Rock Products

JUL 2017

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Page 26 of 63 ROCK products • July 2017 • 25 system forms a tight belt seal, delivering outstanding fugitive material control. The special mounting tabs allow the liner to be both adjust- able and replaceable from outside the chute, requiring no confined space entry. Maintenance staff merely needs to loosen the mounting tabs and remove the wear liner, then slide the new one in. This reduces the replacement procedure to a fraction of the time and makes the operation significantly safer, with far less downtime. Placed flush with the wear liner on the outside of the chute, the ApronSeal includes a primary and secondary sealing strip with a dual-sided elastomer construction made of 70 durometer EPDM rubber composite for its low abrasion index characteristics. The primary strip holds a tight seal on the belt to trap fugitive dust and contain it within the cargo flow. The self-adjusting secondary seal rides smoothly on the belt alongside the rigid primary strip to provide an extra dust seal. Once the contact area of the sealing strip has worn down, workers merely loosen the mounting brackets, slide the strip out and flip it over, doubling its wear life. Following the loading zone, several dust curtains stop dust from escaping out of the end of the chute by trapping it within the settling zone. Previously, the mechanical dust filtration systems had been unable to handle the sheer volume of par- ticulate matter, so the filters clogged quickly and created a maintenance burden, causing the units to be abandoned. With the units operational again, technicians cleaned the area and replaced the filters. Combined with the new chute design, the systems are able to effectively filter any overflow of dust. "Is It On?" Over a four-day period coinciding with other work at the plant, Kevill and the three-person contractor team replaced the tail pulley box, loading zone and settling zone. Since GLC1 resided in a tower more than 20 m (65 ft.) high, special lifting equipment and safety measures were required to execute the installation. The fabricated chute was fitted in place, and with minor adjustments the rest of the Martin Engineering equipment was installed and calibrated over a single day. "When we turned the system on with a full volume of mate- rial being loaded onto the belt, there was some confusion at first from the person over the intercom as to whether the system was operating, since there appeared to be no dust," Kevill recalled. "Even after nearly a year of operation, the air inside of the enclosure is clear enough to see down the entire length of the shaft." According to Whelpton, spillage and accumulation along walkways and around the mainframe has been eliminated. There has been no encapsulation of the belt or tail pulley since installation, and rolling components are far less prone to fouling due to dust and spillage. Protective suits are no longer required for people to enter the area, as they need only PPE masks to protect against trace particles emitted through normal operation. "This has led to a morale boost for the plant staff," he pointed out. "I don't get complaints when I assign people to do something in that area anymore, which is generally a sign of appreciation." Over and above the complete turnaround of the operat- ing environment and its effect on morale, managers were impressed by the reduced labor costs and improved safety due to external adjustment and replacement of the chute's wear parts. Operators report the cleaning and maintenance schedule has been adjusted accordingly, freeing up staff for other assignments. Additionally, the time and cost for replacement of rolling components and chute accessories is a fraction of what it used to be. Information for this article courtesy of Dave Harasym, UK sales manager, Martin Engineering. ApronSeal Skirting contains small lumps and fines.

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