As a continuous conveying machinery for loose materials conveying equipment, bucket elevator has been widely used in food, feed, chemical and other industries, it is applicable to vertical conveying for powder, granular and small lump materials. The advantages of bucket elevator are: simple structure, high efficiency, low malfunction, etc. However, failure always happens in our daily operation which will affect the working performance. Here we will talk about the failures and troubleshooting of bucket elevator. 1.bucket belt deviation A. Failure cause : the main reason of bucket belt deviation is that when bucket belt is stretched, the adjustment is not timely or not appropriate . B. Troubleshooting: adjust the tensioning device or gravity tensioning device at the bottom of the elevator, make the hopper with appropriate tightness and keep two axis of bucket elevator under parallel. 2. bucket belt slip A. Failure cause: bucket belt is too long or balance weight is too light. B. Troubleshooting :if the bucket belt is too long, you can cut a section of belt and hang it well; If the balance weight is too light, you should add balance weight until you belt slip phenomenon is eliminated.
Youve purchased and installed a continuous bucket elevator and everythings running fine until Murphy strikes and your elevator and line are halted. What now? Unplanned maintenance interventions, frantic calls to the manufacturer, whatever it takes to get the elevator back up and running. While bucket elevators from reputable OEMs are dependable machines, such unexpected scenarios can happen, and often they can be avoided. This blog highlights the top three reasons that can bring a continuous bucket elevator down, and offers guidance for avoiding these problems.
In many facilities, continuous bucket elevators are workhorse units. In these settings, it is often easy to overlook performing vital Preventive Maintenance (PM) activities. Failure to perform needed PM activities results in parts and components being pushed beyond their expected life-cycles, with resulting parts failure and attendant unplanned downtime.
In a January 2017articlewhich appeared inPowder Bulk Engineeringmagazine, John McDonald, Service Team Leader at UniTrak, highlighted the need to follow an OEMs recommended PM activities and schedule. In that article, John also discussed particular aspects of a continuous bucket elevator that should be regularly inspected to detect signs of premature wear and tear that could lead to failure. This need becomes even more acute in severe service settings where aggressive materials are being moved or the equipment is being used in extreme conditions and temperatures.
Material which spills from buckets as it transits the elevator, or which accumulates in the infeed area due to poor material feeding, can build up to the point where machine operation is halted. Accumulated material can cause buckets to be torn loose from their mounting fasteners, or block the progress of buckets through the elevator, resulting in an overload situation and consequent machine shutdown.
As noted above, continuous bucket elevators from reputable manufacturers are dependable units that can offer excellent uptime and availability if certain basic practices are followed. Following the tips above can help ensure you avoid the problems described above and reduce unplanned equipment stoppages.
UniTrak manufactures the TipTrak line of continuous bucket elevators. These elevators are available in a range of configurations and capacities. TipTrak elevators feature fully interlocking bucket assemblies and a rubberbeltchainwhich never needs tensioning or lubrication. A wide range of options are available to support specific applications. To find out more about TipTrak continuous bucket elevators, pleasecontactour sales team directly.
With continuous bucket elevators (or bucket conveyors as they are often called), the term Carryback is used to describe the incomplete emptying and discharge of material from the buckets. Incomplete emptying of buckets results in material remaining in the bucket following discharge and being carried back through the elevator. Carryback material eventually deposits on ledges and surfaces within the conveyor frame, while traces may also remain in the buckets. Accumulation of the material within the conveyor frame can lead to potential mechanical problems such as off-tracking or in severe cases damage to the buckets or other components.
Addressing carryback, when it occurs, requires first determining the cause. When buckets do not discharge completely, and material is being carried back through the elevator, it could be due to the following reasons:
The material being moved has a tendency to cake and pack once loaded into the elevator buckets. When handling these types of materials, it is not uncommon for some residual material which has become caked or packed to remain within a bucket following discharge.
Different bucket plastic materials can be selected to provide the best product release properties while still maintaining other requirements such as conductivity, extreme temperature or abrasion resistance.
When handling materials which are prone to accumulating a static charge, causing it to adhere to the buckets, consider using elevators with fully conductive bucket assemblies. Conductive bucket assemblies help discharge static, allowing material to fully release from the buckets.
Applicable flow aids such as a bucket discharge assist device (bucket thumper or bucket knocker), whose pendulum mechanically impacts each bucket at discharge, thereby loosening material and directing it back into the discharge flow of the elevator.
As with any equipment, routine inspections are required. As most Bucket elevators are fully enclosed for safety reasons; Inspection windows, doors and removable cover panels in strategic locations allow your maintenance personnel to perform these routine inspections and provide the necessary access for cleaning.
Clean-out drawers are also available to allow for some accumulation of the carryback material which can then be easily emptied. The above tips will help to troubleshoot bucket elevator carryback when it occurs. Implementing many of these solutions onto an existing installation will likely require retrofit assistance from the OEM who supplied the elevator. However, an ounce of prevention is always worth a pound of cure. Reducing bucket elevator carryback requires working with equipment suppliers who have the know-how and equipment solutions to properly address the issues and reduce the frequency thereby preventing serious issue from happening in the future.
