Once impact beds or idlers are installed at the load point, it’s easy to overlook the rest of the transfer area. But the rest of the load zone is important to consider because the actual transfer area often stretches past the impact area.
While the same protection afforded to the belt at the impact area isn’t needed in the entire load zone, the areas surrounding it need support, not only for the material, but also to provide a sturdy area so that skirting can keep the load on the belt and control dust as the product settles.
Sealing the load zone
While idlers are often used, belt sag is a common problem. The use of idlers can create air gaps between the belt and the skirting, allowing the material to escape. This often makes sealing the load quite difficult and should not be solved by placing the idlers next to each other. The practice of putting idlers in close proximity to prevent sagging is impractical from a maintenance standpoint because access to the rolls for replacement is nearly impossible, especially with a skirt wall above the belt.
Because of this, the use of slider beds (we can help you choose the right slider bed here), with rolls in the center and sealing bars on the top trough, are recommended. Slider beds provide low-friction surface by using idlers in the center to keep the belt moving along, while providing a hard and consistent surface on the trough for skirting to properly seal the belt, utilizing a slider bar commonly made of wear-resistant UHMW.
One of the most important jobs of the load point is to provide a seal that prevents material spillage and controls dust. For example, this cement plant was having serious dust issues, but an impact bed and skirting system solved the problem. The clamping mechanism should be both durable and provide a stronghold that discourages vibration and drag on the skirt rubber. It should also be easy to service the skirt clamp by providing a simple release mechanism on the clamp, like this one. A simple process to loosen the clamp allows for quick adjustment when the skirting material wears or skirting needs to be replaced. If the process is more complicated than this, maintenance may take too long or it may not be done at all.
Slider beds and skirt clamps should be paired with the conveyor system to allow for proper sealing in the area after impact. This total load-point solution is the key to less material spillage, saving money and making the area around the load point less dangerous for workers.
Assessing your load zone
It’s important to note, however, that the success of any part of the conveyor is dependent on several different parts of the system. It is for this reason that an can only benefit an operation. A few simple changes can increase efficiency and productivity and decrease the amount of time spent crunching numbers to cut costs, so it’s also important to evaluate the area before the load point as well as the impact area.
Flexco Field Specialists around the world are well-equipped to provide no-obligation belt conveyor assessments using the Flexco app. Getting in touch with us is the first step towards supporting the entire transfer area. a comprehensive belt conveyor system assessment of your operation.
Authored by: Kevin Fales, Product Manager
Fales manages the belt conveyor product (BCP) line, providing product development and engineering with guidance on market requirements for both new product concepts and existing products. He also leads the development of technical and promotional literature supporting BCP line. Fales graduated from Grand Valley State University with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and is currently working toward his master’s degree in business administration from Western Michigan University.