Cleaning the Cleaners

Conveyor Belt Cleaning

Cleaning the Cleaners

A healthy Conveyor System begins and ends with Cleaning and Maintenance
Belt Conveyors are an integral part of almost any plant in the base materials industries. Their function is of paramount importance for the entire plants. Following you’ll find the “Why’s” and “How to’s” for an effective conveying plant.
(ed. WoMaMarcel - 02/9/2015)
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Maintaining Your 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.

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 your belt conveyor system – quality of products and replacement parts. 

Choosing the right products and replacement parts is integral, not only to your cleaning system, but to your 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 you time and money.
Look for a blade with a long wear life. Oftentimes, 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.

Keeping an eye on the path your material actually takes on your belt can also save your cleaner. A blade that follows the material path is the most efficient because it wears evenly, instead of wearing in the center. Utilizing a blade that covers only the material path boosts cleaning performance and extends the life of the blade.
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% 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.

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

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