Discussions of improvements to correct conveyor belt cleaning is becoming more of a necessity in the mining industry. Incorrect practice in material discharge and the overall housekeeping of the belt may result in premature failing conveyor components, tracking issues, excessive belt wear and spillage - resulting in a decrease in productivity. This troubleshooting article focuses on the operation and maintenance of primary belt cleaners.
With the ever changing weather conditions affecting product moisture content and the percentages of fines, clay and silica present, belt cleaners are becoming more developed and engineered than in previous generations. However, with this new generation of belt cleaner comes a new list of maintenance issues which need to be addressed so that optimal productivity can be achieved.
Accessibility to location and inspection
Primary belt cleaners are commonly installed in very adverse locations around the plant. Positions often include at the head pulley of an incline belt, further complicated by enclosed hoods or guards. In some mobile equipment cases there is sometimes no direct catwalk and staff are required to use a scissor lift, work platforms or actually lowering the conveyor to gain access. In other extreme cases, specialist training such as confined space access or working at heights must be undertaken in order to maintain the belt cleaners.
However, under all circumstances, for any maintenance work to be completed on a belt cleaner, the surrounding area must be completely isolated and hazard managed. By optimising the life of the belt cleaner, this will result in a reduction in the number of stoppages for maintenance tasks and improve site productivity.