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Conveyor systems upgrade improves OH&S

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article image HiFert conveyor system -- high security and control.

SIGNIFICANT improvements on two of its main conveyor systems has given fertiliser distributor HiFert greater OH&S control and a heightened level of security whilst improving reliability and operating control at its Lara Plant in Victoria.

This system upgrade, recommended by Kinder & Co , has provided near maintenance-free performance on the company's two main dispatch conveyors.

WorkCover safety restrictions forbid personnel to be near any moving points on the plant conveyors, hence the company has a 'lock out' safety fence around the entire system to totally eradicate the possibility of any danger.

As each belt handles high volumes of nitrogen-based urea and sulphur granules, spilled product is not only a clean-up problem but also an expensive one if stock is wasted or contaminated through poor conveying.

With effective belt cleaning and conveyor transfer points well supported, the improvements have been a crucial element behind heightened safety and greater plant reliability during the operating cycle.

Maintenance operator at HiFert, Jamie DeBono, says since the upgrade a decrease in spillages has given the company more time to spend on further plant improvements rather than constant clean up.

"The two conveyors are carrying quite different materials, hence the problems had to be closely assessed and the changes very deliberate.

Despatch 1 carries dry products, whereas Despatch 2 normally conveys moist products.

"Bulk materials handling products specialist Kinder & Co analysed the set up on both conveyors and gave us a solution for each."

Feed hopper conveyor loading zones using conventional steel rollers were replaced with K-Sure belt supports to provide improved product containment. Trough angles were increased and K-Polymer rollers used to resist rust caused by the hydroscopic material.

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