The weight pressure of the transferred material load causes the conveyor to sag in between the supporting idlers. Most commonly this is seen at the transfer point of the conveyor system, with the formation of a gap between the belt and the skirting. The quick accumulation of material spillage and dust then occurs due to the reduced functionality of the unsupported skirting seal. 3 key problems then occur:
1. Risk to Personal Safety:
Material spillage occurring in the surrounding areas will create an immediate increased risk to personal safety in the form of slips, trips, falls and entanglement.
2. Increased Maintenance Costs:
Removing spillage manually increases the overall maintenance costs in the allocation of existing, or contracted resources. Not only is this a cost inefficiency, but it can also increase the potential for OHS claims.
3. Increased Operating Costs:
Belt edge sag increases premature conveyor belt wear due to the accumulation of fines and other fugitive material being more prone to lodgement under the skirting. The belt also experiences increased drag which results in additional power consumption. The replacement costs of conveyor hardware such a damaged or seized rollers negatively effects operational productivity.
How to Correct Belt Edge Sag
Belt Edge Sag can be eliminated by correctly supporting the belt from underneath at the transfer point so that the line of travel remains consistent and flat. Depending on the volume, speed and impact angle, rollers should be replaced by low-friction slider bars installed to a support bed mechanism. Installing a support bed with non-moving conveyor components will reduce the need for ongoing adjustments and maintenance. Skirting effectiveness is increased resulting in reduced transfer point spillage and dust emissions.