Ensure safe mechanical conveying with FLSmidth In-Plant Belt Conveyors


October 2019
Ensure safe mechanical conveying with FLSmidth In-Plant Belt Conveyors

FLSmidth In-Plant Belt Conveyor solution is an easy to operate and maintain mechanical conveying system. Designed with safety at top of mind, easily accessible maintenance parts and a dynamic rock box deliver trouble-free mechanical conveying of materials.

Building on the proven design principles of the current belt conveyor, which has successfully served cement markets around the world for many years, the new version offers low cost onsite installation, improved reliability and has been designed to create safer working conditions.

While offering safe mechanical conveying for the cement industry, it is also built to handle sticky and highly-abrasive materials. We provide a solution that minimises blockages and liner wear while extending the life of the belt and other major components. 

Main advantages of FLSmidth new belt conveyor Improved safety: All parts associated with maintenance work required while the mechanical conveying belt remains in operation have been moved outside the lightweight safety guards, including lubrication points. Operation can be observed without opening the In-Plant Belt Conveyor's cover while adjustments to ensure bulk material lands in the centre of the belt can be made outside the safety guard. 

Low cost: A simplified design for troublefree mounting facilitates rapid transport to site and easy onsite installation, lowering cost.

Easy maintenance: All parts requiring maintenance, including lubrication points are located outside of the safety guard surrounding the mechanical conveying belt. This ensures the parts are easily accessible for maintenance while the belt is still in motion.

Reliable: We have years of experience designing and working with operators of In-Plant Belt Conveyors, serving both the cement and mining industries. This has resulted in the development of a reliable mechanical conveying solution.

Handles sticky and abrasive materials: Wear plates in the inlet box are fixed with a simple system and can easily be replaced to handle abrasive and sticky bulk material. For abrasive materials, wear parts can be durable wear-resistant plate and for sticky materials, low friction liners are used to prevent material build up.

Designed for easy mounting: It is quick to assemble onsite, mainly because it contains fewer parts - up to 70 percent fewer than the existing design and it is preassembled in the workshop. Smaller components are welded to the construction in advance,enabling ease in logistics, installation and maintenance.

Another example of simplification is that the number of different bolt sizes have been reduced, which helps reduce installation time significantly.

Main features of FLSmidth new belt conveyor
Light yet strong coverage for easier handling:
A unique feature of the In-Plant Belt Conveyor is the cover. Considerable effort is put into creating an equally strong, more flexible and lighter cover to replace the corrugated iron design. The new cover is easier to open and handle, as the individual covers do not overlap û it slides open like a breadbox. The lightweight safety guards were introduced in response to a challenge often seen with belt conveyors. Big and heavy safety guards end up being removed and leaned up against the walkway rails as they are too heavy to be placed back by just one person. By having lightweight safety guards, this dangerous practice is avoided.

Adjustable rock box optimises operation: The dynamic rock box is standard in all inlets handling free flowing materials. Situated outside the safety guard for straightforward access, this cutting-edge dynamic rock box ensures a dust-free and centered load to the consecutive conveyor. It also reduces wear from abrasive materials in the inlet box and can be adjusted from outside the safety guard.

Well-designed discharge section to impress: The discharge casing has hollow shaft gears, which hang on the pulley shaft and is supported directly by the main frame. This means it does not need civil construction and offers better access around the discharge. At the same time, it provides full access for the primary and secondary scrapers.Large double working doors and inspection windows means operators can safely gain an overview of the In-Plant Belt Conveyor's status during operation and have full access for maintenance when stopped. Other special features of the discharge section include space for a spillage conveyor and a specially designed baffle plate.

Safety comes first
A key objective when designing the In-Plant Belt Conveyor was avoiding accidents. This means that all parts involved in the maintenance work - while the belt is still in motion - have been moved outside the safety guards. This includes an innovative patented system for idler frames, which allows operators to adjust idler frames for belt tracking from outside the cover with just a wrench and hammer.

The cover also contains three small holes that allow the operator to see inside the cover without opening it to see if the belt is tracking correctly.

Employing modelling technology for innovation
In earlier models of our In-Plant Belt Conveyor, a mathematical formula was used for material trajectory which wasn't as accurate as we would like. To cater to "real-life" cement plant mechanical conveying as much as possible, we set about conducting some practical experiments at our Denmark-based research facility, testing sample materials with differing properties at different speeds.

Discrete Element Modelling (DEM) technique was used to predict how solid particles move and interact in space. Mathematical equations considered the shape, position, cohesiveness, velocity and force of each particle and calculated how they flowed as they passed through a predefined space, such as chute work.

The formula for material trajectory was then updated to incorporate results from the practical experiments and from the DEM. This update helped minimise common mechanical conveying challenges such as blockages caused by sticky material, excessive dust, and liner and belt wear.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: J Raghuraman, Product Line Manager - Material Handling, FLSmidth.

(Communication by the management of the company)

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