Cables Replacing Chains in Cement, Mining Modernizations.
By Dane Olson
While new technologies in the cement and mining sectors may not be as profound or as frequent as in other industries, quarry and mine operators are focused on continuous improvement of processes and equipment to achieve greater capacity and improved reliability.
In industries that have invested very little in equipment upgrades since the economic downturn of 2008 and 2009, modernization of existing systems to increase throughput is a focal point as market demand continues to rebound in sectors such as cement.
The most common retrofits are occurring with bucket elevators and apron conveyors where metal chain traction elements are still being utilized in conveying. For many years, conditions related to particle size or temperature required the use of only chains in both bucket elevators and apron conveyors. Notoriously expensive to maintain and replace, chains require continuous monitoring and must be shortened as they stretch.
Knowing that anything mechanical begins wearing down as soon as it begins to operate, full system optimization declines over time. A proprietary steel cable belting solution engineered by BEUMER to replace chain traction elements can help systems achieve what they did when they were first installed.
A steel cable reinforced belt requires a fraction of the maintenance of a chain and delivers a lifespan of three to four times. With apron conveyors, for example, belt alternative modernizations have inherent benefits that include:
Reduction Of The Constant Maintenance Required By Chain Wear
With a belt, you install it, attach the buckets or pans, tighten everything down into the splice, then only need to perform routine maintenance, with in-depth checks once or twice a year. Thus, the need to stop the machine for extended periods of time while chain stretch is measured, sprockets are replaced, and pans are removed is eliminated.
Improvement Of The Ambient Working Environment
The smooth transition of a belt/pulley traction element reduces the noise caused by a chain/sprocket element.
Considerably Longer Wear Life
Belts reinforced with steel wires are at the center of a proprietary design that ensures a long service life of three to four times that of a chain.
Improved Safety By Reducing Maintenance Touchpoints
The shortening process for heavy chains that often operate above grade, sometimes significantly so, present safety concerns for maintenance staff.
Belt modernization capabilities are effective in a variety of industries such as cement, lime and gypsum where bucket elevators and apron conveyors are used for transport or industrial processes and where roasters are in use such as gold, precious metals and iron ore.
Dane Olson joined BEUMER Corp. in 2016 and serves as customer support manager for the Conveying and Loading (CL) division in Kansas City, Mo. He is responsible for business development, sales support and service planning for CL systems and products. Olson is a graduate of the University of Central Oklahoma with a degree in corporate/organizational communication.
Making a Bucket
Until recently, the use of belt bucket elevators was generally limited to transporting fine bulk material, because there was a risk on the older models that coarse-grained bulk material could get stuck between the bucket and the belt and damage the belt.
Through the consistent advancement of its belt bucket elevators, BEUMER Group developed the innovative high-capacity belt bucket elevator type HD that makes it possible to also efficiently transport coarse-grained material such as clinker.
This bucket elevator designed to eliminate the space between the individual buckets and the belt. This prevents coarse material from getting stuck during the scooping and filling process and from damaging the belt.
At the same time, it holds the same proven advantages of belt-based bucket elevators for the customer, such as the very high conveying capacity, prolonged service life of the belt and less noise generation.
BEUMER is well positioned in the field of cable-based bucket elevators that offer highly-efficient technology for the vertical transport of coarse, hot or abrasive bulk material.