or practical. It lead to mediocrity, lack of accountability, and a disregard for excellence. The advent of MaxxKleen strengthen the hands of the operation & maintenance team & will promote Clean , Safe & Uninterrupted conveying.