SOFTWOOD Plantation Exporters at Portland Victoria has demonstrated how the industry of bulk ship loading can maintain its local environment while generating performance gains through a functional piece of cleaning equipment.
The Geelong-based company operates a wood chip exporting business at Geelong and a shiploader conveyor at Portland Victoria fitted with Kinder & Co Type 1000 Series brush cleaners on its road receival hopper conveyor and shiploading conveyor.
This 1800mm wide belt and ship loading conveyor handles as much as 600t/h of mineral sands to load vessels with capacities reaching 25,000 tonne.
"We were experiencing a common materials handling situation associated with moving mineral concentrates - that being a major build up of product on conveyors and the subsequent clogging of rollers,” said Adrian Hatch, general manager of Softwood Plantation Exporters.
Consequently, the company had to take action to preserve its record by ensuring product was restricted from polluting the environment while maintaining employee safety at the same time.
"It starts with build-up on the belt surface, then when the belt comes back product is deposited on carrier rollers on the return side potentially scattering product along the system.
"K-Brush cleans away this build up and ensures it drops onto one spot, therefore it can be guided into a chute or picked up with a bucket on a front end loader and disposed of or fed back into the system.”
In a time-critical industry such as ship loading, it is important for dockyard facilities to perform without hindrance as delays can add up to general demurrage costs worth, in some cases, thousands of dollars an hour.
At Portland, the shiploader has been used to load refined mineral sands, semi processed mineral sands and grain.
Manufactured by Kinder & Co., the K-Brush unit allows the flexibility to change brushes without removing the shaft or brush system, therefore obviating any need to send brushes away for refurbishment.
The segmented brushes are selected to best meet the operating conditions.
Conveyor belts are swept clean by a rotary action that deposits the carryback into the main material flow. Wet, dry, hygroscopic, statically charged, abrasive, hot and corrosive products are effectively cleaned off the belt.
Apart from the mineral concentrates industry, the product is proving successful in industries handling coal, fertiliser, wood dust, alumina, cement processing, limestone, salt, and sugar.
K-Brush technology also incorporates modular 'half-segment' brushes so that worn sections of a brush can be replaced simply and efficiently.
Motor and gearbox are totally sealed, thus allowing these aspects of the system to operate maintenance free for life.