Mining Mirror May 2018 - Page 39

Technology and innovation Rain, snow, and freezing temperatures can all affect conveyor operation, especially when the carryback gets some ice on it. Even a small amount of carryback or spillage from the conveyors is a serious issue. Martin Engineering. “And because they have such an abbreviated time frame in which to operate, every hour counts. So, we focused on the designs engineered for long service life and minimal maintenance.” In a move to further reduce the chances of fugitive material problems, technicians also installed tail pulley protection in the form of a V-plow. “Bulk material bounces when it comes in contact with a fast-moving conveyor and often shifts as it travels over carrying idlers,” said McKenna. “These disturbances can eject small amounts of material from the belt. Occasionally, along its return run, the belt will collect lumps of spilled material on the non- carrying side. If it’s not removed, The conveyor to the crusher presented a different problem. While the belt needed tracking assistance, the framework prevented installation of a standard unit on the 42″ wide belt. Martin Engineering technicians travelled to the Colorado site and reviewed the entire conveyor network. it can become trapped between the tail pulley and the belt and do significant damage to both.” Once the belt cleaning systems had been fine-tuned, Poulson and McKenna turned to some of the other challenges faced by the 316 Mining crew: belt tracking. “Rain, snow, and freezing temperatures can all affect conveyor operation, especially when the carryback gets some ice on it,” Poulson continued. “So, achieving a clean belt was a critical first step. But we were still getting some belt wander.” McKenna came through again, this time with a new design for a roller tracker to stabilise fast-moving belts. Based on a standard crowned roller, the tracking mechanism uses a unique ribbed lagging made of durable polyurethane to increase performance and wear life. The roller does not come in contact with the belt edge, which minimises fraying while delivering excellent tracking for single-direction or reversing belts. The result for the Hoffman crew is a more centred cargo load, less spillage, and increased safety from the hazards of belt wander, leading to higher productivity and lower cost of operation. The conveyor to the crusher presented a different problem. While the belt needed tracking assistance, the framework prevented installation of a standard unit on the 42″ wide belt. “We figured out a way to modify a 36″ unit to fit on the wider belt,” said McKenna. “This kind of thing comes up occasionally in the field, and we try to be ready to get creative when we need to.” MAY 2018 MINING MIRROR [37]