At UniTrak, we have over 45 years experience in helping customers to move even the most difficult-handle materials effectively and efficiently.TipTrakTMbucket elevatorsfrom UniTrak have design features and options to successfully prevent and address bucket elevator carryback. In every project requiring a bucket elevator, we carefully review the application requirements and, where appropriate, conduct material tests to determine the risk of carryback occurring. From there, we propose an equipment solution which includes specific options to prevent carryback. These options may include the provision of buckets especially designed to prevent material adherence and the inclusion of suitable flow aids where needed.
Manufacturers often choose continuous bucket elevators because these machines seem like the obvious choice. Manufacturers need to handle material gently, they need to move materially vertically; they have limited space to do so; they need to move material quickly; and theyre using a belt conveyor to move product. A bucket elevator will accomplish these things. But it will do so with major drawbacks.
Out of the reasons why manufacturers choose continuous bucket elevators, their use of a belt conveyor typically drives their choice. But belt conveyors are notoriously bad at elevating product. They can only angle up 15 or 16 degrees before product begins rolling back down the belt. Thus, when manufacturers have to elevate product, they either have to use a long conveyor that takes up lots of floorspace (which is neither economical nor fast) or install some type of elevating equipment, such as bucket elevators.
There are two types of bucket elevators: centrifugal and continuous. Centrifugal elevators are commonly used to move grains and other non-fragile materials that weight up to 50lb/sq. ft. With these elevators, buckets dig into a pile of grain and throw the grain at the top of the elevator.
Continuous bucket conveyors dont dig material. The material is conveyed to the bucket elevator and is gravity fed into the buckets, which are commonly attached to a belt. The buckets elevate the product and discharge the product using gravity on the descending side of the elevator.
As said, bucket elevators come with a set of problems. Simply put, they can be a maintenance (and production) nightmare. Theyre complex. They increase the number of gears and parts to keep track of and replace. Theyre hard to clean, difficult to get aligned and flowing at the correct speeds, require tensioning, and on and on.
There are a lot of little things that can go wrong and, when not caught early, can quickly lead to big problems. Manufacturers who use bucket elevators rely on plastic buckets bolted onto rubber belting. As the machines collect material and elevate it, a lot of force is placed on those bolts. If these bolts begin to fail and maintenance doesnt catch it, the buckets can rip off the belt and do a lot of damageand a lot of downtime.
Another small issue is belt tracking. If the belt gets off track a little bit, the belt and the buckets can begin to wear. As the belt wears, it loses its integrity. As the buckets wear, they dont hold material as well. This leads to excess material falling into the bottom of the bucket elevator, which manufacturers either have to discard (waste) or manually feed shovel back into the system (a waste of time).
Jams are one of the most common problems with bucket elevators. Moving products can interlock or catch on the equipment frame, causing it to freeze. The production line must then be shut down and the elevator opened and the jammed material removed before production can continue. Jams can also occur when material builds up inside the bucket elevator shell or housing and eventually clogs the machine.
The good news is that this client knew about another choice: SMART Conveyors. Our drag conveyors eliminate the problems associated with bucket elevators and can replace belt conveyor systems altogether. For one, drag conveyors are easier to maintain than bucket elevators. They have fewer parts, they dont use belts, they wont jam from material buildup, they dont have worn buckets that stop interlocking start catching frame members, they dont employ a belt-drive system that can slip or mistrack
Weve even designed our conveyor for easy maintenance. Maintenance technicians can replace our curve wear strips externally, and our head sections are split, so crews can access the 3-piece, split sprockets with ease. (3-piece, split sprockets let maintenance crews change the sprockets without breaking the chain.)
Weve had conveyors run for years with only routine maintenance performed. Our wear strips rarely need replaced, even on curves. Typically, all maintenance crews have to do to our conveyors is lubricate them.
Elevating materials at steep angles isnt a problem for our conveyors. The conveyors can elevate materials at angles up to verticalwith minimal support structure required. This means that valuable floor space wont be taken up.
Drag conveyors also eliminate the mess associated with bucket elevators. There wont be anything to clean up on the floor or in the conveyor itself. Also, because our conveyors are enclosed, we can make them dust tight. This eliminates debris in the air which workers must breathe, and it makes the conveyor better from a safety point of view, as its easier to prevent and contain fires.
Drag conveyors also handle material gently. Our paddles are designed with fingers that rake the product and keep it from packing together, so it runs smooth through our machine and doesnt get crushed. Its no rougher than transferring the material and dumping it. And unlike an auger/screw conveyor, it also wont chop up or otherwise decompose material.
Material also wont face the constant, harsh grinding from a center-line chain in our conveyor. We use dual chains to pull the paddles through our system that are placed on the conveyor sides outside the path of the material.
Drag conveyors are far superior to bucket elevators for elevating material. If youre tired of your bucket system or are simply weighing your options for material handling, give us a call. Find out for yourself the meaning of our slogan: Superior Engineering. Superior Performance.
Ill need additional information before I can answer the question you posted on our website (Im looking for a conveyor to move sand): Tons per hour of material you need moved Description and density of the material