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Cleaning the Cleaners with Flexco

ROSENFELD/GERMANY, April 8, 2014 - When it comes to the aggregates business, where equipment is subjected to harsh materials and weather, Flexco belt cleaners are an important part of keeping systems clear and running. But while the cleaners are busy maintaining the belt, what could you do keeping cleaners running smoothly?

Why maintain Belt Cleaners?

Over the years, advances in belt cleaner technology have not only made them easier to use, but also easier to maintain. Maintaining cleaners enhances the performance of the actual cleaner as well as the other components in your system. Keeping an eye on the cleaners also extends the life of the cleaners, the belt, and your splices. Properly maintained cleaners are less likely to cause damage to belts and fasteners in comparison to cleaners that are installed and ignored until it’s time to replace them.

Flexco belt cleaners help keeping systems in aggregate business clear and running

In aggregates business, equipment is subjected to harsh materials and weather. Flexco belt cleaners are an important part of keeping systems clear and running. | photo: Flexco

Maintaining Cleaners

When approaching cleaner maintenance, there are three simple principles to remember: Clean It, Inspect It, Tension It.
Clean It – It may sound obvious, but the first rule of thumb with cleaners is to remove any debris from the blade and tension springs. Tensioners can’t do their jobs with debris stuck in them and removing material build up from blades will make them much more effective. Plus, a dirt free cleaner is much easier to inspect.

Inspect It – A simple visual inspection can do wonders for a cleaner. You can check to see that everything is in working order and replace any damaged components. When it comes to your blades, inspect the visual wear lines to ensure that the blades have not reached the end of their lives. As you inspect the blades, make a note how close you are to complete wear and the approximate amount of time it took to get to that point.

Tension It – Tension the blade to accommodate the blade wear. This is done quickly and easily by referencing the tension check decal and measuring the tension spring to ensure the blade is properly tensioned.

A Complete Maintenance Plan

It’s important to think of cleaner maintenance as a plan, instead of a specific task. In addition to regular maintenance, there are two other aspects that can enhance the performance of a belt conveyor system – quality of products and replacement parts.  
Choosing the right products and replacement parts is integral, not only to the cleaning system, but to the entire conveyor operation. Taking the time to consider factors like blade life, the material path of your product, and the ease of a tension check will save time and money.

Looking for a blade with a long wear life seems the obvious solution. Often this is determined by the material from which the blade is made. Flexco customers can choose between urethane, which is gentle to the belt and economical, or durable, high-performance carbide metal.

When it comes to visual tension checks, the philosophy is simple. The easier it is to check the tension, the more it will be inspected by the crew. Over- or under-tensioning the blade can lead to shortened blade life, as much as 20 per cent less. Improperly tensioned blades compromise cleaning efficiency and blade life, putting a dent in the budget.

A Complete System

In a belt conveyor system, a myriad of products are working together toward a common goal – to keep things moving and get the job done. While belt cleaners are a small part of a much larger system, a healthy conveyor system begins and ends with cleaning and maintenance.

Considering the entire system when putting the belt cleaner maintenance plan into effect is important. It’s a good rule of thumb to inspect and perform maintenance on all conveyor system components as part of an overall maintenance plan. After all, being proactive can save one time, money, and a headache down the road.