Posted on January 24, 2019 in Dust Control, Maintenance, and Material Handling

Material handling systems are designed to ensure that raw material is successfully carried and delivered from one point in the process to the next – i.e. they aim to produce a planned, reliable output. Achieving this requires equipment and conditions that save time, money and effort without any interruptions. However, because of an array of problems that can occur during the process, attaining such steady production can be elusive.

Operators know too well that the load zone is a problem-ready process area. Component wear, tear or malfunction can postpone turnaround and delivery because of the excessive maintenance needed. Material spillage, fugitive dust and pluggage likewise can result in high housekeeping hours and costs, greatly burdening plant personnel.

As specialists in turnkey engineered material handling systems, Benetech is able to pinpoint and solve production problems that interfere with the progress you need. Because we often find that a range of issues originate in the loading area, a load zone containment design that is specific to your application, easy to maintain and economical to run becomes crucial. The design should also reinforce personal and environmental safety.

If you find you are struggling with lost production, dust control issues and material spillage, it’s probably time to evaluate the loading area. The key is assessing the full system design instead of trying to correct each new symptom as it appears.

A thorough system evaluation considers areas such as:

  • Consistent belt elevation
  • Dust and material containment
  • Correct belt support
  • Wear protection
  • Impact protection
  • Sealing of fines

The following Benetech project helps further illustrate the importance of load zone containment design.

Bark and Chip Conveyor Load Zone Upgrades for Dust and Spillage Control

Situation: A Southeast U.S. biomass power plant was experiencing severe spillage and dusting with its primary bark and primary chip conveyors. The issue began creating notable housekeeping and maintenance problems that affected the operation’s efficiency. Workplace safety and compliance also became increasing concerns.

Located side by side with pant leg chutes, the two primary bark and two primary chip conveyors loaded material from the truck dump onto one belt and the residual material onto the other. Because the four chutes’ systems were not connected, spillage and dust built up among them. The skirtboards were uneven and lacking internal wearliners as well.

The circumstances prompted the plant to contact Benetech for assistance.

Solution: Benetech partnered with the plant to assess its challenge. Working closely together, we developed an economical solution that would simplify maintenance, improve material flow and drastically upgrade dust and spillage containment at transfer points.

Applying our distinctive turnkey approach, we began by demolishing the existing conveyor systems. We then engineered and installed our proprietary MaxZone® modular skirtboard and belt support system including:

  • MaxZone XN externally adjusted/internal rubber wearliner for sealing the chutes and extending their life and production. Maintenance is quick and easy with no confined-space permits needed.
  • High-performance dual-seal B+ apron skirtboard rubber seals with a polyurethane inset for creating a superb, long-lasting seal with a primary and a secondary layer.
  • Quick-release clamp-sealing system for the sides of the load zone for easy maintenance, dust and spillage containment, and reduced clean-up.
  • Peaked hood stilling chambers with a sloped design for slowing and containment of escaped material and superior passive dust control.
  • Simple slide idlers – roller frames that slide into place without removal of adjacent idlers – for exceptional belt support, simple installation and basic maintenance.
  • Dust-tight all-access inspection doors for convenient, efficient inspection of the internal skirtboard.

Equally important, Benetech completed the installation of the new conveying systems within the maximum one-week outage timeline allowed.

Customer Result: With Benetech’s load zone containment design and components, the plant greatly diminished spillage and fugitive dust at the transfer points; lengthened the life of the conveyor belt; reduced plant mitigation labor; increased workplace safety; and lowered plant maintenance costs.

Ensure Optimal Load Zone Containment Starting Now

Having the right system for load zone containment is key to bulk material handling that stays productive, protects people and material, and conserves valuable company resources. Whether your conveying system has a current load zone challenge or would simply benefit from a thorough inspection, we can help ensure your business goals remain on track. Contact us at (630) 844-1300 today to speak with a Benetech specialist.