Top 5 Conveyor Belt Cleaning Challenges and How to Overcome Them
Conveyor belts are essentials in many industries, from mining to food processing. However, keeping these belts clean is not always a straightforward task. Effective conveyor belt cleaning is pivotal for maintaining efficiency, ensuring product quality, and complying with health and safety standards. In this article, we will explore the top five challenges in conveyor belt cleaning and provide practical solutions to overcome them.
1. Material Build-Up
Challenge: One of the most common issues is the build-up of materials on the belt, which can result in belt misalignment and reduced efficiency.
Solution: strategic implementation of both primary and secondary belt cleaners in your conveyor system. Primary belt cleaners are adept at removing the majority of material residues as they exit the discharge point, while secondary cleaners target the finer particles left behind. Additionally, installing belt cleaners that are specifically designed for cleaning the type of material your conveyor handles is crucial.
This targeted approach not only optimizes cleaning efficiency but also contributes to maintaining the belt’s alignment and overall operational performance.
What are Conveyor Belt Cleaners?
Conveyor belt cleaners are devices that are specifically designed to remove material that may be stuck to the return side of the conveyor belt. If not removed, this material can cause various operational problems, such as belt misalignment, decreased efficiency, and wear on the conveyor system. Conveyor belt cleaners are essential components on conveyor systems and are critical in operations that require bulk materials handling, like mining.
There are several types of conveyor belt cleaners, including:
Primary Belt Cleaners
- Primary belt cleaners are an essential part of a conveyor system, designed to remove the majority of material adhered to the conveyor belt. Their design is focused on effective cleaning, durability, and minimal impact on the belt and the system as a whole.
Secondary Belt Cleaners
- Secondary belt cleaners are designed to remove the fine material residue that primary belt cleaners leave behind. Their design focuses on effectively cleaning the belt while minimizing damage and ensuring the longevity of the conveyor system.
Tertiary Belt Cleaners
What is Carryback?
Carryback is a common term used in the context of conveyor belt systems that refers to the material that sticks to the belt after is has discharged its load. This residual material is carried back around the system on the return side of the belt. Carryback can cause significant issues in many conveyor belt operations, particularly where bulk materials such as ores, grains and other products are being transported.
Some problems caused by carryback include:
Decreased Efficiency and Productivity
- Accumulation of material on the belt and other conveyor components can reduced the system’s efficiency. It requires the conveyor to work harder, using more energy and potentially reducing its total capacity.
Maintenance and Operational Issues
- Carryback can lead to increased wear and tear on the conveyor system, including the rollers, pulleys and bearings, leading to more frequent maintenance requirements and increasing the potential for breakdowns to occur.
- Carryback represents a loss of material being transported, which can be financially significant overtime, particularly in industries dealing with valuable commodities.
Environmental and Safety Concerns
- Accumulated material can fall from the return side of the belt, creating hazards in the work environment. This can lead to slip and trip hazards, as well as contribute to dust and particulate matter in the air, which can be a health and safety concern.
Cleanliness and Sanitation Issues
- In industries where cleanliness is critical, such as food processing, carryback can lead to serious contamination and sanitation issues.
2. Limited Access to Cleaning Points
Challenge: In many conveyor systems, especially in compact spaces, it’s challenging to access certain areas for cleaning.
Solution: Installing compact conveyor belt cleaners that are specifically designed for operation in space constrained areas or using portable cleaning tools can help in maintaining cleanliness in these difficult to reach areas. Introducing regular inspections and maintenance schedules can also ensure that all parts of the conveyor are cleaned effectively on a regular basis.
3. Wear and Tear of Belt Cleaning Components
Challenge: Belt cleaning components themselves can suffer wear and tear, reducing their effectiveness overtime. Using belt cleaners on materials they are not suitable for, and failure to perform required maintenance can increase the extent of the wear and reduce the overall life of the components.
Solution: When choosing a supplier for your mining operation’s conveyor belt cleaning needs, it’s crucial to select one that offers durable, high-quality components. These components should not only be suitable for the type of material transported on your belt but also capable of withstanding the unique environmental conditions of your operation. Understanding the expected lifespan of belt cleaner components is vital. This knowledge enables you to keep an adequate supply of replacement parts on hand, facilitating quick changes and minimizing downtime.
Additionally, it’s important to use components made from materials that are tough enough to clean the specific types of particles being processed, such as moist, sticky, or fine materials, without damaging the conveyor belt. This approach not only ensures effective cleaning but also helps reduce the wear and tear on belt cleaning components, enhancing their longevity and performance.
4. Variations in Conveyor Belt Speed
Challenge: Different conveyor speeds can affect cleaning effectiveness, with faster speeds potentially leading to reduced cleaning contact time.
Solution: Properly adjusting the tension and blade angles of your belt cleaner is crucial for accommodating varying belt speeds. This ensures that the cleaner works effectively at all times, regardless of speed fluctuations. For an even more efficient approach, consider investing in self-adjusting belt cleaners. These systems automatically adapt to changes in belt speed and tension, reducing the need for manual adjustments and ensuring consistent, optimal cleaning performance.
5. Effective Belt Cleaning in Extreme Environmental Conditions
Challenge: Conveyor belt cleaning efficiency can be significantly impacted by extreme environmental conditions like excessive dust, moisture, or temperature variations.
Solution: Customize cleaning systems to suit specific environmental conditions. For instance, use moisture-resistant materials in damp or humid conditions, and heat-resistant blades in high-temperature settings. Additionally, incorporating enclosed systems or dust suppression technologies can help maintain cleaning efficiency in dusty environments. Working with suppliers to design tailored belt cleaning solutions for your operation will ensure the correct target criteria is met to provide optimal belt cleaning performance.
When tackling the challenging world of conveyor belt maintenance, the key lies in deploying customized, efficient cleaning solutions. From addressing material build-up and accessing hard-to-reach cleaning points to managing wear and tear and adapting to extreme environmental conditions, the right approach to conveyor belt cleaning can significantly boost your operation’s efficiency and longevity.
As you navigate these challenges, consider partnering with a trusted and experienced supplier. Oreflow has been a proud supplier of Brelko’s comprehensive range of conveyor belt cleaners for over two decades. Our expertise is not just in providing top-quality equipment; we also bring a wealth of experience and technical know-how.
Our team of fully certified Brelko technicians is equipped to handle installations, routine maintenance, and provide essential technical support. This ensures that your conveyor belt cleaning systems are not only tailored for your specific needs but are also expertly maintained for optimal performance.
Moreover, Oreflow maintains a complete range of scrapers and replacement parts in stock, ensuring that you have quick and easy access to essential components when you need them. This commitment to stocking a comprehensive inventory is part of our dedication to keeping your operations running smoothly with minimal downtime.
In conclusion, the efficiency of your conveyor system is a critical component of your operational success. With Oreflow’s expertise and Brelko’s advanced range of conveyor belt cleaners, you’re equipped to meet any cleaning challenge head-on. Reach out to us today to discuss how we can enhance your conveyor system’s efficiency and reliability.
Interested in Finding Conveyor Belt Cleaning Solutions?
Get in touch with us today for expert advice and customized solutions that will keep your conveyor belts running smoothly and efficiently at the levels you require.