PULP & PAPER: CONVEYOR TRANSFER POINT INSTALLATION

Conveyor Transfer Point Modification

The Fundamentals of a Clean, Safe, and Efficient Conveyor

INTRODUCTION:

Controlling dust and air movement at Conveyor Load Zones when processing bulk solids can save you time and money. Inefficient design results in operational, safety, and morale problems at transfer points because of escaping fugitive materials. The facility in this case study is a leading paper mill located in the Middle Atlantic States. The plant is primarily dedicated to paper-making, but it also processes coal used to power the plant.

PROBLEM IN MORE DETAIL:

The coal transfer tower experienced substantial volumes of turbulent air when the coal moved from the Crusher to Conveyor. This resulted in pressurized airborne dust escaping the transfer point and covering the surrounding area. Workers filled wheelbarrows several times a day with the powdery dust that covered the floor, railings, and nearby surfaces. Sweeping and daily clean up were consuming an increasing amount of worker time and effort. In addition, escaping material also caused rapid skirt wear, belt mis-tracking and other conveyor maintenance problems. Finally, the fugitive material created an unsafe environment for workers that caused morale issues.

SOLUTION:

AIRMATIC Application Specialists concluded MARTIN® Conveyor Products would eliminate the problems. First, AIRMATIC installed a Belt Support System to prevent the belt from sagging. Sagging belts allow fugitive material to escape along the sides of the belt line. Next, Belt Tracking Devices installed on both the carrying and return sides of the belt reduced alignment problems.

To better contain the material, a double-lip self-adjusting skirting replaced the existing skirting to keep the edge sealed. Abrasion-resistant wear-liners installed inside the transfer point skirt-board prolong the life of the seal. Finally, a high volume “passive” Dust Settling Zone with multiple dust-trapping curtains installed on top of the existing chute walls reduced air velocity. This solution enabled dust from the conveyed coal to settle, allowing cleaner air to exit the chute.

Weeks after the installation, the plant manager commented that the job of cleaning up the fugitive material went from several wheel barrows per day to less than one per month, and that his operators can now use a broom to periodically sweep-up rather than the laborious and unsafe job of shoveling up spilled coal in a dust-laden environment.

CONCLUSION:

AIRMATIC eliminated the paper mill’s nagging conveyor problems with the installation of MARTIN® Transfer Point Products. The Mill can now process coal and prevent airborne dust from escaping the conveyor loading zone.  Maintenance and downtime costs went down and worker safety and morale improved. After more than a year since installation, the transfer point is one of the cleanest areas in the plant.

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