Conveyors and screens to ensure long life and productivity

Written by: RWW | Published:

Recycling plants need to move a vast amount of material through their facilities effectively, maximising productivity and ensuring quality output. Claire Col looks at operators who supply conveyors and screens and the options they provide.

Earth Day, an annual April event, is celebrated across the world to show support for protecting the environment, encouraging awareness of the growing problems of pollution. First launched in America in 1970, it’s now celebrated in 192 countries and to mark the 42nd Earth Day last week, the computer giant Apple opened its first hardware recycling scheme offering free recycling of all its used products. Apple users can send in old iPhones, iPads and computers free of charge, and if it has monetary value, they’ll credit the customer’s bank account, if it doesn’t, they’ll recycle it for them. And if that’s not green encouragement enough, customers can also take their recyclable items back to an Apple Retail Store to get 10% off a new one.

Incentivised recycling has resulted in an explosive growth of MRFs and conveyors systems and screens are key components in the recycling chain. However, no two projects are the same, and whether you’re recycling electronic equipment, glass, tin, tyres or food, each have their own set of hurdles to overcome. 

Chain+Conveyor

Family run Chain+Conveyor have grown from humble beginnings, but have now been providing off the shelf and bespoke engineered solutions conveyor chains and sprockets for 25 years: “Our principles have remained the same - high quality products backed by excellent technical support from a dedicated team,” says Damian Swindells, Chain+Conveyor’s general manager.

Chain+Conveyor operate in a range of sectors including automotive, distribution, bulk handling, mining and quarrying, waste and recycling and water treatment and now plan to increase their brand awareness online.

“We’re already looking to invest in new technologies to help improve customer communications in the UK and abroad and with 2013 being the best year of sales since the business began, 2014 is looking to be even better,” predicts Swindells enthusiastically.

Chain+Conveyor have recently expanded their product range to include ‘Renold-only’ chain to help customers who may struggle to source this chain in the UK, and have also increased their range of machine-cut, flame hardened split conveyor chain sprockets. These are of a high specification which provides improved gearing and reduction of wear, reducing long term costs and down time.

Easikit Conveyors (pictured)

Easikit Conveyors have been providing a solution to MRF challenges for over 25 years.

“The Easikit conveyor range is designed to offer a comprehensive solution for moving material efficiently and engineered to be a perfect match for the waste industry,” explains a company spokesman. 

Easikit is able to supply conveyor belt systems in a range of widths from 300mm to 1500mm depending on the material and volume that needs to be handled. 

The Easikit 900 conveyors and Easikit 1200 conveyors are said to be the most popular with MRFs and recycling centres. Their width means that while lots of material can be moved on the belt, they can still be used as a picking and sorting station when necessary. 

Both are reported to be ideal for modern recycling picking stations with the 1200mm wide conveyor great for higher volume recycling applications with the ability to carry out picking from both sides of the conveyor. These particular units are, according to the company,  “the heroes behind many recycling facilities out there today”.

Where narrow troughs are required for specific routes or facilities with space restrictions, the Easikit 450 and Easikit 600 conveyors offers a similar focus on throughput with all new levels of adaptability. 

According to the company, the Easikit 1500 is the ideal solution for bulk amounts of material, allowing swift throughput and ensuring separation needs are met with its spacious surface.

Safetech

Waste and recycling is considered a high risk business accounting for over 4% of all UK fatalities at work. Clearly, health and safety are of optimal importance and to help counter this risk, Safetech have been developing and installing automatic personnel protection systems since 1986. 

Safetech’s Daniel Smith explains: “The majority of the accidents relate to moving machinery. Although most conveyors have guard rails, there has to be at least one access point where material is introduced and this point is the principal hazardous area.” 

Traditional methods of preventing accidents include emergency stop buttons, pull-cords, video monitors and a buddy system. 

But if you’re injured, unconscious or trapped, these measures can be useless. 

Safetech says it can offer an effective solution - a system to detect automatically when a worker is in danger and stop the machinery. Safetech’s latest product is the high tech Guardian: “The intelligence at the core of Guardian provides sophisticated set-up and diagnostics facilities. Each person who works around the hazardous area wears a detector belt, fitted with transponders. If the worker is detected in the danger zone, the machinery is stopped and further harm or death is prevented,” says Smith.

Safetech recently installed a multi-system set-up for a producers of paper-based packaging, including one Guardian which safeguards workers on three separate conveyors. “A single Guardian system can offer protection for several conveyors, which means dramatic cost savings for customers,” continues Smith.

There are other benefits too. As Guardian eliminates the need for a buddy system, there can be savings on staffing costs and insurance premiums can be reduced: “But surely the greatest benefit is knowing that you’ve done everything possible to prevent an unthinkable accident, and given that the HSE requires that employers should do everything reasonably practicable to ensure the safety of their workers, an automatic personnel protection system is essential,” concludes Smith.

E E Ingleton

Yorkshire based E E Ingleton Engineering has been producing industrial screens as well as perforated panel products and animal feed milling products since 1975. In recent years however, the trends for processing truck tyres, hard plastics, mixed municipal waste and even glass have introduced a need for arduous environment screens and so Ingletons developed their through-hardened screens for extended life: “Made using steel grades with a combination of hardness and fine carbide grain structure we’ve produced a durability superior to that of other common wearplate materials,” explains MD Tony Hodges.

Until recently, these screens were made in fairly thick plate. 

“However, after lessons learnt on such screens for granulators and shredders, we’re now also producing thinner, finer through-hardened screens for applications like turbo-driers which are increasingly being used by processors in the recycling of plastics,” continues Hodges. The through-hardened screens have been used in place of ‘standard’ stainless steel screens, which can demand frequent replacement and high screen prices.

Thinner and tougher isn’t the only option and Ingletons found that developing a modular screen solution for a number of popular turbo-drier types has helped to substantially reduce operators’ costs. Hodges again: “With the modular solution, through-hardened screen segments last longer and can be changed more frequently in just the areas of the drier which suffer higher wear rates than segments in areas where the wear rate is lower.”

Ingleton Engineering also produce flip-flow type screen panels in high grade polyurethane for vibratory screening applications, as well as stainless steel fabricated wedge-wire screens: “We’ve invested heavily in state of the art punching, perforating, laser profiling and forming capability, and are in a better position than ever to produce cost effective long life screens and parts for our customers,” adds Hodges.


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